A Root Cause

Ever wondered where chefs (armchair and otherwise) find unique ingredients? It's not like you can walk into any old grocery store and buy Cambodian Kampot peppercorns, Watermelon Radishes or micro beet tops.

It's likely that the secret source is Tom Spicer, a.k.a. Spiceman of Spiceman's FM 410, long known for his phenomenal selection, including herbs, exotic seasoning, edible flowers and local honey.

Spiceman is currently plotting a garden behind his storefront on Fitzhugh near Bryan street and needs a few good volunteers to move the job along. If you're good with a shovel or willing to learn, e-mail him at spiceman@tomspicer.com to find out how to help.

This week's selections at Spiceman's F.M. 410 include: Miniature Lettuces (Red Oak, Lollo Rossa, Red Romaine, Green Romaine and Tango; Mache Lettuce); Winter Wild Mushrooms (Hedge Hogs, Yellowfoot Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Chanterelles) and a variety of spices (Cambodian Kampot peppercorns, date palm sugar, sea salts, perique tobacco and wild sumac).

At the very least, you know where to go next time you need something like wild mushrooms, Sea Beans from Baja, or Huckleberries from Oregon. By purchasing something interesting in your own back yard, you can help Spiceman cultivate his.

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