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finding ingredients

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

it seems like i'm always having problems finding specific ingredients for a lot of receipes i've been trying lately. so far i have just been drifting from grocery store to grocery store till i find what i need. i live in nothern virginia. does anyone know of any store up here that carry hard to find ingredients? my last receipe i couldnt find any chevil anywhere, so i just ended up leaving it out.

post #2 of 12

Maybe some specifics on just WHAT you're having difficulty finding?  When it comes to something like an herb (chervil)... I'd probably google for what might be a good substitute.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

i'm not looking for a small few specific things per say. i was more looking for a very diversed store i could go to where i wouldnt have to wonder everytime, are they going to have this or that. to be specific though, i usually have problems finding specific herbs, vinegars, and oils the most. the last couple receipes i didnt substitute because the substitute item was already in the recipe.

post #4 of 12

There are several Whole Foods stores in N. VA.  *Some* of their locations have good selections of bulk herbs and spices, and decent oil and vinegar selections.  I haven't been to any of the VA locations.  

 

Most cooks get to the point that no one store has everything.  You do have a Penzey's retail location in Falls Church that will give you high-quality dried herbs and spices.  There's a Balducci's in Northern Bethesda that has some hard-to-find stuff.

 

Chowhound might give you better answers to this question, either the mid-Atlantic board http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/16

or the DC area board http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/14

post #5 of 12

latemp

You have to cook with, what you have possibility to get. That´s chef magic. It is not about cooking, when you find recipe, instructions and then buy all stuff to cook with. The meaning of Chef is to cook from what is accessible. You can´t have chervil?...Do not worry, use different herb, try tarragon or basil and you will discover new flavour. It is more amusing, interesting, less tiring and even cheaper than go for treasure hunt to find some significant ingredient :)

post #6 of 12

Although pricey, Whole foods usually has items no one else has , also local ethnic grocery stores ie. korean, chinese etc. or go on line where you can find anything and everything.

 

Also the meaning of the term  Chef is Chief or head of or in control of. Has nothing to do with actual cooking from what is accesable.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 12

For me as a Home Cook, part of the fun in Cooking is going to different places and just looking around to see what they have. 

As I am now retired and have all the time in the world to pursue my passion, I find immense joy in even our local supermarket. 

My husband says that this is my entertainment now.

It’s amazing the things that you’ll find by just slowing down and really looking at everything on the shelves. 

I've found some great bargains. 

Most of the shelves at eye level are items that are strategically placed there for the consumer to grab and go. 

The manufacturer does that as a marketing tool. 

Take a look at the very top and bottom shelves!! 

You’d be surprised at what you will find.

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #8 of 12

For a lot of the less common herbs, you have to grow your own. I've never  seen chervil in a grocery store in my area. I tried to grow it once without success.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

i understand what chef oliver is saying by cook what you have, but i'm not quite to that point yet. i'm still new to the more gourmet side of cooking. right now i am basically trying to get a good grip on all of the cooking techninques while also going through a broad base of receipes so i can also know how flavors go together. then in the future i can put together my own receipes based on what i have on hand because i know how the receipes work. (thats my plan atleast) has no one ever found chervil in a store though? i wonder if you can buy a potted plant.

post #10 of 12

In most of the grocery stores here in Montreal, you can find bunches of chevril right beside the parsley and coriander/cilantro. If you have never tasted it before , it has a taste of parsley and anis but very lightly flavored.

Terrific with fish dishes.

 

If you cannot find it fresh, you should be able to find 'dry'   here : http://www.penzeys.com/   I know you are looking for fresh, but concidering everything......

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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post #11 of 12

Groceries are to cooks what libraries are to academics.  In order to broaden your sense of what is available you must visit grocery stores when you are not actively pursuing a hard-to-find item.  Whole Foods is a nice to visit and take a good look around.  It's like window shopping for food.  I like to visit grocery stores in areas I don't usually go to and have been surprised by what I've seen.  Every time I see an ingredient that I'd like to use I make a mental note of it.  Whole Foods carries quail eggs and even ostrich eggs.  I don't use them but I know where to go if I come across a recipe that calls for them. 

 

I'm not familiar with nova but you should scan your neighborhoods for ethnic groceries as well.  You should have a good Italian grocery nearby so you can get your fill of good vinegars and oils and cheeses.  An asian grocer can supply you with everything from specific noodles to different sauces that you would not find in a regular grocery.  Have fun with it and always buy something you've never tried before. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Groceries are to cooks what libraries are to academics. Have fun with it and always buy something you've never tried before. 


             I Love This Quote!  That's is it in a nutshell, KK!!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post

If you have never tasted it before , it has a taste of parsley and anis but very lightly flavored.

Terrific with fish dishes.
 

 

 

 

Petals, I was wondering what chervil tasted like, thanks!  I have seen it dried in Penzey's as well at a few Safeway's (McCormick brand) but it was VERY spendy!

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by latemp View Post

i understand what chef oliver is saying by cook what you have, but i'm not quite to that point yet. i'm still new to the more gourmet side of cooking. right now i am basically trying to get a good grip on all of the cooking techninques while also going through a broad base of receipes so i can also know how flavors go together. then in the future i can put together my own receipes based on what i have on hand because i know how the receipes work. (thats my plan atleast) has no one ever found chervil in a store though? i wonder if you can buy a potted plant.



... and latemp, basicly I'd say that's how much people start out, I know as a home cook, that's how I did. 

You start off with an interest and then you grow from there.  

 

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

Reply

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

Reply
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