Anyone who’s spent time exploring Philadelphia’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants is already well acquainted with the flavors of La Boîte spices. The New York company has been working with professional chefs to enhance their recipes since 2006.
But La Boîte, founded by Israeli-born chef Lior Lev Sercarz, is also a resource for home cooks. Its website sells more than 40 seasoning blends, such as the za’atar associated with many Middle Eastern dishes, as well as dozens of single spices, and offers suggestions for using them. Some products, like a starter pack of five one-ounce blends, is available through Amazon.
“The blends are a great way to start because you can just open a jar and start sprinkling on anything, taste it, see what you like, and explore from there," said Sercarz, adding that most blends are versatile enough to use on everything from fish and meat to vegetables, eggs, and fruit.
Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov’s restaurants each sell a custom pack of La Boîte spices, like the recent release of a pastrami-goulash-everything-bagel combo designed for Abe Fisher. Suraya, the Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown with a marketplace, stocks a shelf of La Boîte spices for sale, and Spice Finch chefs Jennifer Carroll and Billy Riddle also cook with them. — Allison Steele
La Boîte spices, $25 for a mini-pack of five at laboiteny.com. Also available at Amazon and local stores; $9 to $15 for individual spices and spice blends.