On my way home from Kaili’s yesterday, I stopped at the Central Market, another place I had heard about in rave reviews. Once I realized that it was just a giant grocery store, and not an entire city of food, the way it had been described, I calmed down and started shopping. In the bakery section, I ran to a refrigerator unit that stood under an enormous, dangling sign: “Vegan and Gluten-Free Desserts!” My god, has the world morphed into a gluten-free one for my benefit? Most the desserts were merely vegan, but they did have a good supply of Flying Apron bakery goods. I love their work, but I can buy them on 50th and Roosevelt. And besides, they deserve their own post soon.
The grocery store part of the store really is just ordinary. They don’t even have any gluten-free cereals! However, they have an extraordinary array of Asian foods, rivalled only stores in the International District here. I saw an en enormous pickled radish the size of a small baseball bat, flourescent yellow and shrink wrapped in the refrigerated section. It frightened and fascinated me. And I did buy some edamame from China that I cooked today. YUM.
But the shining glory of the place, and why I’ll go back, is the produce section. An entire warehouse of organic fruit and vegetables. And not just the ordinary ones, or the ones we consider exotic at other stores. Mizuna leaves. Thai eggplants. Dark green leafy plants I had never heard of, and no idea how to cook them. (If you’d like to see more photos of the fruit, take a look at my flickr account.) A jolly man was dispensing bites of fruit at its peak, and I happened by as he was handing out golden cherry tomatoes. I don’t even like those in any other time of the year, but I raced to the part of the produce section for an abundant pint of them.
I went home happy.