5/19/08

Where In The World?

A while back I posted a poll about where you wanted to send ECM with twenty dollars. The African-Caribbean Mini Market won overwhelmingly. You thought I forgot, didn't you?

This morning I went to the African-Caribbean Mini Market with twenty dollars in my pocket. I would have some pictures but this place is in a sketchy place right next door to a porn shop, I kid you not. It's one of those places you keep your money and ID in your front pocket and leave your camera at home.

I love this shop! It's tiny with African masks covering every available space. Videos from Africa and clothes and fabrics and.... SPICES! I mean there were spices everywhere. Spices and herbs and...and...and... it was great. Ramatu, the owner of the store answered all my questions, very patiently I might add. Neen and Do, when you get to California, if you come around my hometown, she wants to meet you. She says she loves meeting people who have lived in Africa and cook the food. And see those Maggi beef bouillon and crayfish cubes, those are for you. If can e-mail me your address, I'll ship them out to you.

So from the left are a bag of plantain chips. These are Ramatu's favorite chips. She asked me if I prefer sweet or salty, I told her I'd rather have salty. Thin and crunchy almost like a potato chip. Really good with my pulled pork sandwich I had for lunch.


Chef "Chili" Bonner's Pit Stop Chili Mix n' Spice. I bought this because it's made here in town. You gotta support the local guys when you can.


Next is Naranja Agria or sour orange marinating sauce. This has a lot of possibilities. I'm thinking of a marinating a pork shoulder or some ribs with some jerk seasoning and slowly smoking it. If you have got any suggestions, I all ears.

The Maggi crayfish and beef bouillon are going to Neen and Do. They have a recipe for Chiebu Djen a type of African fish stew(?) that desperately needs this ingredient or so they say.

Seventy cents change from my twenty, a receipt, and some business cards.

I could have been more adventurous but I would have gone way over my budget. So for June you can send me to three places...

1. The Crosstown Farmers Market. This is held every Saturday morning under the Crosstown freeway. It was also named number one in Saveur magazines top 100 in 2007 above Thomas Keller. Go figure and our lovely newspaper barely said a word about this. We beat Thomas Keller?! Actually a lot of chefs make the trek up here from the Bay Area to hit up this farmers market. It has a lot of Asian produce that is hard to find. Please send me here.

2. India Bazaar.

3. Asian Supermarket.

Poll is on the upper right hand corner of my blog and you have until May 25th to decide.

20 comments:

cook eat FRET said...

after some heavy deliberation, your whining won out. good work!

you northwesterners get on my nerves with all your amazing produce...

Krysta said...

*fret... california girl, born and raised. i live in stockton, murder and have your car stolen capital of the world. look it up, it's sad but true.

bitchincamero said...

Naranja Agria is AMAZING on a pork shoulder! DOOOOO it! Also make sure to add a bunch of smashed garlic cloves while you're marinating. It'll be awesome.

(My family's Cuban and my grandmother had a Naranja Agria tree in her backyard. Every Christmas Eve we marinate an entire pig in Naranja Agria and garlic and roast it for hours in a huge aluminum oven that my grandfather had custom-built in the 70's. It's amazing.)

jack's utter lack of surprise said...

i gotta say that i only didn't vote for the market because i think it's somewhere you'll go anyway.

Kristin said...

Oh come on. Go to all three. Do it for me. The closest I can get to real ethnic ingredients in this godforsaken county is Pace Picante. Boo.

Snooty Primadona said...

I don't really care where you go... as long as you go, then share, lol.

We have a tiny little Oriental Market that I hit about once a month, but most of the things in that place, I'm not sure I want to know about. Especially the strange looking things in the refrigerated cases.

So, I think all of your places sound lovely.

;-)

melissa said...

Yeah, the pork shoulder idea sounds right. Though I have no idea what I'm talking about. :)

I see I'm the only vote for the Asian market. Dang.

MrOrph said...

Aren't those ethnic markets great?

I'd try some goat or mutton in the pork shoulder's stead. Ask the marketeer about it.

Actually, if it is a true African market, ask him about bush rat. From what I understand, I'm from Philly not Nigeria, but bush rat is supposed to be "da bomb".

noble pig said...

How fun...what cool stuff you found. Crayfish stew cubes...I've never...ever...never....

Grace said...

that's some very interesting stuff, and i'm truly looking forward to seeing what you do with it. the orange marinating sauce sounds particularly delightful. pork + orange juice + brown sugar is a quick, go-to recipe for me, so i think you're on the right track.

Mental P Mama said...

Can't wait to see your creations from all that! I voted for the Farmer's Market...need fiber.

Mayberry Magpie said...

You know I love living in a small town, but the really magical thing about living in an urban area are the ethnic markets. I'll think I'll head over to the African Market! How lucky are you?

I'm voting Asian next!

Mayberry Magpie

lcsa99 said...

Wow you really made out like a bandit. I can't wait to see what you make! :)

www.potsandpins.com said...

What a great idea! I definitely want you to go to the India Bazaar because you'll be going to the farmers market anyway! It sounds very cool! I loved your post on living across from a university - funny! Now tell me, were Smitten's cookies THAT good? She made them sound almost orgasmic! It's 55 degrees here and raining...summer has come and gone so I'll be making stew tonight! Nan

Asthmagirl said...

Your beautiful cherries have arrived in Washington state. I paid a whopping 2.88 a pound for the little beauties! I bet they are cheaper there!

Meg said...

What a fun adventure! I'm going with the market because I can only imagine the drop-dead pictures from that adventure!

EAT! said...

I love the ethnic markets. I always spend way too much on products that I don't even know what they are. I try to see what other people are putting in their carts and add them to mine so I don't look out of place. Lst time to an Asian market, The Husband bought some dieter's green tea - his new favorite.

White On Rice Couple said...

What a great market and find! I'll have to look for a market with those regional specialties.

Neen said...

I am SO Excited, and honored, and ecstatic that you thought of us. I haven't been able to find Maggi anywhere! I promise to do a repeat Chiebu Djen as soon as we get your package, and if you'll send us the address for your African Market, my Dad and I will try to hit it up on our road trip this summer!

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