Around the World in 34 Minutes

Well that was a quick weekend! It was gloomy and gray here, with errands and a few chores as the only items on my agenda. {Yawn}

One of my Must Do items was a quick trip to the grocery store. I mostly needed fruits and veggies, so I decided to shake things up a bit by going to the Winchester Farmer’s Market. It’s more of an international market than what we think of these days when we think of farmer’s market, but they didn’t ask me for my opinion on the matter when they named it.

I don’t go to this market too often, because I can’t just dash in and out like I usually do in my fruit-and-veggie grocery store runs. The Winchester Market has fruits and veggies you’ll probably never find at Kroger. To be honest, I have no idea what to do with most of them so I just walk and look. They must have 20 varieties of fresh peppers alone! I also spotted some cabbages and greens I’d never heard of and nopales (cactus leaves), which I’ve heard of but never eaten. One of these days…

Needless to say, Ms. Adventuresome selected some bananas, apples, a cucumber, a bell pepper, an orange, and a big fat head of Romaine lettuce. It was probably the blandest basket of anyone who shopped that day! LOL

With my smattering of produce tucked away, I then spent another 30 minutes wandering up and down the aisles. This market caters to Hispanic and Latino, West Indian, African, and Asian cultures and shopping there is like crisscrossing the planet. I find some of the products fascinating.

First, there was an entire aisle of dried peppers and spices.

spices

The photo shows about half the selection. I really liked that many of the spices I use are available in teensy little bags. Now that I know they’re available here, I don’t need to trek across town to Whole Foods!

One thing you will NOT see in my cart:

dried shrimp

They also had powdered dry shrimp. {shudder} I’m guessing it’s used in soups or stews? (Yup, I just googled and according to Chowhound, it’s used as a substitute in soups and gumbos.)

I also thought this was interesting:

honey powder

I’ve never heard of honey powder but have since learned it’s also known as powdered agave and is used as a sugar replacement. I didn’t read the label, but apparently most brands are a blend of agave and maltodextrin (corn syrup). I’ll check this one’s label next time I’m there to see what it’s made of. Until then, I’ll just eat plain old bee’s honey. :)

Over in the Asian section, I found an example of a translation that just doesn’t work for the American consumer of the female persuasion:

housewife soy sauce

I don’t eat soy sauce, but I especially wouldn’t want to eat a sexist soy sauce. (Heh, say that three times fast.)

While I was in the Asian section, I picked up some won-ton wrappers. They cost about a dollar for a thousand or so. Just kidding, but it was a humongous package. I’ve broken it into mini-packs and am trying the freezer route. {Fingers crossed.}

In addition to checking out the strange-to-me products, I enjoy the different voices and dialects I hear when I’m in the store. It reminds me that not only am I fortunate to have a variety of fresh, affordable foods available to me, but I’m also very blessed to live in such a diverse and fascinating community.

In honor of my international grocery tour, I used my new wonton wrappers to create an American-Chinese-Mexican fusion dish: Turkey Taco Cups!

This is a Pinterest photo because I couldn’t find my camera to take a photo of my taco cups. But they truly did look just like these, only browner. :) Of course, I only prepared four cups since I was making dinner for one.

This is more an assemblage than a recipe. Basically you spray the muffin tin (or grease it, whatever floats your boat), push the wonton wrapper down into it, and bake on 350° for 8-10 minutes, just until they brown on the edges. Then fill with desired ingredients–I used turkey breast taco meat, a little Sharp cheddar, sliced black olives, and a smattering of salsa. Very tasty! I’ll be having these again tomorrow night with Mexican chicken from my freezer.

And that brings us to the end of my field report. :) I hope your weekend was every bit as exciting as mine (or even more!), and that we all have a wonderful week ahead–exciting or quiet!



21 thoughts on “Around the World in 34 Minutes

  1. I love your shopping trips. You have a knack for seeing the wild, the wacky as well as ‘normal’

    Look forward to our next shopping trip.

    Blessings

  2. I wouldn’t eat sexist soy sauce- but I would eat “sexy” soy sauce- which is what I ended up saying when I said it 3 times fast! LOL!!!
    Happy Monday!

  3. My family was never that adventurous when it came to vegetables, so I had a lot to learn when I started thinking outside the ravioli box. I used to buy something I didn’t know, try to remember the name, take it home and research online what to do with it. ^^

  4. Wish we had a market like that near us. My husband and I love trying out new recipes and experimenting with ingredients we’ve never used before.

  5. Cammy – that looks soooooooooooooo cool! All the foods & cultures – FUN! I am like you though, kinda boring but I might try a few things! Loved the pics!

    Pinterest- signed up but unsavvy me can’t figure out how to get the pin thing to work even after reading & watching the directions! 😉 Need to ask hubby!

  6. I would be lost for hours in a place like that, gleefully flitting about like a nerd. Nothing more fun that seeing what kind of culinary trouble you can get into! Of course I said “sexist soy sauce” 3x. Never one to back down from a challenge ya know!

    I’m SO making those yummy taco dohickers! I need some new recipe to throw into the mix!

  7. Next bloggy meet-up might have to be in Memphis!! These are my kind of places. Like you said, more for looking and experiencing than actually buying. But how much fun it would be to go there with you!

  8. What a fun post, and a fun store to visit! My little local market has quite a selection of those spices, and they are so much cheaper than the ones in bottles. I love them.

    Plus, you gave me an idea for dinner tonight. Don’t have the wonton wraps so I’ll just make a turkey taco salad, but it still sounds yummy!

    I did the won ton wraps in the freezer. Well, I’ve done it a couple of times. Only problem is, I forget they’re in there. So I can’t tell you how they work out.

  9. Hi Cammy,
    So envious of this wonderful store. I LOVE places like this and can waste MANY hours in them. (kinda like the many hours I could waste if I got onto Pinterest….)
    Have a great Monday.

  10. Twins!! I bought wonton wrappers and ground turkey to do something really similar to this LOL!

    I actually have powdered honey. It is good mixed in yogurt. Don’t ask me why I bought it.

  11. I’d LOVE a place like that!! And I cracked up over sexist soy sauce…it IS hard to say it three times fast. I’ve been seeing lots of recipes these days that involve muffin tins. I like to make turkey meatloaf muffins, and your multicultural taco thingys look great too!

  12. I’sd love to have an all cultures market like that. It must smell marvelous.

    And, just so you know, yours is the lonly blog that doesn’t save the personal info for comments. But I guess most of us use services for our blogs…

  13. Oh how I would loooove to go shopping with you there! I love browsing “weird” items and getting to know new foods! Feeling a bit jealous here 😉

  14. I LOVE stores like that. I could browse the aisles for a long time, looking for that special something that I’ve ‘got’ to have. All of those spices – WOW. Overload. Thanks for taking us along. I’m interested in the powdered honey. I wonder if it’s lower in calories (most likely not). Never heard of it.

  15. Sounds like fun! And having lived in several different countries, I can remember the different things available in their markets, so can visualize some of it. Japan and Korea were especially “interesting.” I just avoid anything with EYES! :-) Happy New Year, doll! I’m going to try to get better at keeping up.

  16. those taco in wanton wrappers look great!!! I hve to get that recipe.
    Love the “housewife” soy sauce. Too funny.
    You make everything interesting.

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