Shopping with Helen at Cilicia Market (My Pantry Secrets)

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Shopping with Helen at Cilicia Market (My Pantry Secrets) 00:00 Intro 01:44 Pomegranate Molasses 02:19 Zaatar 02:54 Huge …

20 replies
  1. Helen Rennie
    Helen Rennie says:

    Turns out I didn't know exactly what was in my za'atar mix. Thanks to everyone who corrected me and asked questions. The ingredients listed on the package are: za'atar, sumac, sesame, salt. I assumed that the za'atar ingredient was a mix of dry herbs from the mint family. At some point someone told me that they typically include mint and thyme and I didn't question that, but after googling for it, that doesn't seem to be quite right. Here is what wikipedia has to say about it: "Za'atar as a prepared condiment is traditionally made with ground origanum syriacum mixed with roasted sesame seeds, and salt, though other spices such as sumac berries might also be added. In areas where origanum syriacum is not readily available, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof is used instead, and some commercial varieties also include roasted wheat." I am guessing that the mix I use does actually include the za'atar plant (origanum syriacum). I've tried a za'atar mix from Whole Foods once and didn't like it at all. It seemed that the only similarity to the one from Lebanon were the sesame seeds and sumac.

  2. David Dickey
    David Dickey says:

    Cilicia Market reminds me so much of Sahadi's in Brooklyn (videos on youtube if you're curious). Sahadi's is a family-owned Lebanese grocery that's been in Brooklyn for 100+ years, provisioning the Middle-Eastern disaspora and adventurous palates. One of the owners of the current generations, Christine Sahadi Whelan published a book in 2021 that is a very useful guide to these provisions: "Flavors of the Sun: The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding, Buying, and Using Middle Eastern Ingredients." It's a really great book for those of us who didn't grow up with these ingredients.

  3. etherdog
    etherdog says:

    We're so glad you like Refika's channel, too! When I first started watching Ethan Chlebowski's channel (before he had 1K subscribers), I thought it was going to be about bread baking 🙂

  4. Uhn Schlek
    Uhn Schlek says:

    Thanks for doing videos like this that help us learn about the ingredients in these "ethnic," stores. I walk by so many and wander in, but struggle with getting a handle on any of the items. I am positive they would be a great addition to my pantry, but without guidance, it is hard to make good choices. It turns out your kitchen renovation is a gift to your viewers as we, too, get to step out of our comfort zone and learn about ingredients and tools we always only looked at from afar.

  5. Velops
    Velops says:

    Costco Business Centers in my area have recently started selling 3 lb. containers of labne. It is the Karoun brand that uses milk from California. I really like the texture and flavor of this brand.

  6. Mike L
    Mike L says:

    I learned about these ingredients from your channel a few years ago and it dramatically improved my love of cooking. I keep most of these items in my pantry. Your sharing them and how to use them is a gift to us all. Thank you

  7. Ava Hartwell
    Ava Hartwell says:

    Helen, I love your videos. You make me so nostalgic for Massachusetts. I've been in another state for 13 years and every time I watch your videos I think fondly of home. Also, you remind me of my Russian grandmother, who died when I was a kid. Thank you for bringing your mix of wisdom and good humor to everyone!

  8. Luisa Pollard
    Luisa Pollard says:

    I always learn something from you Helen. I'm going to be on the lookout for those ingredients now 🙂 We have a Middle Eastern Bakery in my town, but no speciality deli as such. Love buying local whenever I can.

  9. Samuel Mahoney
    Samuel Mahoney says:

    I love various pepper pastes. This is probably a bit on the spicy side for you, but check out an aji amarillo paste. It’s so very flavorful! So good! I made a yellow chili out of it for the office and it got rave reviews. Got told I was brown in a past life off that one. I mean, I think I can cook anyways, but that aji amarillo paste is amazing.

  10. tanluwils
    tanluwils says:

    Thank you regarding the word "ethnic". I feel the same sentiment. To call something 'ethnic' is to call it 'other' and therefore not approachable. I don't live in the Boston area, but when I lived in Queens, NY, I often purchased ingredients from the eastern Mediterranean since my neighborhood had many Central Asian people who often use those ingredients in their cuisine. Anyway, thanks for another great video!

  11. Samuel Mahoney
    Samuel Mahoney says:

    I’d say the word “ethnic” is pretty old school. Not descriptive at all. I’m a white American. But I will say other cultures have always fascinated me. I can’t imagine describing something as ethnic because it really doesn’t mean anything. And if it does to you, you should probably do some introspection. There are so many fascinating aspects to food. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s always impossible to know the breadth of even a “cuisine”. There’s always another nuance, another flavor combo. That’s what makes food fun. I absolutely love tradition. And I love the ability to riff off tradition because that all anyone has ever done. And I love the current information environment because I can riff off of other’s traditions as well. But also, with some effort, experience history, culture, and tradition. Food is an amazing thing.

  12. April M
    April M says:

    #realcomment …(Hoping that works) Thank you, Helen. Oh no, you didn't tell us the brand of red pepper paste you use! Since as you say, the choices are overwhelming, I would love to know which one they helped you select at the store and that you use. Or something that would be comparable (is this possible to know from the list of ingredients in the paste?). You showed the jar briefly, but I could not read the label. I'm having to try to find this on Amazon since there's no Turkish shop where I live.

  13. Hermann Kerr
    Hermann Kerr says:

    These lovely Mediterranean markets are worth the effort to find. After seeing your You Tube on on that black bean/walnut/garlic/pomegranate molasses/olive oil paste I headed to my Mediterranean market and they had the brand you featured as that was the only thing I didn't have in my larder. It is also the only place I can find black truffle infused olive oil which a key ingredient in one of my favourite dishes, Forager Pizza.

  14. Jay J
    Jay J says:

    Thanks for your video. I became much more familiar with a lot of these ingredients when I got on the Mediterranean diet. Unfortunately, I haven't found a good market like the above where I live. The red pepper paste sounds good, I wouldn't have known that the hot one is good for a baby mouth like me. 🙂

  15. Penny K
    Penny K says:

    I like the use of the word ethnic. I look for it and feel I will find something yummy and unique. Helen tell me about your interesting NECKLACE ❤️👍


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