Last week I had my first experiences with international grocery stores. I went to both an Indian food store and an Asian market located in Oklahoma City. This was partly in search of some specific ingredients and partly because, well, why not?
My first stop was the Indian store in search of chickpea flour. I’ve never cooked with it myself, but I have a good friend who does and her pancakes are delicious (and gluten free!). Its a very interesting little store, and many ingredients are labeled by what they are called in India. I suppose its a testament to my Western approach to life to have that initially surprise me. There’s no reason for them not to do that, of course, but I still had to google what chickpea flour was called (its besan).
Next stop was the Asian market. That place was definitely confusing. It took me ages to find the coconut oil, but in the time I was searching I ended up buying several more items that I like to use or that I’ve never tried before. One of the latter was a dragonfruit. Its a fruit with a pink exterior and white flesh with black seeds. I’d seen it several times on various Food Network shows and I’d always wanted to try it. One unique part of the store is the seafood section. It has several tanks of live fish. How cool is that? You can’t buy fish any fresher than that.
I’m definitely going back to both of these places in the future. The Asian market in particular was a refreshing change from any other store I’ve been to. Also, the coconut oil is relatively cheap. Highly recommend!