Alex Hughes ….February 2017….Today, I covered a market that was not Mexican, but rather it focused on the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe. It was a different pace and had more focus on different ingredients than what I am used to seeing. Walking to the shopping center, you notice right across from Costco that there is a sign that says “International Market”. It is hard to see the storefront from the intersection, but it is located in the corner of this shopping center. There are tables out in front and pictures of kabobs on the grill, shawarma meat spinning and a cutting board with tomatoes. This was supposed to represent their deli on the inside where you can order for there or to go. You will be surprised at how small this place is with rows feeling quite cramped compared to the Mexican markets in Vista. There are a few sections that have pasta sauces, teas, Sushki, olives, orange blossom flavored water and many North African spices. This put me in a different place of the world where I have yet to truly experiment with the flavors. I know more about Northern European and Western European cultures than I do about the Eastern side of the continent where countries such as Latvia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Russia exist. This is only a glimpse of it. The sides of the market was where there were dairy fridges with Syrian cheese, Abali Yogurt Drinks and Lactima ser topiony spreads stocked. I had not seen these cheeses before! This made me excited! I went to the fresh produce section where I saw common fruits and veggies as well as trail mixes, peanuts, golden raisins and watermelon seeds? I had not seen these anywhere before. People eat roasted watermelon seeds? I grabbed a snack bag as well as some red dates or what they call “jujubes.” I payed and went out to have my snacks. I chewed on the jujubes which had a papery red skin which revealed a caramel bready inside. It reminded me of a marshmallow that sort of deflated on impact. There was a very long seed on the inside that I made sure not to swallow. The watermelon seeds were really good! They had come from Iran and were a salty snack: much more brittle and easier to chew than sunflower kernels. I popped those in. I stayed for a while after reading some free magazines that were targeted to a Middle Eastern audience. I need to learn Arabic if I want to understand it! Well, that was a taste of a new culture! I look forward to seeing other markets from around the world especially Eastern European!
Ohotos by Alex Hughes
-Capers – -Anise Water–Lactima ser topiony Gouda spread–Red dates (jujubes)–Roasted watermelon kernels–Pinjur sauce–Black turtle beans
North County International Market
1850 Hacienda Dr,Vista, CA 92081 Website: http://ncimarket.com/