Last week I took a little trip to The Essential Ingredient store in Rozelle with my ma, Jenny. We had never been before but were well aware of its illustrious reputation for supplying all things good in the food world. I had written a list during the days leading up to our visit of things I intended on buying. How naive of me. That restrained list meant zilch.
"Ohhhhhhh just look at that tagine!" I said, seconds upon entering whilst subconciously ripping up my meagre list, tossing it subconciously in the bin. Mum had already started filling up the blue plastic basket. The beasts had been unleashed...
What followed was a blur of pretty glass plates, awesomely regal cake stands, burgundy clay tapas dishes, rows of piping bags and nozzles, huge shelves of dried south american chillies, stacks of gourmet icecreams and even more gourmet sauces and marinades, kitsch kitchen utensils, bags of out-there rice and jars of flavoured olive oils...
And so, an hour and a half later we left the shop looking slightly manic as we tottered down the hill with huge bags full of goodies. Jeez it was a good trading day for the people at Essential when mum and I came round. After taking a short but productive stop at Herbie's Herb Shop a few stores down, we went home, layed our purchases out on the table and admired our glistening new cake tins from afar.
Some of our purchases - muslin to make cheese, love heart moulds for homemade chocolates, wet tamarind because it looks fun to play with, cherry flavoured oil for who knows what but I'll think of something, powdered food colouring for macarons which I will one day perfect, pomegranate mollasses as a gift, rosewater because it's gorgeous, black vinegar so I can pretend to be Kylie Kwong, demerara sugar because that's what my mum used to eat as a kid, spanish paprika for authentic paella, vanilla bean paste because it's a much needed luxury in baking, gold leaf gelatin because powdered gelatin is way too stubborn, pink peppercorns because they're pretty, chai tea spice to make our own chai, pasta crimper because I couldn't find our old one, round metal food rings because mum reckons from now on she's going to present every meal in a perfectly round stack (this was obviously an impulse buy, forgive her), butter dishes because everyone loves butter in the middle of a table when bread is involved and a madeleine baking tin just because.
Next on the list: huge paella pan, wok, electric scales, sugared violets and that awesome teal and silver tagine...
and these.... parce que, pourquoi pas? =
oh wait and these cos they taste like squishy balls of delicious salt =
The Essential Ingredient
731-735 Darling St, Rozelle NSW 2039, Australia - (02) 9555 8300 http://www.essentialingredient.com.au/
or check out their flikr site for photos of more products they stock; http://www.flickr.com/photos/theessentialingredient/