After Googling the daylights out of "where to buy smoked paprika," imagine our delight in discovering that the most-recommended online spice shop boasts one of its 41 worldwide retail outlets right here in Scottsdale. With soft green walls and clever crate displays housing spices from around the world, Penzeys Spices has created a playground for cooks. From three varieties of saffron to whole star anise to "double vanilla" extract, there are aromatic samples of every item throughout the store.
Who knew Ceylon cinnamon smelled so vastly different from its Vietnamese counterpart? Peppered throughout the store are notepads free for the taking, serving up recipes like "Festive Mural of Flavor Turkey Dinner" and "Tsardust Chicken Thighs." We expected the location and the specialty nature of this shop to equate to stress on the wallet, but au contraire. Penzeys' spices and extracts come in a variety of sizes and in bulk, and weigh in cheaper, ounce for ounce, than the blander grocery store stuff.