RED BANK: A ZESTY NEW NEIGHBOR

spice 2PieHole happened to be on the scene when Red Bank’s new sugar and spice purveyor came looking to give away some lemons leftover¬†from a morning of zesting.¬†(Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

While out foraging in downtown Red Bank earlier this week, PieHole happened upon a curious giveaway.

“We were dehydrating lemons this morning to make lemon zest,” says Howard Bernstein, carrying a hefty bag of skinned lemons, “and we have no use for the rest of the lemons.”

Bernstein tells PieHole he’s “just waiting on permits” to open his new shop, the Spice & Tea Exchange, on Monmouth Street. He hopes to be opened by Thursday of next week, and is prepping ingredients for the spice blends he’ll be selling.

“The zest is used in a lot of spice blends,” says Bernstein.

When it opens for business, the franchised shop will sell spices, loose teas, infused salts and infused organic sugars. It will join a cluster of stores on Monmouth offering cheeses, olive oils, wine, cake pops and croissants, among other culinary delights.

Stephen Catania of the Cheese Cave said he could smell the lemons from next door when he opened his shop in the morning.

“And of course, when your new neighbor hands you lemons,” says Catania, “you make a lemon vinaigrette.”