Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jungle Jim's Morel Mushrooms

Today I went to Jungle Jim's International Supermarket in Cincinnati. What a field trip for this foodie! It was a chance encounter, but I WILL be returning with a large cooler to make an even bigger dent in my budget. We saw aisles and aisles of foods dedicated to various countries. The seafood section featured aquariums stocked with exotic and not-so-exotic fish. In case you are curious, I purchased: two packages of cookies from Mexico, 1 red bean and rice mix from the state of Louisiana (in a new brand for me), sugar free black cherry beverage syrup for my Italian cream sodas, a special kind of sweet potato casserole in a can with a praline crumble in a shaker container, packaged together. Other items were of the common variety.

Jungle Jim's seems as much like a hands-on museum as it is a supermarket. So much input. I certainly couldn't do my weekly grocery shopping there, but an occasional outing to discover those hard-to-find items will be such a treat.

But one thing I had to comment on was the morel mushrooms. I've been craving them for a few years, because they remind me of spring in my childhood. Our family used to go mushroom hunting every spring (often on "Aunt Hettie's hill") and have morels and eggs, with toast. My last time to have any was in 1988 when a patient brought them in to the doctor's office where I worked. Heaven, I tell you!

Well, I found dried morel mushrooms, a few ounces for $9. Then, I found fresh morels, a pound for $30. Yes, $30! The package I looked at was less than half a pound, but that still seemed like too much of a splurge. So, for now, they can sit on the shelf. Next year, I'll hopefully find some in the woods behind my house. Spring can't come soon enough!

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