"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > International Cuisines and Ethnic Cookery
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2006, 11:40 AM   #1
Executive Chef
 
Half Baked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,927
International Markets

I have 2 wonderful International Mkts very close to me. Unfortunately for me, no one speaks English. I stroll through and pick up different things that look delicious to me and all the directions, if any, are in Chinese script.

I ask questions about how to prepare something and they make a stirring motion and then sign to eat it....I'm sitting here laughing because I feel so ignorant.

I buy alot of meat and poultry there, definately fish since I can pick the one I want out of the tank but I would LOVE to be able to get more information about all the wonderful items.

I can understand enough Spanish to read directions so I'm fine with those foods. The Middle Eastern foods give me difficulty too....and it all looks so good. Fortunately grape leaves come in a clear jar.

Last time I was there, I suggested to the Mgr that it would be nice for them to have a cooking class there so we could learn what to do with all the interesting food. He said, "I'm glad you enjoy. Please come back soon".

I still pick up frozen goods and fruits and veggies that I have no idea what they are. I open them and try to figure out what to do. I bought some frozen buns that reminded me of the bbq pork buns that I get when we eat dim sum but they are supposed to be sweet (I don't remember how I found that out. Perhaps there was a pic of them eating dessert?). The directions have a picture of steaming so I think I can figure that out. Hmm, I guess I should thaw them.

This place even has products like banana leaves. I want to try so many recipes and dearly wish they had an 'escort' or someone to walk us 'learners' about and explain the foods and what to do with them.

__________________
Jan
Please spay and neuter your pets. The Animal Rescue Site
Half Baked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 01:39 PM   #2
Senior Cook
 
Seven S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: N of the Equator, W of the Greenwich Meridian
Posts: 372
you know it just occured to me, how about when you bring something home that you dont know, take a picture of the packaging and post it here... maybe someone will be able to identify it and point you in the right direction.... also, if the packaging is in westernized characters, try doing a search on Google IMAGES section, then if you see a pic, click on it, this will not only open the picture, but take you to the website where the picture is posted, which may possibly help
Seven S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
Half Baked - I go through this all the time - lol!!! Not only do I bring home things that look interesting but that I don't have a clue what to do with, but my mom in NY also buys stuff like that - & sends it to me - lol!!!

If I can, I just bring whatever it is up to my computer & do internet searches on as much as I can glean from the label. If that doesn't work, I've been known to open up whatever it is, taste it, & go from there.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 168
What a wonderful thing to have so close Jan.
Ellen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 06:04 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Half Baked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,927
I am very lucky to have them there, Ellen. I can spend all afternoon just walking up and down the aisles, picking up all the cans and trying to read pkgs and frozen food directions.

You kids are right, I'll just have to bring it all home and hope for the best...with the internet help.

Seven, I'm still trying to figure out PhotoBucket.
__________________
Jan
Please spay and neuter your pets. The Animal Rescue Site
Half Baked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 06:32 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
Specialty markets like that are something we sacrifice when we live in a small town rural area.
I'll never forget going through the markets in San Francisco's Chinatown when I was a little girl. I remember trying lychee nuts, candied ginger, and eating at an authentic, family style Chinese restaurant, where I was introduced to Chinese tea, prawns, and some kind of tempura fried thing.
I also aquired my taste for artichokes and avacadoes on that trip. I learned how wonderful fresh, tree-ripened nectarines, plums, and other fruit can taste.
My aunt, whom we were visiting, had a college degree in foods, and worked in the Betty Crocker test kitchens before she married, helping to put together their first cookbook. I actually have her copy.
She made sure I got to try all kinds of new things. I even had a Shirley Temple at the Top of the Mark, and several tastes of the California wines the adults were enjoying. Every night, before dinner, my uncle opened a different kind.

Sorry for digressing...it's something I tend to do.
__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 06:34 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Half Baked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,927
What wonderful memories, Constance. I could listen to them all day.
__________________
Jan
Please spay and neuter your pets. The Animal Rescue Site
Half Baked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 08:59 PM   #8
Sous Chef
 
cliveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
What wonderful memories, Constance. I could listen to them all day.
You know, Jan, those International Markets are really special. we've got a Chinese market in Caracas ( on Sundays) where you can find the most unbelievable things. There's also a Middle Eastern ( mostly Lebanese and Syrian) market, and a Peruvian market.
When you visit those places, it's like being on another planet.
I saw a TV Food Programme a month or so ago , where the chef was using fermented Black beans (tau-si). The dish sounded so delicious, I said to myself:
" I MUST go and find that to experiment with the flavours". I went there and bought everything but tau-si, because I couldn't find them; until I spoke to a Chinese girl. She was very, very helpful; not only did she point out the tau-si, she also recommended a particular brand.

Fear not, Jan - wade in there and find someone who knows all about it - they'll be only too happy to help you out.
cliveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2006, 09:08 PM   #9
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,717
I truly look forward to going to the various international markets in my area. I have a small Asian market in my town and a huge Asian supermarket within an hour.

I have Middle Eastern markets within an hour. When you step into them, the smells are strong and fantastic.

I also find the prices in these markets to be lower for many items than their American counterparts for the few things they have in common.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 07:58 AM   #10
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Straits of Juan de Fuca
Posts: 893
Jan, how about asking if there is anyone in the store who speaks English?? Probably the manager will. We have an Asian store we love to go to and we automatically ask for the manager so I can make notes as I'm grabbing things.

Then, I hit the computer as soon as I get home to see what all I can do with the goodies.
cjs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 08:25 AM   #11
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
Last time I was there, I suggested to the Mgr that it would be nice for them to have a cooking class there so we could learn what to do with all the interesting food. He said, "I'm glad you enjoy. Please come back soon".
I'm still giggling about this!

If only I had a nickle for everytime I've done something -- whatever -- that according to my cultural background made perfect sense ... and the response had the same sound as one hand clapping. Your suggestion probably not only makes sense to a whole bunch of us reading, but actually sounds brilliant. But it sounds like the manager either didn't understand or simply can't "compute" the idea of a valuable development idea being handed to him thus.

Pursue it anyways? Lord knows if I were in Atlanta and such a thing came to be, I'd be there in a flash. After all, the people cooking wouldn't have to speak English, they'd just have to demonstrate, right?

Good luck!
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 08:35 AM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Half Baked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,927
aryton, I'm so glad you understand. I'm trying soooo hard.

Jean, Do you google 'Chinese' veggies to find pics of the vegetable?

Last week I picked up a styrofoam container with Octopus slices in it. I went to the men behind the counter and asked them what to do with it. They signed that it was ready to eat so I've been snacking on them. They are really chewy, salty and of course taste like octopus. That was a great new snack find! It's softer than octopus jerky (lol) but is obviously dried a bit.

I picked up a bag of seaweed and the pics on the back showed 4 suggestions to serve. It has a picture of a bowl and it says "Bibim rice", a pic of a frying pan and says 'Toasting', a bowl with "salad with vinegar' and some type of pan/bowl that says 'Soy Bean Paste Soup'. I was asking at checkout how to make the salad, "did the seaweed need to be cooked etc'. The checkout girl brought the best English speaking person over and I pointed and asked how to make the salad. Her English was poor but I thought we could communicate some. Roflmao, she wouldn't give give me any ideas on the salad, she kept pointing at the pic of toasting while indicating that this was the way to eat it. She liked it toasted, no make salad, toast, toast toast.

Jean, this is what happened when I tried to communicate with the mgr:

[quote]: Last time I was there, I suggested to the Mgr that it would be nice for them to have a cooking class there so we could learn what to do with all the interesting food. He said, "I'm glad you enjoy. Please come back soon".[quote]

I need to find a Chinese friend!
__________________
Jan
Please spay and neuter your pets. The Animal Rescue Site
Half Baked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 09:07 AM   #13
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,764
Send a message via MSN to urmaniac13 Send a message via Skype™ to urmaniac13
I also live very close to an ethnic quarter of Rome, and regularly walk over to the market there, where you can find not only fresh produces but also many interesting exotic items. Many of the vendors are capable of understanding and speaking at least some Italian or English, and some of them can explain to us how they are used for cooking, serving suggestions etc., which is great. If we can't communicate with them very well, we usually try to get the name of the items which we are interested at least (if all else fails, we would have them write it down), and then we do some google search to get the info at home. It is always interesting and enlightening to discover and try something new from far away places
urmaniac13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 10:29 AM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I have Middle Eastern markets within an hour. When you step into them, the smells are strong and fantastic. .
Where? [drooling...] Watertown?
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2006, 12:33 PM   #15
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,717
Yes, Watertown. There is a huge Armenian community there and the markets cater to them. I go there periodically to stock up.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2006, 06:02 AM   #16
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
Posts: 120
aha, half baked ,if you give me more clue or pics ,maybe i can give you some useful answer.
riverli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2006, 08:08 AM   #17
Master Chef
 
expatgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas girl living in Kazakhstan
Posts: 5,577
Houston has several large Asian/Vietnamese grocery stores as well as Indian/Pakistani. My head always swims when I go in as I don't know what to buy first----and you're right, AndyM., they are considerably cheaper than the big chains and usually you can find better brands than Kikkoman. I once took a friend and she picked out what she thought was a package of bright red paper lantern designs. Upon check-out the clerk spoke a little English and as we stuck out like sore thumbs in a sea of Asian regulars she wanted to know what we were buying that for. When my friend told her the clerk started laughing and said that it was really a paper shroud that they put over their dearly departed ones. So I guess you can buy just about anything in those treasure troves!! LOL!!
__________________
The only difference between a "cook" and a "Chef" is who cleans up the kitchen.
expatgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.