Monday, October 8, 2012

Jungle Jim's recap

I’m giddy from my trip to Jungle Jim’s last night. We spent more than I had originally planned, but we got lots of fun things and I’m feeling inspired again to plan dinner menus so we’ll still call it a win. 

I’m not sure that we’ll trek that far out of the way to go to the new store, but I do like it a little better than the other location. The newer store, near Eastgate Mall in Cincinnati, is bigger and brighter, giving it a much more spacious feel. We were there for about three hours. We kept thinking we had seen everything, then we’d realize we still hadn’t even seen the cheese or produce yet!  The various ethnic food sections are much larger and easier to navigate compared to the Fairfield location, however, they do not have the character and whimsy. 

One of my favorite things I wish I had come prepared for was the Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spice store inside Jungle Jim’s. As someone who mixes many of my own seasonings to avoid preservatives and gluten, I could have gone to town in there.  However, I didn’t even know what I needed so I left empty-handed. That will be on my to do list the next time we spend a little extra time in Cincinnati. 

As it was, we still came out with things I’m excited to whip up in my kitchen. We always try to get a few new items and pick up some of the harder to find loves we’ve discovered in the past. This trip included new things to try: Bunderberg Ginger Beer (from Australia), Pomegrante Molasses (from Turkey), Lentil Crisps (a gluten-free snack!), red pepper relish (from an Amish company), black quinoa (and regular), amaranth, rice flour. We also picked up some things that are harder to find here at home: falafel mix, Hornsby hard cider, Le Village sparkling juice drink, Food for Life brown rice wraps, mango candy and some bell peppers from the “Scratch & Dent” area that were on clearance 4 for a $1. Scott also got three new cheeses to try with the kids (yeah, we spent $25-30 on cheese!). 

The Bunderberg brought back fond memories of my trip to Australia and the molasses will be used to make some marinades and salad dressings. I loved seeing some of the local brands I can only find at the Pogue’s Run Grocer or Green BEAN Delivery at Jungle Jim’s as well. 

We also picked up some of our favorite, and more unusual candies - I got some good dark chocolate bars, one with chipotle chili. It’s an interesting experience – you can’t taste the heat of the chili, but you can feel it in your mouth like an afterthought. Scott also got “bug suckers” for his coworkers – suckers with actual insects inside. He got a meal worm, cricket and scorpion. Eww. We also got Wilson some licorice candy from Germany.

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