Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Step into Asia... without leaving Milwaukee

Just a few items available for purchase at Pacific Produce.

Pacific Produce, located on Milwaukee's south side, opened in November 2010.  This Asian super store is definitely worth the trip.  They are not lacking in imported products.

The stores produce section has many familiar fruits and veggies, but there are a few of the unrecognizable items to us westerners. The prices for vegetables are outstanding.  It is the about the price that you might pay at a local farmers market but without that "just picked this morning" taste.  I paid about $2.50 for 4 green bell peppers and $2.63 for 3 yellow bell peppers.

The poultry and seafood section of the store is like something out of Bizarre Foods (Andrew Zimmern, Travel Channel).  Some items that you will not find at your typical grocery store are raw duck heads and pig nose.  The seafood counter also has many imported frozen fish that are not likely to be found in this part of the world.

Pacific Produces' meat counter isn't lacking in unique items.  Ever heard of a "beef honeycomb"?  Many countries in Asia have found ways to utilize every part of an animal into their diet.  They do not waste any thing! We are fortunate in the United States to have things like protein bars and shakes.  I certainly enjoyed learning about a different culture through their food.

I purchased a few items (picture above) for my own personal version of "Bizarre Foods".  My attempt at trying to be adventurous may not be at the same level as Andrew Zimmern, but was definitely something fun to try. 

Mara's "Bizarre Food" Adventure

Shrimp Flavored Crackers -  The smell is definitely worse than the taste.  I opened the bag and it smelled like a shellfish had died in there.  The mind can be a powerful thing and I was starting to get a bit nausea thinking about what it might taste like.  Mind over matter... just go for it!  It wasn't too bad.  The cracker has a very slight shrimp after-taste.  Other than that... it's just a regular cracker.

Grass Jelly Drink -  What prompted me to want to try this?  The strange name, of course!  There is 110 calories in 1 can.  I shook the can (as instructed) and prepared to try this brownish liquid.  Surprisingly... it tastes a little like southern sweet tea with a hint of black tea and herbs. 

Aloe Vera with Lychee Juice -  So what does Aloe taste like?  Please refrain from eating the post-sunburn lotion and try this drink instead.  It reminded me of a tropical beverage with hints of coconut and pineapple.  Very smooth and delicious!

Veggie Noodles -  (In photo at top) This does not qualify as a "bizarre food".  I recommend the veggie noodles plain or with veggies.  Boil the noodles (2 bundles per person) for 2 or 3 minutes.  Drain.  Combine in a non-stick cooking pan with sesame oil for 4 minutes.  For extra flavor add green or yellow peppers.  It is a great "meatless Monday" option.

The next time I am able to visit Pacific Produce, I will definitely go even further out of my comfort zone to try a new and exotic food.  Thank you for joining us on this food adventure.  There will be more "bizarre food" posts to come. 

A big thank you to my husband for being such a good sport when I bring strange food home and ask him to try it.
We had a lot of fun trying different food from another culture. Thank you, my love!

We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2011 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

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