Don Qua, Goba, Durian, Oh My!
I had a fun time at 99Ranch, the Asian grocery store in Las Vegas' Chinatown. I really like this place! It's got a wide variety of produce and sells many things more cheaply than the regular grocery stores do. I saw lots of stuff I've never seen before - including DURIAN! The whole ones were huge (and were frozen) so I didn't buy one. They did have it sliced for $10 per small portion, but that was too outrageous a price for me. I did take a whiff though, since everyone talks about how it stinks. It reminded me of mildly dirty socks.
Young Thai coconuts were 99 cents - half the price Whole Foods charges (and I could have gotten a crate of 10 for less than $8). I bought romaine for 89 cents a head. Green onions were $1 for 5 bunches, while at the regular store they are now $.99 per bunch! So I can tell those of you in Las Vegas that you will save money, possibly more than at Sunflower Market, if you shop at 99Ranch for some items. Nothing was marked organic, though, so keep that in mind. 99Ranch is a chain; I'd love to know if in other locales 99Ranch is cheaper than regular grocery stores.
With the temperatures approaching the 90s, I am so looking forward to my first visit to Gilcrease Orchard where you can pick your own fresh fruits and vegetables. Being a city girl, I am very removed from foods in their natural environment. I have a new friend who wants to make the trip with me, so it'll be another adventure.
QUESTION: Have you ever eaten any of the foods listed above? If so, how have you used them? Do you enjoy them? What do they taste like?
NOTE: In response to questions I've gotten, here is a little guide:
Don qua: A green melon reminiscent of squash. It is also called winter melon. It's often cooked in soups.
Gobo: This is a root also known as burdock. It should be firm when fresh. It is said to be a blood cleanser.
Durian: There are many varieties of this intensely aromatic fruit. My Filipina friend likes the sweeter Thai version best.
Jackfruit: A sweet, sticky fruit eaten raw or cooked (its sap is made into glue!)
Kobocha: Squash, similar to butternut squash.