Food From Far-Off Lands

March 20, 2012 § 3 Comments

I love most types of shopping, but I particularly like shopping that presents a challenge.

This could be choosing a paint color that my husband and I agree on, or stalking treasure at Goodwill, or finding a butcher block that is the exact same height as my kitchen counter (I know it’s out there).

Another scenario that thrills me: roaming around a grocery store that is stocked with food from far off lands.

There are risks, both to my pride and to my palate.  If the market is small I might get awkward attention from regular shoppers – a grumpy stare from an old man, or a smile from a woman who wonders what the heck I’m going to do with the unfamiliar ingredient that I’m holding in my hand.  I usually wonder what the heck I’m going to do with that ingredient, also.  Sometimes it turns out that what I’m going to do is make a dish that tastes perfectly awful (I can’t seem to make pickled gooseberries work for me).  But more often, I’ll take home an armful of inexpensive, lovely foodstuffs and learn a thing or two about a thing or two.  And I thought you might want to learn, also.

Introducing Food From Far-Off Lands, wherein I explore a foreign food market, ask embarrassing questions to patient store clerks, and present recipes for you to try at home.  If you visit the stores that I write about, you get to skip the ’embarrassing questions’ part.  You will stride into the store and ask with authority: ‘Where are the salted duck eggs, Madam?  I am using them for tonight’s noodle dish. Thank you very much.’ « Read the rest of this entry »

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