Season of Plenty
Greetings, Friends of The Mala Market!
Thank you for your patience over the past couple of months. We had planned to send you this celebratory email saying everything is back in stock in mid-August, when four large shipments bulging with fresh Sichuan spices and sauces were due to complete their long journey from Chengdu to Nashville.
But agencies including Homeland Security, Customs, USDA and FDA had different plans for many shipments coming into port from China over the past couple months. I will not bore you with the details of paperwork, exams, fees and destruction incurred, but I will tell you that I've never been happier to see the shipments begin to roll up to the warehouse.
And it's even more exciting this fall, because they are rolling up to our own, small but mighty and beautiful warehouse. Up until now, Fongchong and I have worked from our guest bedroom and rented warehouse space. But now we have our own facility for packing spices, storing inventory and fulfilling orders. Plus there's even room for a small retail space (by appointment only at first) and, eventually, pop-ups and hot pot parties. (Because, how fun would that be?)
[Attention Nashvillians, and those passing through: You can now order online and pick up at the Market to bypass shipping charges. We probably won't have time to set up a proper retail space with tastings until the new year.]
For some 80 years, the white concrete building lined with 16 magnificent windows was home to a small bread factory. I'll hold its fascinating story for another time, but this business founded by two sisters in the 1930s is now home to a mother-daughter team carrying on the tradition of a small family business with big dreams.
Yes, it was scary to sign a lease during a global pandemic and U.S.-China trade war, but as you can see from the photo, we just couldn't let this building—which is literally four blocks from our home—get away.
We hope to provide you ever better service now that we have full oversight of the business—from the minute the products get off the truck to the minute they leave for your house. And, in general, we've got an exceedingly short supply chain, as these products are procured directly from the farmers and factories and closely managed until they get on a truck by our two women buying partners in Chengdu.
Read on to see what has arrived. Plus, we've got recipes for Yunnan Cold Mixian from our contributor No Sweet Sour and Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles from our affiliate Omnivore's Cookbook.
Thank you for your support!
🌶Taylor & Fongchong 🌶
P.S. Still held hostage, but coming soon: organic sesame paste, handmade soy sauce, fragrant-hot ground chilies and some special surprises...