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Five Spice Powder ($1.95 at Hong Phát)

Rub meats or spike baked goods with this potent mix of star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and Sichuan pepper. 

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Chile de Arbol ($2.99/bag at Tienda el Campesino)

A key member of Mexican salsa’s Suicide Squad, this potent little pepper adds the perfect bit of smoky heat.

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Lebanese-Style Turnip Pickles ($4.99 at World Foods Barbur)

Give your shawarma some authentic crunch with tart Middle Eastern pickles, stained electric pink with beets. 

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Guava Paste ($5.99 at Kaah Market at Portland Mercado)

You’ve been forking over too much money for those teeny quince cubes on your cheese plate. Nab a whole block of sweet jellied fruit instead.   

 

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Rambutan ($2.95/lb at Lily Market)

Tear open this spiky cousin of the lychee fruit for a tropical blast of creamy, floral sweetness every summer.

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S&B Togarashi and Sansho ($2.19 each at Uwajimaya)

Add bright smolder to your eats with togorashi, the addictive Japanese chile pepper blend, or swap out your usual grind of black peppercorn for sansho’s fruity tingle. 

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Poke ($14.99/lb at World Foods Everett)

There is no better lunch than spicy, sesame-slicked cubes of fresh ahi tuna. World Foods’ deli makes six varieties of the Hawaiian standby fresh daily. Eat all of them.

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Kasugai Gummies ($3.29 at Fubonn)

Shove these intensely juicy-fruity Asian gummies—muscat to yuzu—directly into your face. Repeat. Sayonara, Haribo. 

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Hot Ajvar ($3.79 at Overseas Taste)

One schmear of this creamy, spicy, vinegary Eastern European roasted red bell pepper and eggplant spread, and you may ditch hummus entirely. 

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Big Squid ($3.39 at Fubonn)

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a two-foot-long sheet of sweet, spicy Thai cuttlefish jerky. Taste buds, you shall scream for mercy.

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