Grand Finds at the Grand Asia Market!


I'm still getting settled here in Raleigh and trying to find my way around. Yesterday I was at the DMV registering my car, and guess what? Right next door was the Grand Asia Market! And across the street I noticed both a Thai restaurant and a Vietnamese Pho restaurant. I'm looking foward to checking them out, although I might have to wait for my son to visit. He's the family member who loves Asian food and is always more than willing to accompany me on those types of adventures. 

In the meantime, I decided to check out the Asian market, which is always full of surprises (for me at least). I jotted down the names of some items I that I'd never heard of so I could look them up. Some of the foods I'd seen in recipes but never in grocery stores. So, I was excited to find galangal root, since some of my curry recipes call for it. I had recently purchased dried dragon fruit at Whole Foods, so when I saw a fresh one at the market, I picked it up as well. More on these foods later.

My friend Nancy would have been thrilled that they had durian fruit, which is a delicacy that she enjoyed while living in Singapore. We went out to a Thai restaurant once where she ordered it for me to taste. It's definitely an acquired taste! At best, I'd say it's unusual, but mostly it's just unpleasant! There are very few things I do not like, but durian would have to fall into that category.

I also picked up a Honey Kiss melon, some of the tiniest baby bok choy I've ever seen, pea sprouts, black tea and an interesting gluten-free treat: Thai Coconut Rolls with Pandanus. I had to look that one up at home.  The pandanus is a palm-like tree with large fruit that somewhat resembles a pineapple, but is much spikier. However, it sounds like the leaves are what usually flavor Southeast Asian food. They are torn into strips, tied in a knot and boiled in cooking liquid. What, if any, nutritional value it has, I have no idea, but it's just fun to try new things. The cookies were light and delicate--not too sweet and gluten-free. They're made from coconut flour and tapioca starch with just a little sugar and pandanus. 

Hopefully, I'll be able to share my experiments with these foods in the coming week. If you have an Asian, Indian or any other ethnic food market near you, take a trip there and explore some of the fascinating foods from around the world!

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™