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The Unexpected Gourmet Groceries You Can Find At Marshalls

Gourmet grocery shelf at Marshalls
Gourmet grocery shelf at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Scouring the disheveled racks of a Marshalls for the perfect little black dress or Insta-worthy jean jacket can be an exhausting endeavor. Even the most seasoned bargain hunter can easily become overwhelmed by the less-than-organized chaos plaguing the endless rows of discounted wares at this much-beloved national retailer. It's at precisely this moment that you wander to the back of the store, strolling past rows of fluffy throw pillows and sizeless home goods to discover a delicious hidden gem: the Marshalls grocery aisle.

Known more for its deep discounts on big-name clothing brands, Marshalls (and sister stores like T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods) can also be an epicurean treasure trove if you're willing to do a little digging. Those in the know have been sourcing gourmet goods at exceptionally low prices for years, and it's time to let everyone in on the secret. From vegan pesto to boba tea-flavored mochi, here are 30 unexpected gourmet groceries we found on our Marshalls run in February 2024.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

How Do They Do It?

Gourmet grocery shelf at Marshalls
Gourmet grocery shelf at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

While the prices at Marshalls may seem like a steal, there's nothing sordid about the brand's sourcing methods. Everything sold by the retailer, from name-brand fashion labels to boutique homewares and even gourmet groceries, is the product of established buyer-vendor relationships between the company and its chosen producers. When a producer has excess inventory or another store overorders, the team at Marshalls will buy the overage at a discounted price, and the savings are passed on to us lucky shoppers.

Due to the inconsistent nature of the store's sourcing methods, the items on offer can vary widely from week to week and are typically not available online. So if you see something that catches your eye, go ahead and grab it. You never know when it might reappear.

Cocktail Mixes

Bottle of sugar-free coconut cajeta cocktail mix
Bottle of sugar-free coconut cajeta cocktail mix - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

If you're already scouring the aisles for the perfect party outfit for your next gathering, why not grab a bottle of cocktail mix in the name of preparation? While the exact brands and flavors may change from week to week, cocktail mixes tend to be a staple of the Marshalls gourmet grocery scene, with sugar-free options — like the sugar-free coconut cajeta mix we found — often on offer for those watching their intake.

Flavored Syrups

Bottle of pistachio Monin at Marshalls
Bottle of pistachio Monin at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Looking to upgrade your beverage game? Just head to Marshalls. Alongside the aforementioned cocktail mixes, you're likely to find restaurant-quality flavored syrups that are ideal for adding a gourmet touch to homemade coffees and cocktails. Classic varieties like vanilla and hazelnut are almost always available, but specialty flavors like pistachio are likely to be snapped up quickly. Grab a bottle (or two) to upgrade your home bar for a fraction of what you'd spend at a liquor store.

Imported Sweets

Boxes of stroopwafels at Marshalls
Boxes of stroopwafels at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

While combing through the edible options, you're likely to find at least one or two European-inspired treats hiding between the domestic fare. On our most recent trip to Marshalls, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a smorgasbord of sweets with international flair.

Among the gourmet groceries lining the shelves were a rainbow of pretty pink macarons (champagne-, strawberry-, and raspberry-flavored with ombre hues to match), two varieties of biscotti (almond and cranberry), and a gift-worthy box of baklava. Even sweeter were two kinds of Dutch stroopwafels (honey and chocolate) and an enormous bag of Italian pralines in coffee-friendly flavors like tiramisu and amaretto.

Vegan Fruit Jellies

vegan jelly candies at Marshalls
vegan jelly candies at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

It can be hard enough to shop for vegan-friendly sweets at your regular grocery store, so imagine our surprise when we found these little beauties hidden among the other craveable candies. These vegan and gluten-free Le Preziose mixed berry jellies were among the most unexpected gourmet groceries we found at Marshalls and came in a package pretty enough to present as a gift for dietarily restricted friends. Bonus: There were several boxes on the shelves when we visited, which means they might be available at other locations, too.

Matcha Superfood Mix

Bag of organic matcha superfood mix at Marshalls
Bag of organic matcha superfood mix at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Not all of the gourmet groceries found at Marshalls are packed with sugar. Sometimes, you may be lucky enough to stumble across health-focused foods and even supplements that might (or might not) be a boon to your daily diet. On our trip to Marshalls, we found this organic matcha superfood mix packed with maca, wheat grass, oringa, and barley grass that could be a nutritious and antioxidant-rich addition to your morning smoothie.

Mushroom Supplements

Bottle of mushroom supplements
Bottle of mushroom supplements - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Among the health-focused offerings found on the shelves of Marshalls were these interesting mushroom supplements. This bottle boasts roughly 10 varieties of funghi on its ingredient list, including lion's mane, chaga, reishi, and turkey tail, which are all types of mushrooms commonly found in coffee alternatives. In short, this blend is likely meant to help you achieve better focus with the added bonus of other health benefits associated with mushrooms, like immune-boosting and anti-inflammation properties.

Dried Figs

Bag of dried figs at Marshalls
Bag of dried figs at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

If you've never cooked with figs, this is your sign to hop on the botanical bandwagon. Fresh figs have a notoriously short shelf life and can be hard to find ripe and juicy exactly when you want them. Luckily, we found this 8-ounce bag of whole dried Turkish figs among the gourmet groceries hiding in the aisles of Marshalls, which are just begging to be transformed into homemade jam, baked goods, nutritious smoothies, or any flavorful fig recipe you can get your hands on.

Dried Deglet Noor Dates

Bag of dried Deglet Noor dates
Bag of dried Deglet Noor dates - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Craving something sweet without refined sugar? Say hello to this hefty bag of dried Deglet Noor dates. Sweet enough to snack on, dried dates add a burst of sugary goodness to just about any recipe, from oatmeal cookies to bacon-wrapped dates.

But not all fruits are created equal. There are more than a dozen types of date fruits out there, each with their own culinary strengths and weaknesses. While not quite as sweet as Medjool dates, these Deglet Noors are ideal for baking because they hold their shape well when exposed to heat. If you want to try a recipe for stuffed dates or a classic tagine, these are your go-tos — and luckily, you might be able to find them at Marshalls.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Row of Himalayan pink salts at Marshalls
Row of Himalayan pink salts at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Beloved for its signature color and supposed health benefits, Himalayan pink salt is a coveted ingredient for recipes concocted in the kitchen and beyond. You're bound to find the pale pink mineral in everything from natural salt scrubs and saunas to serving dishes and bedside lamps. Possibly due to its popularity, Marshalls tends to carry quite a few options for Himalayan pink salt, from fine granules to coarse rock salt.

So, why is Himalayan salt pink? Unlike traditional table salt, Himalayan pink salt contains more than 80 trace minerals, including iron. When the iron is exposed to oxygen, it rusts and turns red, giving the granules their distinctive color.

Organic Tomato Purée

organic tomato purée
organic tomato purée - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Few items say "gourmet groceries" quite like a glass jar of organic tomato purée. You may not have come to Marshalls in search of this mouthwatering meal starter, but you'll be glad you found it. Simple, versatile, and delicious, tomato purée is an unsung kitchen hero, anchoring everything from pasta sauces and soups to an in-law-approved pot roast. So, while you're searching for the perfect pair of dress pants to please your mother-in-law, why not also pick up a jar of organic tomato purée (if you can find it) to give yourself a homemade-tasting head start in the kitchen?

Honey Aleppo Pepper Seasoning

Container of honey Aleppo pepper seasoning
Container of honey Aleppo pepper seasoning - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Who knew the grocery aisle at Marshalls could be just the place to add some spice to your daily cooking routine? The retailer typically carries at least a few seasoning blends among its retinue of gourmet groceries, and this jackpot of honey Aleppo pepper seasoning is no exception. Similar to classic red chile flakes, Aleppo pepper brings more flavor and slightly less heat to the party, providing an earthy depth that pairs well with tomato-based dishes like shakshuka. The addition of honey makes for a sweet heat that should help to spice up your meal-prep game.

Black Truffle Oil

Bottle of black truffle oil at Marshalls
Bottle of black truffle oil at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Love it or hate it, black truffle oil is a remarkably popular condiment for those looking to feel boujee on a budget. Unfortunately, truffle oil typically contains no real truffles (especially at these prices), relying instead on synthetic ingredients that give the illusion of truffle flavor. If you're a fan of the stuff, don't let anyone yuck your yum. Pick up a bottle at Marshalls to sprinkle over fries or fresh pasta to treat yourself without leaving the house.

Vegan & Nut-Free Pesto

Jar of vegan basil pesto sauce
Jar of vegan basil pesto sauce - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Sometimes digging through the grocery shelves at Marshalls feels like mining for gold, and stumbling across this vegan and nut-free pesto felt like hitting the jackpot. Allergen-free and kosher with no added sugar, this refreshing pasta sauce is suitable for just about any diet thanks to its fairly short ingredient list (basil, sunflower oil, potato starch, garlic, and a few other extras). And with a budget-friendly price point of $3.49, this gem is worth stocking up on.

Hot Honey

Bottle of ghost pepper hot honey
Bottle of ghost pepper hot honey - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

With its signature hot and sweet flavor profile, hot honey has taken off as a go-to condiment since it was first commercially produced by cult-favorite Mike's Hot Honey in 2010. Originally created to drizzle over pizza, hot honey is best used to give a kick of sweet heat to just about any dish you so choose. Marshalls has gotten in on the game by sourcing a few brands of the mouthwatering sweet, including a ghost pepper-infused version we found on our expedition through the gourmet grocery aisle.

Gochujang Sriracha

Bottle of gochujang sriracha
Bottle of gochujang sriracha - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Sriracha itself is a perfectly delicious hot condiment with its signature blend of chiles and garlic, but the thought of adding gochujang to the mix has us admittedly intrigued. Here's what you need to know about gochujang: This staple of Korean cuisine is a fermented blend of gochu chiles (hence the name), sticky rice, fermented soybean flour (aka meju), and barley malt that lends a sweet, spicy funk to dozens of traditional dishes. While gochujang is typically not eaten on its own, the idea of using it as a hot sauce base is enough to entice us to buy a bottle (or three) of this Marshalls find.

Manuka Honey

Jar of Manuka honey at Marshalls
Jar of Manuka honey at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

This is a gourmet grocery find to get excited about. Of the dozens of types of honey on the market, Manuka honey is among the rarest (and therefore most expensive) varieties for a few reasons. Prized for its unique flavor and supposed health benefits, this distinctive sweetener can only be harvested during an extremely short window of just a few weeks in the summer, while the native Manuka tree is in bloom on New Zealand's North Island. Give this liquid gold a try for yourself — if you can find it at Marshalls, that is.

Maple Syrup

Bottle of dark maple syrup
Bottle of dark maple syrup - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

While you can certainly find real maple syrup at your local grocery store, this version is a gourmet find for a reason. According to the USDA's grading system for maple syrup, most varieties found on store shelves are categorized as golden color with delicate taste or amber color with rich taste, meaning that they are light in color with a mild to moderate flavor profile. This bottle found at Marshalls is graded as dark color with robust taste, meaning that it was harvested later in the season and has a stronger maple flavor that can stand up to cooking. This is what you want for a real punch of maple in baked goods or in a well-balanced marinade.

Fig Jam

Jar of fig jam at Marshalls
Jar of fig jam at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

If you're scouring the Marshalls home goods section for the perfect cheese board, you may as well grab some gourmet accouterments while you're at it. Cheese-pairing condiments like this fig jam are often staples of the grocery shelves here, making the retailer a real one-stop shop for entertaining. But the best part is that no one has to know that you snagged gourmet groceries for a deep discount, along with that impressive set of cheese knives.

Smoked Gouda Cheese

Log of smoked Gouda cheese at Marshalls
Log of smoked Gouda cheese at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Of all the cheese board accouterments available at Marshalls, cheese itself might be the most unexpected gourmet grocery item we stumbled across. This log of smoked Gouda could be a great flavor and textural addition to your next spread, whether prepared tonight or two weeks from now. The cheese has three things going for it that will help it keep for a hot second or two without refrigeration (prior to opening, of course): It's vacuum-sealed, lightly processed, and smoked — the latter of which has been proven to help slow the growth of bacteria.

Avocado Oil

Bottle of avocado oil at Marshalls
Bottle of avocado oil at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Typically more expensive than classic olive oil, avocado oil is preferred by some home cooks for its higher smoke point (it can withstand higher temperatures than olive oil) and the almost buttery flavor it brings to the table. Avocado oil is a great substitute for sautéing, roasting, or even used straight from the bottle in vinaigrettes and marinades. So if you're looking to give this nutritious oil a try, head to Marshalls, where you could find some great bottles on hand for slightly less than you might spend at your local grocery store.

Roasted Red Peppers

Jar of roasted red peppers
Jar of roasted red peppers - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

From professional-looking antipasti platters to a quick weeknight salad, roasted red peppers bring a splash of color and a sweet, smoky flavor to a wide array of no-cook dishes with very little effort on your part. While you can certainly roast your own produce, budget-friendly jars like this one we found at Marshalls make transforming sloppy joes and adding a depth of flavor to hummus as easy (and enjoyable) as casually browsing a rack of gourmet groceries.

Canned Dolmas

Can of dolmas at Marshalls
Can of dolmas at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Speaking of easy entertaining, it doesn't get much simpler than opening a can of dolmas to add a Greek twist to your next gathering. If you've never enjoyed one of these tender stuffed grape leaves, consider this a sign to give the traditional treat a try. While dolmas (also known as dolmades) can be stuffed with anything from ground meat to spiced rice, this simple canned version could be a great introduction to the wide world of Greek mezze.

Boba Party Kit

Boba-making kit at Marshalls
Boba-making kit at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Would we call a boba-making kit gourmet? Probably not, but it was certainly an unexpected find on the shelves at Marshalls. This popular Taiwanese tea drink has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, which of course tends to come with a heftier price tag when you order the sweet sip from a strip mall joint. A make-it-yourself kit like this could be a savvy way to save some cash while still enjoying boba in popular flavors like brown sugar, matcha, and taro.

Coconut Water

Bottle of coconut water at Marshalls
Bottle of coconut water at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Slightly sweeter and possibly even more hydrating than plain old H2O, coconut water is a prime choice for those looking for a more enticing post-workout sip. Made from the juice found within young coconuts, the liquid is packed with electrolytes and low in sugar. This hefty certified organic box found at Marshalls offers a budget-friendly introduction to the flavorful world of coconut water and will help keep you hydrated for the duration of your shopping excursion.

Tea

Jars of tea bags at Marshalls
Jars of tea bags at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Feeling a little tickle in your throat? Better pick up a box (or Mason jar) of tea. Luckily, Marshalls tends to have plenty of options for your perfect cuppa in stock. Even if you're not feeling under the weather, these gourmet options found in pretty packaging with biodegradable tea bags boast delicious flavors like a refreshing rose hibiscus and a relaxing sleepy tea. They make a nice gift for friends, family, or just to treat yourself.

Boba Tea-Flavored Mochi

Bag of boba tea mochi
Bag of boba tea mochi - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Treats abound in the aisles of gourmet groceries found at Marshalls, from simple chocolate truffles to more unique offerings like this gargantuan bag of boba tea-flavored mochi. Flavors like sweet Thai tea, classic milk tea, and earthy matcha permeate the delightfully chewy pods of rice dough, each packed with a tiny tempura boba pearl for a little extra burst of textural joy. And since these sweets are individually wrapped, they can be easily shared — or not.

Wasabi Peas

Bag of wasabi peas at Marshalls
Bag of wasabi peas at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

If your snack drawer is starting to look a little lackluster, spice it up with an unexpected gourmet bite from Marshalls like wasabi peas. This crispy snack is a nutritious upgrade from the typical afternoon nibbles with a delightfully pungent kick from a coating of powdered wasabi. Try adding a handful as a crunchy contrast in your next salad, on top of tacos, or in a homemade trail mix for a pleasantly spicy bite.

Flavored Nuts

Jar of flavored nut mix
Jar of flavored nut mix - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Save yourself some trouble before your next cocktail party and stock up on pre-made gourmet snacks like flavored nuts. This jar of maple bourbon butter toffee nut mix that we found at Marshalls could be a great accompaniment to drinks made with brown liquor or as a little sweet treat to enjoy with coffee before dessert. While you can certainly make your own batch of salty, sweet roasted nuts, there's no reason to stress over it — why make everything yourself if you can find a perfectly good store-bought option?

Dried Edamame

Box of dried edamame snacks at Marshalls
Box of dried edamame snacks at Marshalls - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

For a nutritious pick-me-up during your next journey through Marshalls, look to the grocery aisle for surprising finds like these packets of dried edamame. One cup of edamame contains more than one-third of your daily recommended dose of protein, which can help keep you full and focused while you comb the disheveled racks for a discounted pair of designer jeans. Plus, those individual packs help with portion control, so you can snack on the go with peace of mind.

Chocolate Truffles

Box of Lindt gourmet chocolate truffles
Box of Lindt gourmet chocolate truffles - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

Who doesn't love a box of chocolate truffles? Whether as a hostess gift during the holidays or a "just-because" surprise for your significant other, these indulgent delights are a go-to gourmet treat for a reason. Lindt's high standards land it consistently among the best chocolate brands thanks to a balance of flavor, texture, and richness that strikes just the right chord with cocoa lovers. And if you're lucky enough to find them at Marshalls, you can even indulge on a budget.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.