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  • Preserving

    Preserving is a great way to enjoy the season’s best flavours at any time of the year. Pick what’s in ample supply (e.g. berries and stonefruit in Summer, pears in Winter) and preserve to enjoy year round.

    The aim of preserving is to slow down the activity of microorganisms and enzymes or destroy them altogether. Here’s a few common methods of preserving:

    Freezing - the colder the food, the slower the rate of deterioration. Freezing only slows down enzyme activity so vegetables must be blanched in boiling water first.

    Heat - boiling or blanching at high temperatures destroys enzyme activity and almost all microorganisms. Boiled preserves must be sealed in airless conditions to prolong their shelf life.

    Strong Concentrations - alcohol, acid, salt and sugar in high concentrations either prevent or destroy microorganisms. The method used will depend on what you’re preserving.

    Essential Equipment
    - Small ladle for potting all types of preserves.
    - Slotted spoon for poaching and skimming
    - Wooden spoon for stirring
    - Tongs for removing items when heat processing
    - Jam/sugar thermometer for accurate temperature taking
    - Hydrometer - useful for brewing to measure the alcohol content
    - Wide mouth funnel for potting up preserves
    - Long spouted funnel for bottling drinks and sauces
    - Cheesecloth for filtering and straining liquids
    - Jelly bag for straining fruit pulp
    - Muslin cloth for straining, wrapping meats or making spice bags
    - Food processor to save time and effort when mixing, blitzing, mashing or pulping
    - Large plastic container with drip tray for brining and curing meats
    - Stainless steel preserving pan— a specialist, non-reactive, heavy based pan for rapid boiling.

    The right container can make all the difference when preserving. Containers must always be in good condition and steralised before use.

    - Clear glass bottle - used with an airtight cork these are perfect for wine, cider and cordials
    (alternatively use a swing stopper bottle)
    - Ice cube box for freezing small portions of herbs
    - Plastic freezer containers for freezing jams, fruit, vegetables, purees and sauces.
    - Jam jars for storing jams, chutneys, jellies etc. A new lid or waxed disc is essential every time.
    - Corks for stopping home brews.
    - Ramekin dish for potting up meat and fish or butter, cheese and jellies.
    - Specialist preserving jars - heat resistant, with non-corrosive lids and replaceable seals.

    - Salt - draws out the moisture in food. Can be used for preserving vegetables, meat and fish.
    - Sugar - just as effective as salt when used in high concentrations (60% +). Mostly used to preserve fruit or used with vinegar to preserve fruit and vegetable mixes such as chutneys.
    - Fats - not a preserving agent but used to protect some preserved foods by forming a protective  seal.
    - Vinegars - prevents the growth of microorganisms. Mostly used to preserve vegetables as  pickles, relishes and sauces.
    - Lemons - used when making jams. Adding lemon draws out the pectin, helping the mixture set.
    - Spices and flavourings - enhances flavour of preserves and can even actively help the  preserving process.

    Check out our selection of preserving books, tools and equipment available online for delivery nationwide or visit our Variety Departments for the full range.

    Featured image: Apricot Tangelo Marmalata from Rowan Bishop 'With Relish'. Photograph by Carolyn Robertson.

  • Sharing Boards

    Sharing boards are a simple, effective and delicious solution to feeding a crowd. Whether it’s as a starter to a meal, nibbles for drinks or a casual luncheon, you can tailor a board to suit any occasion.  Below are some tips and hints for creating great grazing boards:

    Pick a theme. Choosing a single theme or cuisine keeps the flavours cohesive. Remember to also factor in any dietary requirements that might dominate the group to make it easier to cater for everyone. When you have settled on a theme, think of different colours, flavours and textures to bring it together

    Serving. Choose a large board and, where necessary, bowls for dips, small jars to hold dressings or wide mouth ones to hold vege sticks or grissini.  Don’t forget to have appropriate side plates or napkins depending on the food and a range of wooden picks, forks or bamboo boats (all available from our Foodservice warehouse and Variety departments).  Keep in mind a place for left over toothpicks/olive stones or other rubbish to keep the area tidy.  Think about how things will be eaten - bite size works best so pre-cut any meats or veges to avoid people having tear things apart or double dip!

    Volume. Think about how long the platter needs to last, is it for a few hours or to be cleared away once finished?  You may need product to top up dips or components, this is easiest to be prepped and ready in an easy to serve format to top up the platter rather than removing it to re-dress. Think of extra dips in ready to serve bowls to switch in, drain any liquids in advance, pre-cut and store vege sticks etc. so you can stay with your guests.

    At Moore Wilson’s we have a huge range of ready to serve products to create your platters.   If you are having a large gathering or a few in short succession consider some of our bulk products in the Foodservice warehouse for even better value at the same quality as you will find in our Fresh Market.  We know how daunting it be to feed a crowd so following are some suggestions to get you started:

    Greek  Dolmades (rice stuffed vine leaves), fried Zany Zeus Halloumi, feta (marinated if you wish - dice, drizzle with olive oil, a few herbs and chilli flakes), The Olive Lady Chargrilled Capsicums, Olive Lady Olives, Elysian Taramasalata Dip, toasted Gianni Pita Bread.

    Middle Eastern Kaikoura Labne, hummus topped with olive oil and your favourite dukkah, Alamir Pita Bread, carrot sticks, falafel bites (buy premade or make your own from premix), tahini dressing/dip,  fresh dates, lamb seasoned with ras al hanout (either cubes of leg or small cutlets work well).

    Italian Sopressa salami, prosciutto wrapped rockmelon, D’amico Chargrilled Artichokes, fresh cherry tomatoes, Massimos Cherry Bocconcini, Genoese Basil Pesto Dip, sourdough bread, Grissini, Arancini Balls (available in the freezer premade from Italy), Pecorino Romano, Ghiotti Olives.

    Mexican Corn chips (choose a couple of different shapes/colours), fresh guacamole, Tio Pablo Salsa and Pepitas, Baron Corn Snacks, Mini tacos –  e.g. a tortilla with shredded chicken, iceberg lettuce and chilli and lime flavoured mayo, The Olive Lady Pickled Vegetables, fresh cherry tomatoes, chargrilled fresh corn (sliced into 2 cm pieces through the core).

    Vegetarian Cheese stuffed peppadews, Kaikoura Tartinade, Lisa’s Spinach Feta Dip, carrot and celery sticks, radish, blue cheese drizzled with honey, sliced baguette, Moore Wilson Roasted Almonds, Seed Crackers, stuffed olives, Aromatics Smoked Mushrooms.

    Seafood Regal Hot Smoked Salmon, marinated mussels, Wakelin House Aioli, The Smokehouse Salmon Pate, fresh cucumber spears, Crostini, Marcels Blini, zucchini sliced thin with lemon and dill, fresh oysters in season or mini whitebait fritters, individual shrimp cocktails work well in mini bamboo cups/boats. Decorate with plenty of fresh lemon wedges.

    Chacuterie Poaka Salami Stick sliced, biersticks, hot sopressa or chorizo, Woody’s Mortadella, L’Authentique Pate, rye bread (sliced and toasted), Meyer Aged or Smoked Gouda, Maison Therese Pickled Onions, Acme Bread and Butter Pickle, Zoe’s Beetroot Relish, Maille Grain Mustard.

    Dessert Fresh berries, dates, grapes, pineapple,  MW Dried Pears, squares of your favourite chocolate, Hogarth Marshmallows, Clareville Ginger biscuits, Levantine Choc Ginger Dates, Bohemein Truffles, Pure Wei Macarons.

    Image: Taco platter from Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion by Maegan Brown. Copies available from Moore Wilson's Wellington Books for Cooks.

  • Wedding Essentials

    Wedding Gifts and Exchanges

    They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and in our Kitchen & Homeware Departments you’ll find premium cookware, small appliances, crockery, glassware, cutlery, kitchenware, cookbooks, and more. We’ve also got a great range of manchester, bathroom accessories, luggage and giftware.

    Our philosophy is to stock quality brands and products and offer them to our customers at everyday low prices. This means you and your guests can be sure you’re getting the very best value.

    Cheese Wedding Cakes

    Cheese Cakes (cakes made with rounds of cheese) have become extremely popular and the cheese experts in our Tory Street Fresh Market can help you plan a beautiful cake using rounds of quality New Zealand and imported cheese. Cheese cakes can be an alternative to the classic wedding cake or enjoyed after the meal – either way they make a unique feature for your celebration!

    Wine, Beer & Spirits

    For all those toasts on and around your special day! Our Tory Street, Porirua and Masterton Wine, Beer & Spirits Departments stock a wide range from Champagnes to great value wines and beers to suit any budget. Our staff will also be happy to help with recommendations and advise on what quantities you'd need for your special event. You can also ask our staff about our sale or return policy for functions.

    To find out more about any of the above services please visit us in-store.

  • A Taste of Japan

    While sushi may be what initially comes to mind, there is a lot more to Japanese cuisine than this popular dish. Did you know, as of 2019 Tokyo is the  city with the most Michelin star restaurants, with a total of 230 restaurants!

    Traditional Japanese cooking, or washoku, is based on “rules of five,” which emphasizes variety and balance. This is achieved through the use of five colours (black, white, red, yellow, and green), five cooking techniques (raw food, grilling, steaming, boiling, and frying), and five flavours (sweet, spicy, salty, sour, and bitter).

    Along with all your sushi-making essentials, Moore Wilson’s Fresh is home to a great range of Japanese pantry basics so you can bring the wonderful flavours of Japan to life in your own home.

    Kewpie Mayonnnaise: Regarded as the best mayonnaise in the world. Made from egg yolks only rather the whole eggs plus rice vinegar, soy based vegetable oil and a touch of the flavour enhancer MSG.

    Bonito Fish Flakes: Bonito flakes, also known as katsuobushi, are little wisps of dried, fermented bonito, used in Japanese cooking to for their smoky, intensely savoury, slightly fishy flavour. The flavour is somewhere in between anchovies and bacon, but much more delicate than either one.  Bonito flakes, along with kombu, are one of the primary ingredients in dashi - a savoury stock that is
    ubiquitous in Japanese cooking - but they can be thrown in or on any dish that needs a boost in the savoury department.

    Nori Sea Salt: Made by Wellington’s Asian Food Republic, this seasoning can be sprinkled over cooked chicken, pork or seafood as a vibrant garnish and extra flavour. Also great on cooked rice and Asian soups.

    Soba, Ramen and Udon: Although not made in Japan, our range of Japaenese noodles are an essential base for many dishes including soups, salads, stir-fries and ramen broths.

    Yuzu Extract: Yuzu is a sour Japanese citrus fruit, used both for its juice and its aromatic rind. The yuzu has an aroma and flavour that is distinct from any other citrus fruit, somewhat akin to a cross between grapefruit and lime.  This rare fruit is used in authentic Japanese cooking, common in seasoning meat, seafood dishes, sweets and beverages.

    Tamari Soy Sauce: A thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce that contains less wheat than regular soy sauce (or look out for San-J Organic Tamari for a completely gluten-free option). Tamari adds a full, savoury, umami flavour to your dishes. 

    Miso: A traditional Japanese paste made from fermented soy beans. These are numerous types and textures available. Provides an intense almost meaty savoury flavour. As a general rule, the lighter the Miso colour the more mild the flavour. You’ll find a great range of imported miso as well as a New Zealand-made Miso from Nelson’s Urban Hippie. Urban Hippie have also produced a Misomite which can be enjoyed on toast or as part of a dip, dressing, or marinade.

    Nanami Togarashi: Nanami literally means seven flavours’ in Japanese. This tasty spice blend is made up of chilli pepper, orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, Japanese Pepper, Ginger and Seaweed. A NZ Togarashi is also available from Kaituna Farms which includes NZ horopito and kawakawa. Sprinkle or rub on meat, fish and vegetables or add to pasta and rice dishes.

    Rice Wine Vinegar: Made by fermenting the sugars in rice first into alcohol, and then into acid. Compared to white distilled vinegar, rice vinegar is less acidic with a delicate, mild, and somewhat sweet flavour. A pale yellow colour it is used as sushi vinegar and in making pickles.

    Wasabi: This Japanese horseradish tastes very peppery and pungent. Moore Wilson's stocks fresh wasabi, along with the more common paste and powdered form.

    Sencha Japanese Green Tea: The most popular green tea in Japan, favoured for it’s smooth taste and refreshing finish. Available in a convenient box of teabags.

    Matcha: T Leaf T’s Matcha is produced by grinding tea leaves into powder. Produced in Uji-shi Kyoto prefecture Japan, this matcha not only tastes delicious it is said to be high in antioxidants and vitamins.

  • O'Sushi at Moore Wilson's Wellington and Porirua

    Located at both Moore Wilson's Wellington and Porirua, the unique O'Sushi kiosks have been designed by Miramar's Human Dynamo Workshop. Human Dymano were also the creative force behind Moore Wilson's Tory Street Chook Wagon, a replica of the iconic 1947 Citroen H series light truck, and Porirua's nautical Wine, Beer & Spirits Store.

    O'Sushi opened in 2013 in Tory Street and is housed in a bright red replica of an early 1900’s Te Aro villa, a nod to the rich history of the area. At Porirua, a painting of Mana Island provides a stunning façade for the hole-in-the-wall food kiosk, which was added to the store in November 2017.

    O'Sushi is run by Miki Wee, owner of Newtown’s popular O’Sushi. Miki is an experienced sushi maker and uses only the best, freshest ingredients in her sushi, made onsite daily.

    Some O'Sushi favourites include Japanese-Style Sashimi, Maki, Vegetarian Tempura, California Rolls, and Teriyaki Salmon over Rice. Miki also offers pork buns, dumplings, and miso soup.

    O'Sushi at Moore Wilson's Opening Hours


    Monday to Saturday: 9am to 4pm
    Sunday: 9.30am to 3.30pm


    Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 4.00pm
    Saturday: 9.30am to 2.30pm
    Sunday: Closed

    Closing times subject to availability.

    Other 'Food on the Go' offerings at Moore Wilson's Tory Street include the Chook Wagon and Pop-Up Food Pods.

  • The celebration alternative - cakes made with rounds of cheese!

    Wedding cakes made with whole cheese and sometimes called cheese towers, are suitable for use at birthdays, anniversaries or any other special event or party.

    It is not a cheesecake, rather it  consists of several cheese rounds arranged one on top of the  other in much the same way as the tiers of a traditional wedding cake. To make it look like a traditional cake, rounds of cheese with different diameters are used. The stacked rounds of cheese can then be decorated as you like. Fruits and berries are very popular decorations. Ribbons and flowers can also be used. It is simply a matter of deciding on the style of cake your event  requires.

    A cheese cake is suitable for anyone who would prefer a savoury cake or who would like to have a cheese course included at a special dinner. Of course you can serve a traditional cheese board if you prefer, but celebration cheese cake is certainly a great centre piece that is also useful and practical.

    A rule of thumb in creating a cake is to allow around 100 grams of cheese per person -  or 10kg of cheese for 100 people. With a little imagination you can easily create the cheese celebration cake yourself.

    The first and easiest way to assemble a cheese celebration cake is known as the American style. You simply find a number of cheese rounds of differing diameters and stack them one on top of the other - using the smaller rounds as you near the top. As you can see in our Fromagerie there is a wide range of cheese rounds available of differing sizes. Don’t use too many different sizes -keep it as simple as you can.

    The second style of cheese cake involves using stands and pillars much like a traditional fruit cake. You can use rustic bases cut from clean and polyurethane rounds of native timber.

    Foliage, dried fruit, flowers, berries  and fruit all seem to work well. In reality it depends on the style of the celebration. Find someone artistic to decorate it and you can organise it all yourself.

    While we try to maintain good levels of wheels a minimum of 2-4 weeks is recommended for order.

    At Moore Wilson Fresh we happily supply the cheese  and accompaniments but we do not supply finished decorated cakes.

    To select your cheese rounds, ask to talk to our cheese specialists at Moore Wilson Fresh.






  • G&T Alternatives

    So we are all in love with Gin right now – and following our passion for ‘G’ is an increased interest in ‘T’ – with a vast array of Tonics arriving on our shelves in the last year or so.

    But what if you’re after a long drink with a little less punch than a Gin & Tonic – well you’re in luck! The Spanish and Portuguese (who are both big consumers of G&Ts) have been experimenting for generations…

    White Port – yes, it’s a thing – made from white grapes, but otherwise made in the same way as other Ports, fortified part way through the fermentation, so there is always a nice amount of residual sweetness from the grapes. Add Tonic, and you have a long refreshing drink at around half the alcohol of a G&T, enjoyed in the North or Portugal for years, and increasingly in Gin bars all over the world

    How to make a thirst-quenching P&T:
    -    Fill the glass ¾ full with ice
    -    Add 50ml white port (we have Dow’s Fine White Port and Quinta de la Rosa)
    -    Add 100ml good quality tonic (Fever Tree Indian Tonic is a classic, or try Fever Tree Elderflower for a lifted style)
    -    Gently stir to ensure a good mix in the glass
    -    Add a twist of lemon, orange or grapefruit as a garnish

    Vermouth has followed the rise of Gin, with the similarities being clear – Gin is a spirit infused with Botanicals (always with Juniper at the fore) – and Vermouth is an aromatised wine – that is, wine infused with Botanicals (traditionally lead by wormwood). There are even a number of craft gin producers who have turned their hand to making vermouth – locally, Reid & Reid from Martinborough have done extremely well with their red Vermouth, and their dry white Vermouth. Dry Vermouth makes a delicious and again, lighter alternative to a G&T, with more herbaceous botanical character than an P&T.

    Here’s a Dry Vermouth and Tonic Recipe from Laura MacFehin’s recent article in the Dom Post:

    “Last summer, some hip young things were proclaiming the death of the G&T in favour of this drink. This is a ridiculous suggestion. The gin and tonic will never die because it is a superlative drink that brooks no rival when you're in the mood for it.

    However, you can tire of even great things and I urge you to give dry vermouth and tonic a go. It is lighter in alcohol and therefore easier on your head, and is one of my favourite summertime drinks.”

    Dry vermouth and tonic:
    60ml dry vermouth
    30ml tonic
    Fill a tumbler with ice, add the dry vermouth and top up with the tonic.

    Have fun, experiment with different vermouths, different tonics, and let us know how you get on!


  • Beginning a Vegan Diet

    Whether you are looking to start a vegan diet, or start enjoying more plant-based food, you can be sure to find a lot of vegan and dairy substitutes at Moore Wilson's.

    Vegan Dairy Substitutes:

    Replacing dairy products in your recipes is easy. A plethora of plant-based non-dairy milks are available, such as soy, oat, almond and rice. If you need a non-dairy milk to curdle in a baking recipe, go with soy. If you need the most neutral flavour possible, such as when making a sauce, unsweetened almond milk is a good choice. And don’t overlook plant-based cheeses: there are some wonderful options out there, particularly those made from nuts.

    As dairy products usually provide a significant amount of calcium to the diet, it is a good idea to choose a non-dairy milk fortified with calcium, which is advertised on the label and included in the nutritional information panel.

    Commercial Vegan Cheeses:
    Usually made from soy protein and/or coconut oil, with the addition of colours and flavours. Available in many different varieties, such as cheddar and gouda. Uses: Use to make vegan cheese sauces, in sandwiches, and on pizza and pasta dishes.

    Nut Cheeses:
    Nut cheeses are generally soft cheeses made by blending nuts with water, and adding a non-dairy probiotic to ferment the cheese. Uses: Spread on sandwiches and bagels, stir through pasta, and add to cooked dishes such as lasagne.

    Nut Milk:
    Made by blending soaked nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts or cashews) with water and straining through muslin to remove the pulp. The flavour and nutrition varies depending on the nut used. Uses: Drinking, cooking and baking.

    Oat Milk:
    Made by blending oats and water: it has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour.
    Uses: Drinking, cooking and baking.

    Rice Milk:
    Made by blending brown rice with water: it is a thin milk with a sweet nutty flavour. Uses: Drinking and cooking.

    Soy Milk:
    Made from whole soy beans or soy protein that is blended with water, and usually sweetened with added sugar. It has a slightly sweet and beany flavour. Uses: Drinking, cooking and baking. Curdles when acid is added.


    Vegan Baking Substitutes:

    Replace Egg With:
    Chia or Flax Seeds Ground
    1 egg = 1 Tbsp flax meal plus 3 Tbsp warm water.
    Whisk together flax meal and warm water, and let it stand 15 minutes before using.

    1 egg = 1 medium, ripe mashed banana.
    Use in chewy recipes, such as cookies.

    Apple Sauce
    1 egg = 4 Tbsp apple sauce.
    Use in quick breads and cakes, for reduced fat baking.

    Replace Egg Whites With:
    Agar Flakes
    1 egg white = 1 Tbsp agar flakes plus 1 Tbsp water.
    Whisk together agar flakes and water, refrigerate for 5 minutes, and use immediately.

    Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine)
    1 egg white = 2 Tbsp Aquafaba.
    Add to baked goods, or whipped to make chocolate mousse, pavlova or meringue.

    Replace Butter With:
    Plant-based Butter
    Use same amount as butter.
    Use the same as butter. Do not attempt to brown in a
    recipe that calls for browned butter.

    Non-hydrogenated Shortening
    115g butter = 6 Tbsp  shortening plus 1 Tbsp water.
    Use sparingly. Provides structure to recipes where butter is creamed with sugar, as well as frosting recipes.

    Coconut Oil
    225g butter = 240ml coconut oil plus 1 Tbsp water.
    Coconut oil is soft-solid at room temperature and firm solid when chilled. Use solid to cream with sugar.

    Grapeseed, Olive Oil
    225g butter = 6 Tbsp oil.
    Use in cake, cookie and quick bread recipes.


    Replace Light Cream, Evaporated Milk & Double Cream With:
    Drinking coconut milk, canned coconut milk and full fat coconut milk or cream.
    The same volume.
    Shake cans well to combine before use. If substituting double cream, refrigerate coconut milk or cream overnight . Remove thick, solid ‘cream’ at the top of the can, and use as a substitute.

    Replace Honey With:
    Agave, Nectar, Maple syrup, Rice Malt Syrup.
    The same volume.
    Substitute in any recipe.

    Replace Gelatin With:
    The same volume.
    Agar needs to be heated to dissolve properly, and will set in about an hour at room temperature. Use to create firm jelly.

    Find everything you need to start a vegan diet or alternatives suited for plant-based dishes at Moore Wilson's.

    Need more inspiration?
    Check out our new range of vegan cookbooks online:

    Jackfruit & Blue Ginger






  • Our Artesian Bore

    Fresh artesian water at our Tory Street Site.

    In the early 1900’s Moore Wilson’s Tory Street site was occupied by Thomson Lewis & Co., Wellington’s major soft drink producer of the era. Thomson Lewis Lemonade, Soda Water and their then famous Camroc Dry Ginger Ale were the mixers just about everyone used. In the 1920’s, the owner of the business  Mr. A.M. Lewis became convinced there was artesian water running underneath Tory Street. To test the theory Mr. Lewis employed Bill Brogden a renowned water diviner from the Manawatu.

    Bill Brogden duly arrived at Tory Street and did indeed divine water on the site but was unable to estimate the depth - which he normally could for the relatively shallow bores he divined in the Manawatu. Undeterred Mr. Lewis employed the Richardson Drilling Company (also from the Manawatu and still in business today) to drill a test bore. At normal depth nothing was found but because of his faith in Bill Brogden, Mr. Lewis told them to keep drilling. Eventually at some 497ft they struck water, installed a pipe and Thomson Lewis now had their own continuous supply of pure artesian water.

    The Tory Street water, from an underground river believed to originate in the Wairarapa, was used by Thomson Lewis to produce aerated soft drinks for the next 53 years or until the business was purchased by Coca Cola and the building sold. During that time the water was capable of flowing at 500 gallons an hour and was tasteless and odourless. Continuously monitored by the Health Department the water was always found to be remarkably pure and never needed filtering. The only time it ever discoloured was following the Murchison earthquake of 1929. When Thomson Lewis sold their business the bore was capped but the water is still accessible today inside the Moore Wilson building.

    This story has been captured by renowned Manawatu artist Paul Dibble in the form of a sculpture which you’ll see in the Piazza of our Tory Street store.

    Today the Artesian Bore is free for our customers to enjoy a quick drink or fill up a bottle to take home. We do ask that if you’re filling a bottle you make a donation for the Wellington Free Ambulance. Since we opened the bore in 2009 over $18,000 has been raised for the Wellington Free Ambulance.

  • Middle Eastern Pantry Essentials

    Following are some of the staples of Middle Eastern cuisine that you'll find at Moore Wilson's Fresh:

    Bulgur Wheat A roughly ground wheat grain commonly used in tabbouleh (a grain salad with pomegranate seeds and herbs) and kibbeh (little stuffed croquettes).

    Chickpeas The main ingredient in houmous, chickpeas are also really common in Middle Eastern salads and stews.

    Za’atar This earthy dried herb mix is often served with bread and olive oil before meals, or as a seasoning for meat and fish. Fresh and punchy.

    Sumac Tangy, fresh and packed with citrus flavour, sumac is often used in salad dressings or dips for a bit of added zing!

    Ras-El-Hanout A precious, potent Moroccan blend of up to 30 spices; each merchant has his own unique blend.

    Harissa A Tunisian hot chili pepper paste that is as complex as it is spicy, with hints of garlic and cumin. Spread it on sandwiches, mixes it into yogurt, and drizzle harissa oil over fried olives.

    Cumin Some say this spice “makes everything Middle Eastern”. Pungent, earthy, and unmistakable.

    Turmeric  Fresh turmeric has a spicy bite and deeply orange flesh.

    Pistachios One of the jewels of Middle Eastern cuisine, bright green pistachios are delicious toasted and scattered over salads, or baked in classic desserts such as baklava. 

    Pomegranate Molasses Rich and sticky pomegranate molasses works brilliantly in sweet or savoury dishes. It has a lovely bitterness to it, and pairs well with stronger flavours such as mackerel and fennel.

    Labneh You can strain plain yoghurt to make your own labneh – a soft cheese. It’s delicious spread on toast, or served with an omelette.

    Dates Nature’s candy, dates are delicious with a cup of sweet tea. They’re also brilliant for sweetening spiced milkshakes, or as petit fours.

    Preserved Lemon Luxuriously soft lemons that, even whole, melt in your mouth. They are bright and yellow and satisfyingly salty. Used in many savoury dishes.

    Kataif  Thinly shredded filo dough, and while it doesn't taste like much on its own, it's a great source of crunchiness and texture.

    Tahini Used in dressings, sauces, dips, even baked into flatbreads and cakes, nutty, rich sesame-seed paste is essential to Middle Eastern cuisine. Look for tahini that is smooth and light in colour. The natural oil will rise to the top; stir to incorporate before using.

    Rose and Orange Flower Water These fragrant waters are distilled from the Damascus rose and the Seville orange tree, respectively. An essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern desserts and Turkish Delight.

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