Salaam International Food Market
The produce section has several varieties of eggplant.
There's a plaza off I-10 that's becoming quite a haven for ethnic food lovers. It's behind the H-E-B at the east side intersection of Wurzbach Road, and it houses Sarovar Indian Cuisine and Taqueria El Rodeo de Jalisco No. 2, both fine restaurants. To that list, you can now add Salaam International Food Market, which has opened at 3727 Colony Drive.
The new market specializes in Middle Eastern fare, from pita breads to jasmine rice. But you can also find Indian and some Asian flavors as well as eastern European favorites in the mix.
When you enter the store, you'll find the frozen foods on the first aisle, leading back to a halal meat market that offers lamb. Tucked in the back corner is a produce section that had those fingerling cucumbers that pickle so well plus a variety of eggplants among its treats.
A few of the spices at Salaam.
Aisles of street snacks, rices, flours, pickles, olives, oils, jams in an array of flavors, nuts, sweets, dried fruits, sodas and sundry other groceries are also available.
Need fenugreek? Ajwain seeds, also known as carom seeds? Asafoetida? The extensive array of spices will add great variety to your cabinet.
Not everything in the market was quite finished. What looked to be an olive bar had yet to be set up.
The front of Salaam International Food Market.
I love to stroll through such markets just to discover foods that are new to me. One find was mixed in with the orange blossom water and rose water: pussy willow water. I will have to do a little research before I decide to buy that. I didn't think twice, though, about grabbing the date vinegar that I found. If it's anywhere near as good as fig vinegar, it will quickly become a staple, drizzled over heirloom tomatoes, in vinaigrettes or in a dipping sauce with olive oil for bread.
The store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (210) 561-0100.