Misao Grocery Shop (Brussels)

© Misao

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Breaaathe… travel! After moving from the DRC to Belgium at a young age, Sandrine Vasselin (who used to work in the banking world) is ready to introduce everyone to her favorite thing: wild Kivu pepper. Which she shares, alongside other precious and rare peppercorns at this well-designed little shop on Place de la Vieille-Halle-aux-Blés. Up for grabs and sold by weight in the wooden crates: raw cinnamon, cacao beans, hibiscus flowers, plump vanilla beans, and sachets that scream out “smell me!” – lemongrass, grains of paradise, cardamom… On the shelves, you’ll find culinary layovers in Africa and beyond: Yaka chili paste, Swet hot sauces, Penja pepper… And on lucky days, there’s moambe sauce made and bottled by Sandrine! // Luce Berdon

The hidden gem: The famous Kivu wild pepper, harvested using artisan techniques, then carefully dried by a local team, available in the black, white and red varieties (€32-34 for 100 g).

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