Spice Purveyors | Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York

Choose your adventure at these spice purveyors

Though dry, spices have a shorter shelf life than you'd expect.

Many a chef knows that freshness in spices, as with produce, is key. Now, thanks to a new breed of shops around the country, this spice philosophy is spreading to home cooks. Look to these stores (many of which sell online) for small batches of freshly ground spices. Your cumin and coriander never need be lackluster again.

Lindy & Grundy This much-anticipated butcher shop, which specializes in local and pasture-raised meats, opened in Los Angeles last week. Once you pick up your roast, head to the spice station, where proprietors Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada will help you grind and blend the ideal mixture to season your protein.

Spice Hound Spice monger Tammy Tan is behind this new San Francisco establishment. Order one of the proprietary blends such as tabil, a Tunisian mixture that includes coriander, crushed garlic and caraway seeds, online, or stop by the store for a cup of chai brewed with Spice Hound's vibrant offerings.

La Boîte à Epices After years of supplying chefs with the highest quality spices, former Daniel cook Lior Lev Sercarz opened a storefront in New York this past winter. Try one of his unique combinations, which include the Coquelicot, a blend of poppy seeds, lemon and mustard, or ask him to create a signature mixture just for you.