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zora

Poll: Odd groceries in middle America?

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I've got a bottle of pomegranate molasses in my pantry that's about 4 years old.  I've only got 13 months left in Japan to use it up, and I don't know what I want to do with it!  (I bought it for a recipe from FoodMan's eGCI course on Lebanese cooking, and haven't touched it since.)

Besides using pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern recipes, you can dilute it with ice water (about 1 tablespoon per large glass of water, or to taste) and add sweetener to taste (I use 1 packet of sugar or Splenda) for a refreshing beverage.

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From my experience living in Milwaukee a few years back, Most of the items listed could be found at Sendik's, The Spice House, The Public Market, or a few local ethnic stores and butchers that I cannot remember the names of.

Dan


Edited by DanM (log)

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You also shouldn't underestimate the crowd who will buy any cookbook that looks interesting whether they ever plan to make any of the recipes or not. I sell cookbooks, and something people tell me time and again is that they really just like to read cookbooks even if they don't cook that much. They're good for local history, or education, or maybe just for food porn, like watching the Food Network and heating up a can of chili. Or as a starting point for inspiration.

Of course you want your recipes to be something that people could make. But if they're interesting there are those of us who will buy the book just to leaf through it.

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All available in Houston. I would probably hit a combination of the Middle Eastern grocery for spices, the Vietnamese for the meats, with a stop to fill any gaps at Central Market or Spec's.

--Pomegranate Molasses, Sumac & Aleppo Pepper - Phoenicia (Middle Eastern/East European grocery

--Creme Fraiche, Mexican Crema, and Sherry Vinegar - easily obtainable anywhere

--Spanish Smoked Paprika, Pancetta - Central Market or Spec's wine/food emporium

--Miso Paste, Fresh Duck, and Less Common Pig Parts - Vietnamese or Korean grocery (ducks at the Vietnamese have heads and feet on - hellooo tasty stock)

--duck fat - (expensive D'Artagnan version) Central Market or (cheap version) rendered off the asian ducks from above

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My local store at the time, Trade Fair, had lots of odd ethnic ingredients, however, that I'm hard-pressed to find around here, except in the ethnic section of Wegman's.  They also had halal chickens with their heads still on, but no kosher ones.  Go figure.

Gah, I love the Trade Fair! It's one of the reasons I moved to the neighborhood. Now, for the record, the rival Key Food has kosher chickens, just to even things out....

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I've got a bottle of pomegranate molasses in my pantry that's about 4 years old.  I've only got 13 months left in Japan to use it up, and I don't know what I want to do with it!  (I bought it for a recipe from FoodMan's eGCI course on Lebanese cooking, and haven't touched it since.)

Wellll, if you can wait till October, I'll have two pomegranate-molasses-using recipes for you! (Hint: goes great with lamb. Also with lentils.)

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Have to chime in here, as a resident of an almost 400K population megaburb of the second largest city in the country.........

--Pomegranate molasses---Not a chance, and I've looked everywhere I shop, and I shop regularly at all the major chains in the area, including Whole Paychecks and Bristol Farms (a SoCal Whole Foods clone).  And I covet this, so I keep looking.

Slightly OT, but one of our enterprising recipe testers made her own pomegranate molasses, by boiling down 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup lemon juice until it was super-syrupy. I haven't tried this yet, but it's worth a shot!

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Have to chime in here, as a resident of an almost 400K population megaburb of the second largest city in the country.........

--Pomegranate molasses---Not a chance, and I've looked everywhere I shop, and I shop regularly at all the major chains in the area, including Whole Paychecks and Bristol Farms (a SoCal Whole Foods clone).  And I covet this, so I keep looking.

Slightly OT, but one of our enterprising recipe testers made her own pomegranate molasses, by boiling down 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup lemon juice until it was super-syrupy. I haven't tried this yet, but it's worth a shot!

Which you should try and, if it works, add to your book.

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I live in Bloomington, Indiana, a college town with a great slow-foods scene

I lived in Bloomington 12 years ago! It most definitely did not have a slow-food scene then...but I sure did appreciate the international food stores.

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Have to chime in here, as a resident of an almost 400K population megaburb of the second largest city in the country.........

--Pomegranate molasses---Not a chance, and I've looked everywhere I shop, and I shop regularly at all the major chains in the area, including Whole Paychecks and Bristol Farms (a SoCal Whole Foods clone).  And I covet this, so I keep looking.

Slightly OT, but one of our enterprising recipe testers made her own pomegranate molasses, by boiling down 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup lemon juice until it was super-syrupy. I haven't tried this yet, but it's worth a shot!

Which you should try and, if it works, add to your book.

Oh, I definitely will! She just emailed me with her testing notes--so haven't had a chance yet to try...

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And can I just add that I'm super-depressed to hear about the lack of butchers out there? I knew it was bad, but not quite so bad. This is really tragic...

Wandering OT, but I wonder if the carnicerias will wind up filling the gap? Mexican butchering is sooo different, though. I could tell when they started hiring Mexican guys instead of Egyptians at my fresh-kill poultry place--my chicken came out in totally different pieces!

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