Friday, August 24, 2007
Pittsburgh is great because you can find nearly any ingredient you need in a small radius.
For Example: Lotus in the Strip has banana leaves, frozen cassava and coconut meat, palm sugar, and mochi. Prestogeorge occasionally has Nielsen-Massey vanilla for a really gooprice. Penn Mac has salt cod, blanched hazelnuts, and marscarpone for about half the price of Giant Eagle. Penzey's has dried lavender, but you have to ask for it because it's behind the counter. Mon Aimee Chocolat has baking chocolate for 4 dollars a pound. Whole Foods and Giant Eagle also have some great specialty products as well as baking staples.
I love our local Whole Foods. They always have interesting products, they're the cheapest place for Fage yogurt and Ito-En tea, and their layout is really effective. I love that Pittsburgh grocery stores don't have alcohol. In a big California grocery store, you typically find 1-3 aisles or a big nook dedicated solely to booze.
Whole Foods is rather pricy for produce, protein, and cheese, so I usually buy really specific things. Every now and then i'll treat myself to something special: an amazing bar of crispy spanish Turron, a bottle of grass-fed milk, some creamed honey...
My latest find was Ficoco, a Fig and Cocoa spread that's made in Croatia (who finds these things??) If you're a fan of figs, raisins, or other dark tasting fruits you'll love this spread. I think the combination of figs and chocolate is kindof sexy. I ate it for breakfast today on some buckwheat crepes. I think it'd be great spread on some bread or mixed into some yogurt/ice cream too.
at 8:18 AM