I am currently helping out in the creation of a community-based cookbook as part of the Beaufort Street Festival. This is the third year of this fantastic little book that pairs community recipes with recipes from restaurants and businesses in the Beaufort Street area. It’s still early stages still, but it’s already been a fun and eye-opening experience into the world of cookbook creation. One of my duties so far has been helping with recipe testing – checking to see if recipes submitted are well written, easy to follow and delicious. I’ve also submitted a few of my recipes for consideration *fingers crossed one makes it into the book!!* and received a little bit of feedback from a few recipes. The thing that struck me most about my feedback is something I guess I already knew, but it was good to be told. Some of the ingredients I use aren’t that easy to get for some people in Perth. After seeing my feedback, I considered the recipes that I tested – and similarly those recipes for me would’ve been difficult to complete just a few years ago. Things like chipotles, masa flour, pomegranate molasses were all things I have in my cupboard but a lot of folks might not have heard of.
Another complaint was that some of those ingredients, because they are specialist can also be a bit pricey. One recipe called for 2 tbsp of hazelnut meal. I didn’t give using a small amount of hazelnut meal a second thought, because I always have hazelnuts I can process into meal and I use in a bunch of recipes. But for someone who doesn’t, it costs a lot of money to either buy a whole bag of hazelnut meal or even hazelnuts to process for one recipe.
With all of this in mind, I thought I would create a post of places that I shop at in Perth. And if you do buy something for one of my recipes and have a bunch of a foreign ingredient leftover and want suggestions of what else to do with it – please, email me!
Cannington Fresh - The Nanna Shop
The nanna shop is a grocery store around the corner from my house, to read this post to find out why it’s called The Nanna Shop. They stock a great range of fruit and veg, as well as continental goods like meats, cheeses, pickles. They have bulk bags of nuts for reasonable prices as well as some being able to be bought by weight. They have kilo bags of some more unusual flours, such as rice flour, chickpea flour, polenta as well as a decent selection of dried beans. They have a fairly good Asian section, and lots of other random vinegars and sauces. And I buy tonnes and tonnes of tinned beans here! Being so close to my house, this is usually my first port of call for unusual ingredients.
Kakulas – Freo and Northbridge
These are probably my favourite shops in all of Perth for food. Sacks full of almost every type of flour, pulses and grain imaginable, for sale by the kilo. This is awesome for trying a new ingredient without buying more than you need. A large range of spices, continental jarred goods, teas, coffee, dried fruits, nuts and cheeses. The smell of these stores alone is worth the visit. I favour the Fremantle one, but only because I love ambling around Freo.
The Re Store – Leederville.
Cheese and smallgoods reign supreme here. Famous for their lunch rolls, for that very reason. Awesome ‘obscure’ alcohol section, including a bunch of fun bitters. Good range of pasta and Italian goods. Decent range of the more unusual spices and condiments.
Fresh Provisions – Mt Lawley
Excellent range of dried spices, good range of pre-packaged more unusual grains and flours (large GF range). Good range of different sauces from a variety of cuisines. Good range of cheeses and cold meats. Gourmet and artisanal ice cream.
Second Ave IGA – Mt. Lawley
First place in Perth I found chipotles in adobo sauce. For that reason alone, it holds a special place in my heart. Large range of imported goods, cheeses, cold meats. Good range of ‘different’ chocolates and treats. Gourmet and artisanal ice cream. This is usually my first port of call for unusual ingredients when I’m shopping in my lunch break, as it also has a better range of ‘normal’ stuff than Fresh Provisions, who deal more solidly in gourmet. So I can get it all at once.
Markets on Manning – Opposite Curtin University, Belmont
This is my most-frequented Farmers’ Markets. Good range of fruit and veg and often have a stall called “Spice West”, which is where I’ve gotten most of my more unusual spices from, such as smoked chilli powders (chipotle and ancho) as well as annatto seeds, which has allowed me to finally make the most authentic Peurco Pibil!
This is obviously by no means an exhaustive list of specialty shops in Perth – they are just the ones I frequent the most. Have you got any other shops in Perth that you think I should check out? Email me!