Monday, November 26, 2012

International Food Stores

I love going home because my mom loves to cook just as much as I do. We end up spending all our time grocery shopping and cooking, often overwhelming ourselves with how many things we want to make.

It's that time of year when I run out of all the staple ingredients: flour, sugar etc. I was also running out of tahini and miso paste and lately have been on a hunt for finding cheap non-water packed tofu. I had heard that tahini is a whole lot cheaper if you buy it at an international food market. I mentioned all of this to mom and we decided to spend the day checking out all of the international food markets in the area.

We started the day (which happens to be a Sunday) off with a little tradition: Sushi Zushi for  $3 bloody marys and a roll of sushi. We didn't have too long of a list and really were just ready to explore what these foreign markets had to offer. The first two we went to were middle eastern markets. These stores had a lot of things we had never heard of and a lot of products I wanted to research. Lemon loony and rose water being two of the ones that stood out the most. We did find out that the rumor of cheap tahini is true. For all of you that love tahini, stop getting it at your average grocery store. We found a 32 oz jar for $6. Usually an 18 oz jar costs around that much. It doesn't matter if you only use tahini for hummus, because it will last for a long time in your pantry. If you keep up with a lot of my weird recipes you will notice I use tahini in a lot of vegan sauces. So good! We also ended up finding coconut milk for 99 cents and some cold pressed olive oil from Greece. The olive oil was a little pricey but after trying it i decided it definitely worth it. The best thing I found at the international food market was homemade while wheat pita bread. The best part, 6 pitas for $1.19 and they were so soft and tasty.

I was also searching high and low for some cheap tofu and was failing miserably. The international food markets didn't event sell water-packed. I figured I'd have moe success at an Asian market. So off we went tot this tiny Japanese market. Bingo. Tofu for $1. I am not sure the difference between water packed and not but I for some reason I was stuck on finding the non kind. We also were successful in finding cheap white miso and even found some dried seaweed to try.

Basically, if you are in the market for some international food and don't want to spend an arm and a leg it is best to go exploring. Whole foods is great, but it just doesn't cut it for this type of thing.

So now that we have gone on a shopping adventure mom and I have a long list of crazy dishes to tackle.

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