Anytime I’m within range of Kirkwood, I divert from my course for a Global Foods stop. The supermarket is a museum of foods from around the world. I enter with a large cart and an open mind and come out an hour later with a full cart and a happy heart. I invariably find new items or those I can’t find readily elsewhere.
Since I swung by the store on a lark, I didn’t have my list of “buy-sometime-foods,” so I had to wing it. That wasn’t all bad. I meandered, I sniffed the melons, I read labels, I asked questions. I felt like I was viewing an exhibit at the Kirkwood Museum of Fine and Exotic World Foods.
So What Did I Buy?
Pickles. I bought a jar of pickles. But it didn’t say pickles on the jar; it said cornichons. That’s the French word for “small horn” and describes a sour pickle made with vinegar and tarragon. They go well with a ham and cheese sandwich or a slider. At his bakery, Nathaniel Reid puts cornichons on the prosciutto and gruyere baguettes. The New York Times showed the French pickle in a recipe for Tuna Macaroni Salad. And Bar Les Freres includes them with pate as an hors d’oeuvre. Warning: The crunchy little rascals can be addictive.
Olive Oil. I got a large can of Greek extra virgin, first cold press olive oil for making salad dressings at the farm, since I no longer stock the store bought varieties. My favorite salad dressing is still this Fresh Basil Vinaigrette, that I served at the Governor’s Mansion years ago. It was our most requested recipe. I’ve not found one better or easier to make.
Israeli Couscous. It was the couscous that triggered my trip to the world-wide market in the first place. You may recall from a previous post that I was having difficulty locating the newer Israeli version. The traditional variety is easily found. It looks like small bits of rice, but Israeli couscous is more like pasta. I prefer the latter, because the little pearl-shaped pieces hold up better in a salad and certainly photograph better.
Look for the Israeli couscous near the end of aisle 4, top shelf, not aisle 3 where the traditional couscous hangs out. It comes in white, whole wheat, and multicolored. I got one of each, since I’m big into couscous this summer.
Tahini. Ah, but, you ask, what does one do with a jar of the thick, nutty-flavored paste made from ground sesame seeds, that’s part of every Middle Eastern kitchen? You can use it for a raw veggie or falafel dip, a spread on toast, or a tasty addition to soups, baba ganoush, hummus, and salad dressing. After opening a jar, it lasts about 6 months in the fridge.
Japanese Eggplant. These skinny, thin-skinned aubergines don’t need to be peeled. I got just one to try this recipe for Japanese Eggplant with Ginger and Scallions. It’s a quick and easy way to serve the elongated eggplant.
Chocolate. I looked at Global Foods’ amazing display of imported chocolate from around the world. I even read the labels. There’s a saying that a strong person is one who can break a candy bar into four pieces with their bare hands and then eat only one piece. Since I’m not that strong person, I left it on the shelf.
Global Foods Market. 421 N. Kirkwood Rd in Kirkwood. Open: Mon-Sun 8a-9p.