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A rare treat

posted 24 Jun 2009, 14:57 by David Rintoul   [ updated 31 Oct 2009, 13:35 ]

Recipes are increasingly demanding obscure ingredients. So, if you need duck tongue or spiced mead and your local supermarket can't help, you need a specialist shop.

Lupe Pintos
When it comes to food trends, ex-chef Douglas Bell prides himself on being a step ahead. He says the shop has sold chipotle chillies (smoke-dried jalapenos) for nearly 18 years. "It took the TV chefs a wee while to catch up."

Dougie travels widely, gathering fiery ingredients for his two delis in Edinburgh and Glasgow: agave nectar - a sweetener; mole sauce - a rich sauce made with chocolate and chilli (mole means "concoction" in Mexican Spanish, hence guacamole); rare tequilas from Mexico; crunchy nougat; chorizo and spiced black pudding from Spain; mee goreng spice paste from Indonesia.

Bestsellers include his Tollcross chili pie, made by a local butcher, confectionery for homesick Americans, and his vast range of chillies: mild anchos, nutty-flavoured cascabels, guajillos - which make a bright red sauce for enchiladas and the smokey mulato. "A lot of people are talking about chillies now," says Bell. "They know you can bind the flavours of different ones together, four or five varieties in one dish."

24 Leven Street, Edinburgh. 0131 228 6241
313 Great Western Road, Glasgow. 0141 334 5444

Source: Tom Moggach, The Guardian

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