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Salaam International Food Market Opens


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.

 

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Wasabi Pepper and Salt Adds a Kick to Your Meats, Vegetables


Wasabi Pepper and Salt

Do you love the flavor of wasabi but find it just a little too hot? Then you may want to try Wasabi Pepper and Salt, an Asian seasoning blend from Caravelle that can be found at Tim’s Oriental Food Market, 7015 Bandera Road.

The combination of wasabi powder, pepper and salt with a touch of monosodium glutamate gives dishes a richer mouthfeel as well as a minor kick without setting your taste buds on fire. Use it on meat before grilling, use it in a mixture of tossed sautéed vegetables or use it in place of salt and pepper on already prepared food.

My favorite has been on grilled pattypan squash that has been brushed with olive oil. It has also been good on just-seared tuna and fried calamari.

The cost is about $2.99 a bottle.

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