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Popular Terms Use By Ethnic Grocers
Ethnic grocery stores and restaurants might use several words and phrases that you have not heard before. Your familiarity with certain types of Asian, Mexican, and European cuisines, however, could mean that you fully understand the products sold by these businesses or that you need a full explanation before making a purchase. The following list will prepare you for some of the foods that you might find in an ethnic market.
Naan - A type of Indian flatbread. Many Indians do not use forks or spoons when eating. Instead, they scoop food with pieces of naan. Naan is traditionally made in a tandori oven, but some markets have frozen versions that you can reheat in a conventional oven.
Mole - A Mexican sauce present in many dishes. The ingredients used to make mole can vary significantly from one dish to another. One of the most popular versions, called mole negro, is made of onion, poblano peppers, and chocolate amongst other ingredients. Moles can also vary significantly in color, including red, green, black, brown, and yellow.
Tofu - Tofu is made from pressed soybean curd and is typically found in Asian recipes. Vegetarians often use tofu to replace various types of meat that a meal might require. Restaurants often cook with extra firm tofu when making a stir fry or curry recipe. Silken tofu, however, is commonly used to make a variety of desserts. A variety of tofu styles is available at many groceries, including those that international markets that cater to shoppers looking for traditional Chinese and Japanese ingredients.
If you were raised in a multicultural environment, or have a very adventurous palate, you may be looking for grocers dealing in ethnic food. There are many markets and stores that purchase produce and other products aimed at cooking certain types of meals. For example, if you live in a Latino community, you should be able to find Mexican food markets in your area. Many of these will offer special spices for your meat, fresh produce, and more. Additionally, if you live in an area heavily influenced by the Chinese or Japanese culture, you should be able to find grocery stores that specialize in carrying Asian food products. If you are looking to cook a special Italian recipe from home and do not have access to this type of grocery store, then you can also check online to order your food. Just be sure that whatever online ethnic food store you are viewing has reasonable delivery times and prices. In fact, it would probably be wise to explore a few different sites, and to check out their wholesale food items. If you are a small, independent grocer looking into expand into ethnic food sales, it is important to take the time to research any wholesale options you might get from larger companies as well. Scope out a few different price ranges for companies that you are considering using, and see if they can give you the fresh ethnic products that will allow you to cook a gourmet meal for you and your family.