I love going to our local pan-Asian supermarket, United Noodles, in Minneapolis. Besides having great sushi supplies, wonderful roast duck, fresh burdock root, lotus chips, quail eggs, duck eggs and tofu about a hundred ways, I always find something I’ve never seen nor heard of before. To wit:
They actually had a table set up for tasting this stuff, like a Pepsi Challenge gone horribly wrong. I tasted it – it’s not at all sweat-flavored, and I learned that it’s sold as a sport beverage in Japan. Think of it as Vitamin Water with a more provocative name. Speaking of sports:
I had a harder time figuring this one out. What makes these balls particularly sporty? Is it the coconut, or the syrup they’ve drowned in? Or do I pursue filthier avenues, afforded me by another fine Florence brand product:
This could mean anything, really. I immediately presume that it’s the source of Jack-in-the-Box’s infamous Jack Sauce. Truth is that jackfruit is a common Asian tree-fruit, often cultivated while unripe and, thanks to its chickeny texture prepared and sold as “vegetable meat.”
But before you shudder, I’ll leave you with somethign a little closer to home:
That’s right, Cushion meat. I believe the name says it all. Great price, too!
And now I invite you to venture forward to your favorite local non-traditional melting-pot food provider and send us some examples of real, honest-to-goodness foods that you’ve never heard of. I’m talking commercially available on a store shelf, none of this Andrew Zimmern stuff. Now get out there and have fun.