Jet Lag Not Included – Exotic Eats in Northeast Ohio

Heather Roszczyk, market assistant

Exploring new foods is one of the great pleasures in life, and travel is one of the most pleasurable ways to do it.  I’ve been very blessed with a great many travel, and thus unique food, experiences in my life.  I’ve eaten crepes in Marseilles, blood pudding in Galway, and schnitzel in Vienna.  In Barcelona, my husband John and I fell in love with pintxos – tiny, speared bar snacks eaten while standing and paid for by the number of toothpicks left on your plate.  In Guangzhou, I was the only member of our work group to brave the pig ears and blood soup (really, quite tasty!)  And on a cross-country drive several years ago, John and I detoured a couple hundred miles to St. Louis solely for BBQ.

With our first baby arriving any day now (not to mention the reduction of discretionary income that comes from buying a house – who knew?) I fear that it will be a while before we’re taking any exotic trips.  Fortunately for us Northeast Ohioans, there are plenty of delicious ethnic foods available at our fingertips each and every day.  For the price of a short drive to Cleveland and surrounding environs, you can immerse yourself in the smells and flavors of another culture.  Think tender haluski; steaming bowls of pho; tangy-sweet cannoli; crisp falafel; and – yes – even excellent sushi.

And while you might not associate farmers’ markets with far-flung cuisines, you can in fact support your local farmers and businesses while satisfying your craving for ethnic eats.  At Countryside Farmers’ Market in Howe Meadow alone, you can find hand-cut ravioli, homemade pierogi, Asian greens, Greek pastries, European-style cheeses, and so much more.  This Saturday, Asia Services in Action (ASIA) will even be doing a cooking demonstration to teach customers about ways to use their Asian produce.

So who needs that jet lag, anyway?  Until we have enough pennies saved for our next vacation, we can take plenty of exotic trips…right here at home.

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