Living in South St Louis in the Tower Grove area puts me within walking distance of South Grand, which boasts the most diverse collection of ethnic restaurants in the city. So, I’m pretty lucky, but I rarely eat at any of them. Sure I’ll grab a shawarma from The Vine once in awhile, but usually I prefer to make my food investments at the little mothership of international grocery shopping, Jay International.
If you live in St Louis and you’ve never been there, then I’m not sure what you’ve been doing with your life. You’ve missed out on one of the richest grocery shopping experiences in the Midwest. There is an embarrassment of items from nearly everywhere in the world at Jay. You can spend hours in the relatively tiny supermarket just browsing and exploring.
You will find many ingredients at Jay International that you have never heard of, and they’re usually quite reasonably priced. Sure, there are some specialty items that cost a little more, but for the most part you can walk in with $10 and leave with enough food to feed yourself for a few days, or a few people for one day.
Since I shop there often and like trying new things, I thought it might be a good idea to launch a series of blog posts to explore the unique items you can find there. Many of the offerings are pretty exotic and a little intimidating to the standard Midwesterner, but with a leap of faith and a little research, you’ll occasionally come home with a new favorite ingredient.
In highlighting some of those leaps of faith, I’ll hopefully provide a service to my neighbors who also shop there, and maybe to adventurous shoppers everywhere. Some of my older posts fit into the series, and will be retroactively included in the category Found at Jay International.
The first official new post in the series deals with a Thai soup base, and it’s right here.