The 2018 Harvest Has Arrived!
Hello, Friends of The Mala Market!
It's our favorite time of the year, when our shipment of newly harvested spices makes it through the gauntlet of importing and arrives at our doorstep. The photo at top is not actually how they arrived; I just like this shot I took at the Chengdu spice market. Our spices go directly from farmer to processor to us. However I did feel a bit like this guy while unloading a literal ton of spices last week.
Despite being held hostage for two costly weeks by the FDA for an arbitrary inspection, the spices arrived in tiptop shape, and you will not find fresher Sichuan pepper anywhere in the U.S.! We buy ours immediately after harvest, while we can get the cream of the crop, and bring it in by air, cutting out months of time on the ocean. And our Sichuan pepper is not heat-treated, making it doubly fragrant and potent compared to others.
Further good news is that while prices for Sichuan pepper increased due to this year's small harvest, spices are one of the few Chinese food imports that are not part of the trade war with China and not incurring heavily increased tariffs. Though you can certainly expect the cost of most other Chinese food ingredients to increase dramatically come January 2019 when the 25% tariffs kick in, spices have escaped that fate—for now!
Our offerings are increasing this season to include spices for making other western Chinese cuisines, including Yunnan and Muslim Chinese food. Along with three types of Sichuan pepper, we have four types of dried chili peppers and four new spices. We've also updated our packaging to reflect the exact growing location of each spice, which ranges from Xinjiang in the far northwest to Guangxi in the far south.
And finally, in plenty of time for the holiday season, we've updated and improved our cooking kits and added a Complete Sichuan Pantry Collection. It includes just about everything you need to make Sichuan food and a full set of recipe cards in one kit. If you know someone who loves spicy food and would like the eminently doable challenge of making better Chinese food than they can buy, then this is an ideal gift!
Let the feasting season begin!
🌶Taylor & Fongchong 🌶