Everyday Food Blog

buying more than books online

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mailordergroceriesHere in New York City we're lucky to have access to some of the  best specialty food stores and ethnic markets around. Want preserved lemons? Find them at Kalustyans. Need palm sugar? Try Chelsea Thai. We realize not everybody is so lucky. The good news for all of us is that  Amazon.com, (remember when it was only books and music?) sells just about everything under the sun, including hard to find groceries and ingredients. While it's mostly dry goods that you'll find on-line, I did a quick search for some typically quirky items and Amazon carried all of the following: fresh galangal, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind, Himilayan red rice and halloumi cheese. You can also try a site called thefind.com which helps you locate online retailers (and coupons!) in your area. The one thing I still can't find--and maybe only because I don't speak Burmese--is fermented Burmese tea leaves.

Do you have any great specialty markets in  your area? Where  do you find your favorite unusual ingredients?

Comments (3)

  • avatar


    There is a online store called Mum House. They operate out of London but do deliver to the US. Prices are very resonable so it is worth it even with P&P added. There are so many variety and brands of pickled fermented tea leaves and crispy nuts to choose from. I would recommend this one ( http://www.mumhouse.com/Eng_PickledTeaDetails.asp?offset=10&product_id=1026 ) as it has got every thing you need to make a salad. All you need to do is to add some tomatoes, chillies, lime juice and salt to taste. Cheers!

  • avatar

    Oh.. Fermented Tea Leaves and Pickled tea leaves are the same thing. The tea leave is actually fermented first and then pickled. If it is just fermented, it would be so bitter that we won't be able to eat it. I do have a bone to pick with Burmese/Chinese-American adding lettuce to the salad. I am all for innovation and making crisine contemporary but lettuce really mess up the flavours and destroy the integrity of the dish. Tea leaves salad is kind of a naughty salad becuase all the nuts are deep fried. To make it more salady, I would suggest adding very thinly sliced peppers (or cabbage). To make it more healthy, you could replace deep fried nuts with roasted healthy "super-food" nuts such as almonds.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Hi Lin,

    I can't tell you how excited I am to hear about Mum House! Thanks so much for the info (and healthier salad recommendations) and I'll let you know which ones we try. All the best.

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