Monday, October 13, 2014

Buy It Now, Google It Later

This is usually my modus operandi for buying new and unusual foodstuffs I see in the produce section of my sort-of-rural supermarket.  Any time I see some cool thing that definitely does not grow in Iowa (cherimoya, chayote squash, etc), I buy it lickety-split-quick. 

Because.  It's a like a conveniently quick, cheap ticket to some exotic place in the world.  Except there's no long airport lines, no TSA, no risk of malaria or worse, Ebola.

And then when I get it home, I Google it to find out what I can do with it.

Today, doing the weekly shopping, my small-town Iowa grocery store has this in the produce department:

I know, right?  It's like a hairy little sea anemone or something.  Its real name is rambutan, and it comes from Vietnam.  It's indigenous to many Southeast Asian countries...that means it's a tropical fruit.  These fruits (or at least the ones I found at the store) are small, even in the palm of my hand, and the weirdly prickly skin is peeled off before being eaten.  The yield, therefore, is small and I don't think it's practical to use many of these in some kind of recipe, although it's possible...maybe in combination with a medley of other tropical fruits?

Basically, this is what I did.  Peeled off that outer layer to reveal a large grape-looking thingy.  It tastes like a grape too, but there's a large and not-very-delicious seed in the middle, so Brent and I ate "around" it.  Good times.

Anyway, that's my advice to you today.  If you see something at the grocery store you've never heard of in your life, buy it (unless you can't afford it, in that case, buy the essentials and feed your family), and research it later.  You won't regret it.  At least, I hope you don't.

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