The largest spice market in Houston started out back in 1984 as a dried chile stand in the stalls behind Canino’s at the Farmers’ Marketing Association on Airline. Now located across the street, Flores Spices & Herbs is the city’s foremost purveyor of chile peppers, offering nearly every variety on the market. And since chile peppers can be so confusing (there are no less than three different types of guajillos available in Houston, for instance), this store is an invaluable resource.
It’s also the best place to find chipotle powder, ancho powder, and Mexican oregano—or just about any other seed or spice you can think of—and the incredible selection of bulk spices means you can put together your own custom spice blends for very little money. To stay on top of the chile trade, Flores has an office and warehouse in the McAllen Produce Terminal in the Valley. Chat with Salvador while you’re there!
Flores Spices is cool place to visit. The store is mainly bulk; scoop out what you want; and obviously heavy emphasis on Mexican/hispanic spices. Lots of whole and ground chiles of course, but a lot of exotics too, even Himalayan sea salt.
I even picked up some tamarino beans. I haven’t mastered the tarmarino margarita yet, but it’s fun practicing. Jars, and jars and jars of spices line the walls. Pay by the scoop. There are also shelves of packaged goods, Mexian treats, Mexican toys and of course mocajetes (volcanic rock bowls for grinding spices). This is a fun place to visit, even if you are like me and not exactly a gourmet cook. Behind the counter are even more jars. These are more health-related herbs and teas. Ginger root and hibiscus teas for me. Very friendly sales girls. They were also knowledeable about how to use different teas for different purposes. A little more exotic than Penzeys Spices and cheaper in bulk.
6520 Airline Dr., Houston, Texas
(No website available at this time)