If you’re anything like me, one of the reasons you love travel is for the love of food. My mouth starts watering at the thought of Indian Chaat, Horchata, Pho, sauteed Choy Sum, ….the list goes on and on. Though it would be nice to travel internationally all the time, I do spend my fair share of time at home, or at least up and down the east coast, doing bead shows and the like. But the beautiful thing is that you don’t have to go to India to get mouth-watering Bhel Puri, Thailand to indulge in deliciously spicy Tom Kha, or South America to savor fried Plantains. The world is a pretty small little oyster when you get right down to it. And there are LOTS of pearls!
Aveesh and I are on the road a lot, and in almost every city, we make a point of finding an International market or eatery. We’ve found some amazing ethnic groceries in the least-expected places. African Grocery, Greek Market, Asian Market, South American Seafood Market, you name it, we’ll stop. The vast selections of curiously intriguing goodies is such a lure, we can’t get enough. Unusual looking veggies, hot sauces galore, dry seasonings, teas, candy and cookies, nuts, fruits, pickles, chocolates….And the packaging is always so fun to read. Colors, characters, words, pictures, some of which have meaning to me, and lots of which have to be deciphered by my taste buds. There’s a certain element of mystery and surprise when shopping in international markets. I’ve been pleasantly and disappointingly surprised. There were the delicious Rose Linda Mango/chili/salt lollipops from Mexico that make my mouth water to think about them. And then there were the pickled leeks from Vietnam that were overly sweet and strange. But that’s all part of the adventure!
We’re heading to Atlanta as I type, for the Down the Street Bead Show. We’ll be staying with my cousin, who happens to live just down the street from the Cobb International Farmer’s Market. We were here last weekend too, and I must confess that we stopped to just pick up a few things for dinner, and didn’t emerge for at least an hour. The flavors of the world sucked us right in. I took a few pictures of some of my favorite aisles. Maybe the colors and imagined flavors will encourage you to step out of the safe haven of your neighborhood chain supermarket. Travel the aisles of the world’s flavors and see what you find. I bet you’ll be pleasantly intrigued!
Are you a seasoned International Market shopper? What are some of your favorite finds? Do share!