'the international aisle' on Serious Eats

Grocery Ninja: King Oyster Mushrooms, aka 'Drumsticks on Trees'

The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here. The first time I spotted king oyster mushrooms at the market, I was with Mom, and she told me they were "Chicken drumsticks that grow on trees." I was seven. Of course I believed her. I was a pudgy kid—inordinately fond of braised duck, sizzling, hot plate venison, and the extra crisp, golden bits on the belly pork my grandma stir-fried with preserved mustard greens. A well-meaning aunt tried to put me on a diet while my parents were out of town, and the outcome was that I developed an abject loathing for all things... More

Grocery Ninja: Kaya, Coconut Egg Jam

The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here. I believe the simplest dishes are also the easiest to mess up. Take the plain omelet, for instance, or just steamed rice—both are so clean of flavor, so unadulterated, that there's nothing for you to hide your mistakes behind. No cloak of smoky spices, no razzle-dazzle of MSG—just the purest expressions of egg and grain. And so it is the case with kaya—a rich, fragrant custard that South-East Asians like to slather, along with a generous dollop of salted butter, on their morning toast. Made with eggs, coconut milk, and sugar, there are many, many... More

Grocery Ninja: Chicha Morada, Peruvian Purple Corn Drink

The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here. The Russian housemate adores mulled cider. This wouldn’t be a problem except, come fall, my usually easy-going housemate morphs into a mulled cider dictator and gets monopolistic about fridge space – insisting that there is no room for any other kind of beverage. No oj, no soy milk, no nothing save for yet another jug of mulled cider. And while I used to love the stuff, palate fatigue is real… and I have no use for it on my cereal. Hence, this year, us housemates are plotting an intervention: employing the logic of gradually weaning... More

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