A Wealth of Food

I’m lucky enough to live in an area with a high immigrant population. This means that we have food of every kind here. There are Indian shops, Polish shops, Iranian and Afghani shops (often called “mesopotamian” for fear of stupid people), African, Chinese, Japanese, West Indian, Lithuanian, Arab and Persian shops. There’s even Australian and South African shops, for the homesick travellers (AKA bar staff).

When I first moved here, I was used to supermarkets and neat little corner shops. The first time I went in a shop and saw sheep’s heads and goats feet at the butcher counter I was, well, weirded out. Who cooks sheep heads? But obviously, lots of people do. I still don’t know how.

Now, these are my favourite shops. They have rows of food that I had NO IDEA what they are. Foul medamas, callalloo, kombu, ackee, garden eggs, daikon. What do they taste like? How do you eat them? How BRILLIANT is this?

And I’ve been here almost 18 months and I know that I love ya pears, that you make Japanese stock with kombu, that callalloo are greens popular in the West Indies. But I’ve still never had a garden egg or ackee or daikon. Or foul medamas. It’s going to take a little bit of nerve before I cook something called “foul”. But still. I WILL. And then I’ll find something else.

That’s the great thing about food. There’s always something else to try and something more to discover.


13 Responses to “A Wealth of Food”

  1. layla42 Says:

    I love foul! Although I spell it “fool” because it amuses friends. It’s a warm beany dip and once you heat the beans, add fresh parsley and garlic and lemon–I could sit down and eat an entire bowl of it.
    It’s very very good, the beans are pretty mild in flavor, and with some toasty pita it can make a wonderful lunch!

    I just stumbled across your site, and I love the spirit of foodie adventure!

  2. 101things Says:

    Thank you!

    On the tins of fool medamas (heh) they look like whole beans. Is it more smushed and dippy than that?

    Also, I think you could add parsley, garlic and lemon to just about anything and it’d taste good. Except goats’ feet maybe.

  3. layla42 Says:

    They come out as whole beans, but the directions (normally) advise you to heat it up them smush away with a fork. I prefer it more dippy just because it’s easier to eat.
    And I’m with you–parsley, garlic and lemon are always a good combination!

  4. Kyla Says:

    Let us know when you try roasted sheep head.

  5. Edwardina Says:

    The preparation for foul medemas sounds very close to hummus.

  6. Java Says:

    Daikon is a Japanese radish, and it’s quite lovely. You can chop it into little matchstick sized pieces and put it into an Asian-style salad. It’s also quite tasty in sushi. Now I want sushi!

  7. Hanna Says:

    Or you could chop daikon into inch thick rounds and boil it in dashi stock flavored with soy sauce, sake, and mirin (or a small amount of sugar). When you eat it, put a little bit of Chinese mustard on top. Yumm… I think I have to make that this week sometime.

  8. 101things Says:

    That does sound good, but what is Chinese mustard?

  9. verniciousknids Says:

    Or you can grate some daikon and put it on the top of whatever meat you’re eating especially hamburger / rissoles. Then dribble some soy sauce over the top.

  10. a random visitor Says:

    I’ve seen two different kinds of foul medames in tins. one is an egyptian breakfast dish involving broad beans, lemons and other things.

    the other sort is just a bunch of broad beans in a tin.

    very strange.

  11. othinny Says:

    What’s your problem with goat’s feet? They’re delicious.

  12. Samuel L. Says:

    Hey, nice tips. I’ll buy a bottle of beer to the person from that forum who told me to visit your blog šŸ™‚

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