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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

How did the ethnic foods aisle (yard) come into play?

 

 

I was reiterating that they only sell what people buy.  I thought maybe the fact that my Kroger doesn't sell fresh birds is because not enough people will buy them.  Unfortunately, I'd say more people here buy those already breaded chicken discus-like patties than they buy whole chickens.

 

Our Kroger has the exact same 'Mexican' section with the possible addition of a few varieties of picante sauces (namely Pace).

I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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post #32 of 38

If you want to buy good meats and produce, you'll have to expand your horizons beyond the supermarket. 

 

I'm fortunate to live in an area where even the national chain supermarkets have a great deal of variety; but still have to shop in several stores to get the selection, prices and quality I want. 

 

When I'm serious about poultry -- which is about half the time -- it means a forty five minute round trip (to El Monte) -- not to mention fluency in languages other than English -- to get truly "free range" and freshly slaughtered.  Most of the rest of the time I either buy from a nearby supermarket carneceria who buys from the same source, or from Asian meat counters where they make a fetish out of poultry.  

 

For what it's worth, what supermarkets, packers and the government calls fresh -- the rest of us call "rock-hard frozen."  Government regulations allow fresh chicken to be held below 30F (I forget offhand what the cut off, somewhere 26F-ish), and still called "fresh."  

 

Since ice crystallization changes the texture of the meat, very picky cooks don't consider that fresh.  Still, government "fresh" and even frozen can be pretty good.  A lot depends on the bird itself.  As it happens, I don't trust my slaughterer to have Turkeys on hand for Thanksgiving even if I make the order in advance in English and Spanish.  So I buy big packer, Kosher birds at Trader Joe's which work wonderfully for smoking.  Before you ask, that's in my backyard offset smoker, not cigarette papers.

 

There are so many contingencies and alternatives it's impossible for me to give you hard and fast rules going beyond this:  Take the time to get farmyard raised, freshly slaughtered chickens,and use their taste as a baseline for what's good and what's not.

 

I assure you, those chickens are there to be had if you make an effort.  There are always small poultry operations around cities -- and plenty more in the country.  But, as I said, you will have to look.

 

BDL

post #33 of 38
Thread Starter 

If you want to buy good meats and produce, you'll have to expand your horizons beyond the supermarket. 

 

While that's certainly good advice, Boar, it's not always possible. And the fact is, Calfornians, by and large, are spoiled silly when it comes to availability of fresh produce, seafood, and animal proteins.

 

Try living in the rural south for awhile, and you'll discover what kind of culinary desert much of the country is. For me to expand my horizons, for instance, would require going to Cincinnati, two hours away. So what for you is a 45 minute drive is four hours for me. But it's not just the four hours. Being as I know nothing about the existence and location of ethnic and specialty shops, I'd have to spend many hours ferreting them out. Indeed, somebody asked me, the other day, if Cincinnati had a Chinatown, and I had to respond that I haven't a clue.

 

I have spent the past several years ferreting out such shops in Lexington (half hour away, btw). There aren't many of them, and none like the ethnic markets you're used to. Often enough they're actually restaurants, with a shelf or three of related products.

 

With a SMSA of 650K, there is one market serving the entire Asian community; one serving Indian and Mideastern; one specializing in middle-European foodstuffs. Etc. There's a convenience market attached to a Japanese restaurant, and a similar "market" that's part of a Cuban luncheonette. There is a supposed fresh seafood market. But the miasma that hits you in the face when you enter let's you know how bogus that claim is.

 

None of these places are located on main drags. None of them advertise. So it can, literally, take years to find them. And then they go out of business.

 

For us, a typical shopping trip means a day in Lexington, traveling to as many as 8 or 9 stores plus more than one supermarket just to do basic shopping.

 

Locally I have the aforementioned Mexican market, and several supermarkets.

 

So, while I have expanded beyond the supermarket, it's a difficult task. And one that, realistically, most people are not going to take on. Nor do I blame them.

 

Nor is it a problem confined to the rural south. When I lived in northern Illinois, for instance, to find anything not supermarket quality meant a trip to Chicago, 65 miles away. And I have friends in Wyoming who drive 85 miles to the nearest supermarket.

 

So, why "expand your horizens....." is a laudable goal, it's just not practical for a significant part of the population. The only way they have of doing that is via the internet. And that, of course, has problems of its own.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 38

Our Department of Agriculture website lists only one farm advertising free-range chicken.  And on their own website they advertise that the poultry is chemical free but have the words Free Range in quotation marks (a little sketchy in my opinion).  The farm is 1.5 hours away.  I'm not opposed to making the drive there to see the farm for myself.  However, they also offer 'fresh seafood'.  This obviously means that their definition of fresh is not the same as mine. 

I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

How many variations on the fast food theme are there? By and large, we're talking burgers and chicken. .

Pizza, Panda Express, Wienerschnitzel, any number of taco places, Gyros [ how many pronounce it "yeer o" vs. " ji row" ] fish and chips, we even have drive up sushi places here in Salt Lake. The selection of course varies by population. A major city will have all sorts of stuff, smaller more rural towns will obviously suffer from a lack of variety.

I'm planning on making roast chicken breasts with mustard sauce and roast sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. While getting stuff at the store I saw a selection of plastic wrapped foam trays with various combinations of cut up vegetables. On the one hand, what's the point? Are there really people who can't buy a carrot and slice it up themselves? But on the other hand, if such convenient parcels help someone decide to make a fresh, real food dinner instead of eating garbage, it is a great idea. I didn't look at the pricing, but I am sure it cost way more than the basic veggies themselves.

Better get going on that dinner, I want it to be close to being done when the wife gets home.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #36 of 38
Thread Starter 

Well, Teamfat, I bow to your superior knowledge of fast food.

 

Perhaps if I ate in those places I'd know more about them.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #37 of 38

very nice recipe ..

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Well, Teamfat, I bow to your superior knowledge of fast food.

 

Perhaps if I ate in those places I'd know more about them.


Trust me, such knowledge is a curse, not a blessing. And my listing of alternatives was in no way meant to dismiss your arguments. If anything, it just points out there are many ways to conveniently eat garbage. I will admit, though, that I do like Panda's black pepper chicken and Beijing beef.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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