Local market tour teaches the ins and outs of ethnic eats
A La Carte Food Tours founder Sheila Campbell knows ethnic markets can be intimidating. “You may want to go in an ethnic market,” she says, “but you don’t speak the language or the food language.” Her Global Groceries excursion, next departing Sept. 14, can help. Campbell chauffeurs up to 10 people to four local markets, where she introduces guests to employees and shows them the ropes so they’ll feel comfortable coming back. Get a sneak peek of the tour with these three market must-haves. alacartecolumbus.com
CAM International Market
889 Bethel Rd., North Side
What to try: Lemongrass
Tour tip: Look for firm, green stalks with pale yellow ends.
How it tastes: After using a mallet to release the citrusy fibers and juice, add to soup, stew or chili to “brighten it up” and make it lighter on the tongue, Campbell explains.
5843 Sawmill Rd., Dublin
What to try: Ginger paste
Tour tip: Grab large jars of the fresh, minced root to avoid the hassle of pressing it yourself.
How it tastes: It adds a sweet kick to fruit-and-veggie smoothies or pound cake.
5221 Bethel Center Mall, North Side
What to try: Turkish black tea
Tour tip: Campbell recommends a caydanlik, a combined teapot and kettle. Imitate a Turkish tradition at home by pouring high above the cup, which aerates the tea.
How it tastes: The caydanlik brews the tea with steam (instead of boiling water), which keeps this potent black tea from tasting bitter.