Reviewing some Asian ingredients

Filed in Gather Food Essential by on February 25, 2007 0 Comments

In one of my latest runs to the new Asian Market on University Avenue I brought back a few interesting things.  I took pictures and tried them out.  Here's what I think:


I guess everyone knows limes, but I just thought I'd make a point that I prefer to look for limes with smoothe skins, not the rough-skinned variety.  Smoothe skins are thinner, and I think those limes are sweeter.  Fresh citrus is vastly superior to any sort of canned juice.  Lemon juice concentrate is some sort of cleanser, as far as I can tell.




I really like garlic pickle and lime pickle is okay, so when I saw these Indian mixed pickles, I thought I'd check it out.









I regret to report everything in the can tasted like a salt lick, with limes being virtually indistinguishable from mangoes.  Other items were quite woody.  If these were intended to be rinsed and cooked, I can't help but feel that all the flavors would be diminished, not just the salt.  I kept it around for a while and eventually threw it out.




Attieke is a sauce made of pure habanero chiles.  This is a great bargain.  I like things scalding hot, and yet this little 3 oz. jar will last me until June.








For those of you familiar with blackstrap molasses, that is what this coco caramel tastes like.  If you're not familiar with either, imagine molasses that is extremely dark and tastes strongly of iron and licorice.  I assume it is the last extraction of sugar from coconut pulp, and if so it has the bulk of the vitamins and a bit less sugar than the earlier "cookings".  If I ate pancakes, I'd put this on it.






Herring is a favorite of mine, whether pickled Scandinavian-style or canned as kippers.  These could have been very salty, but having been dried before being canned helped the little guys not absorb so much of the salt.  Rinsed off, they're little fish jerkies.  Yummy. Still a bit too salty, but good nonetheless.






Dried plum comes in little apple-shaped jars or in bags that hang on a rack.  They are extremely sour and thus are sweetened to an almost nauseating degree, and yet the combination of the two is a hit.  These are for people like me, with largely deceased palates.  If you are protecting your taste buds so you can distinguish between a Chenin Blanc and Petit Chenin, you won't want to put these in your mouth. Get only the pitted variety.  I recommend eating them with a glass of water.  Put the plum in your mouth, take a drink of water and swish it around until you have a drink of "plum pop".  Repeat a couple of times.  After this you can just slowly chew it, like chewing tobacco.  Also contains licorice, and sometimes a bit of chile.


This is a start.  In the coming weeks I'll report on other ingredients I get at the store.

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