Booze & Food

Keymaster

Anyone know why broccoli rabe is so hard to find on the West Coast? It’s a pretty common Italian and Iberian vegetable, and a relative of mustard, so it’s not like it’s from the Mid Atlantic or anything. There are plenty of Italian immigrants in San Francisco (like my great grandmother, for instance), but rapini seems to not have made the trip with them.

Can anyone think of any other weirdly-unavailable-things in different places? The lack of easy-to-get stinky tofu in places like Pittsburgh, with tiny Chinese populations, doesn’t count. That’s not inexplicable; it’s what you’d expect. @rsharp, @courtney, @christopher-hearsey, @jono?

Participant

I think I’ve seen Broccoli Raab or at least something that looks like it at WholeFoods pretty regularly.
It used to be that in Australia, you couldn’t get limes all that easy or inexpensive, so drinks there were made with lemons. You’d order a Corona and it would come with a lemon!
Something I miss from Australia that I can’t find here and actually could only ever find in the North East is Custard Apples. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annona_reticulata Seems they are in Mexico but I never seem to see them anywhere… man if you get a good one (and that’s hard because they have to be perfectly ripe) they are unbelievable. But there’s a timing to eating them, kinda like a banana, you’ve got a window!

Keymaster

Huh, @jono. I think I’ve seen that before in Chinatown, but never tasted it. What’s it like? Custard?

Participant

It tastes like… wow it’s hard to describe. I had to look it up and this is a pretty good description:
“The taste of a custard apple has been described as like sweet custard mixed with cooked apple or pear flesh”
It really is AMAZING, but you have to get one that is perfectly ripe. If it’s overripe then it tastes fermented (like old guacamole) and too early it’s just bitter. You have to try one if you can find one.

Participant

I’ve noticed we don’t have too many durians in these parts. Perhaps related to the mass transit ban?

Moderator

I haven’t tried a durian @otrera, what’s it like? Is it worth seeking out?

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