The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Show Us Your Grocery Finds


Okay. I’ll tell you. I’m curious about blood sausage, but it’s not on many menus. Since I don’t like sausage I’m not about to go searching for one whose main ingredient is blood.


The rats are in the rice fields in Thailand where the farmer don’t want them eating the product. But considering their diet they’re quite eatable. So they trap them and then cook on grills on the side of the road. I wish I could have sampled THAT. But instead our guide took them to the hotel where they were fried. Flavorless.


If you don’t like sausage, don’t even try blood sausage. And if you don’t like liver or other mineral-heavy flavors, run. Run.


I like foie gras but no other liver. I like blood sausage. Go figure.


I may try it one day…


So I got in the freeway last week and went to the Gardena Ranch 99. It was freaking amazing, all the Chinese stuff I could possibly want. I actually had to go through my cart and put some back because, really, I don’t run a restaurant or feed 10 Chinese children every night.

This is a small sample from the two bags of groceries I brought home. In the middle of the photo you can see a pretty turquoise ceramic bottle with a gold seal and a red ribbon. That is Shaoxing wine. Peter Meehan recommends this one for drinking AND cooking, and what’s good enough for him is good enough for me. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the shopping suggestions, everyone!


Very nice


Giant tub of Maldon sea salt.

This should get you through one of April Bloomfield’s cookbooks.

Surfas, 8777 Washington Blvd. (at National), Culver City


This could be the good or the bad. Depending on whether or not you like pumpkin spice. If you like it, this month Trader Joe’s is one-stop shopping for all your pumpkin spice needs.


I almost nominated PUMPKIN SPICE for DOTM. :jack_o_lantern:


Whole Foods in Playa Vista has preserved lemons in the olive bar! $11/lb.

So happy I don’t have to drive to Westwood or clutter my cupboard with yet another condiment jar. :slight_smile:


I read about them. I’ve seen them in WF on 3rd and La Brea. I love lemons. But what do you use them for?


Middle-Eastern and some Italian cooking. Travis Lett and Ottolenghi recipes. Everyone says to make your own because it’s so easy, but I don’t trust my cooking skills enough to preserve or ferment foods. Don’t want to poison anyone. :slight_smile:


[quote=“Bookwich, post:33, topic:4267”]
Everyone says to make your own because it’s so easy, but I don’t trust my cooking skills enough to preserve or ferment foods. Don’t want to poison anyone. :slight_smile:
[/quote]I know! Hehehe. I have a great lemon tree. But I’m scared.


I bought this and have no idea what it is or how to use it.


“soh-foo-toh foo-ri-ka-keh”

Soft furikake

Furikake is a sort of Japanese dry condiment that is sprinkled on Japanese (usually white) rice. It is primarily salty and umami. Sesame seeds and nori are almost always primary ingredients too. Beyond that, dried fish, sour plum, shiso, and wasabi are common flavor profiles as well.

“Soh-fu-toh”, or "“soft” in this case implies moist. Since furikake is normally very dry to the point of crisp, being moist is a variation. I think the suggestion on the packaging mentions (thoroughly) mixing the furikake with rice (I think most do this with furikake in general) but I think the typical use for the soft/moist furikake is to use it for making rice balls, or onigiri. And onigiri are the basis for quick easy meals to be eaten now or later.

The packaging mentions, “Quick Cooking,” so the “soft” version probably also implies convenience. Being moist lends it to easier incorporation and stabilization in Japanese rice which is moist and sticky.

Furikake is kind of hit or miss with new eaters. What is important is to eat it with Japanese rice. Furikake is formulated to be consumed with the characteristics of this rice. The results will be far less palatable with dryer less sticky forms of rice. The salty granules will be harsh and the texture will be grainy or even sandy.

Since your product is moist, it may work better with dryer textured rices. I tried this “soft” version once and prefer the traditional version - I’m probably hard-wired for the dry firm since I grew up eating it.


Thank you so much @bulavinaka! I use furikake all the time, but have never heard of soft furikake. I just got a fresh bag of Nozomi, so onigiri it is.


@TheCookie @Bookwich

I don’t intend to pressure you guys, rather I’d like to encourage you to make your own preserved lemons.

They couldn’t be easier and they are incredibly safe. They use heroic amounts of salt. That combined with the very low pH makes this a very safe preserved food.

The difference in flavor between homemade and those sad, deadened lemons in the WF olive bar is staggering.

Pro Tips:

  1. Use canning jars with a normal mouth. The shoulders will help keep the lemons full submerged.
  2. Use the plastic lids. They’re sold next to the canning jars. The salt and low pH will rust the bands and make unscrewing the bands difficult.
  3. Really smash the lemons into the jar. I use a machacadora but you can improvise.
  4. Check the jars after two days. They may need a lemon juice top off.
  5. Be patient. They won’t really be great for at least two months, maybe even three.
  6. Get lemons from a tree or the farmers market. Fresher lemons retain more oils in the zest and create a better product. Plus, wax is not an issue so you don’t need to scrub the lemons so much.

You can totally do this safely and you’ll love the end product. :smiley:


Great. The tree is full right now. If I pull it off I’ll post a picture.


Vegan/vegetarian, shelf-stable Indian dishes. Perfect meal with some rice and an additional veg. Bought at Bhanu on Rosemead at Huntington for $1.99 each - two of each variety. So 20 quick meals that, with the rice and additional veg, comes to about $3.00. Best of all, they actually taste good!