I grew up in the Chicago area, where ethnic food was easy to find. Moving to Colorado was a bit of a culture shock. Not only were the regular grocery stores bereft of many items I considered normal fare, but there weren't ethnic neighborhoods or ethnic markets nearby.
It took me a while to venture far enough to find those sorts of places. Now, I know where to find more and more unusual ingredients. It's not a short jaunt as it was when I lived in Chicago, but it's a worthwhile trip when I'm craving the authentic ethnic foods that I haven't figured out how to make at home.
Vicinity And Beyond: Roots
Other packaged goods are easier to deal with. Those packed for export have instructions in English, and things in jars – like pickles, sauerkraut and juices – need no instructions.
A freezer case has an array of pierogis, and these aren’t Mrs. T’s. Nor did they have to travel from as far as Poland. Last time I checked, the frozen pierogis are made in one of the Polish neighborhoods in Chicago. Ah, the taste of home.
It doesn’t end with packaged and frozen fare. The meat department has a wide array of smoked meats as well as cheeses. While it all looks familiar, most of these aren’t quite the same as what you’d find at your regular grocery store.
Not sure if you like smoked garlic sausage or Podlaski cheese? If you ask about the flavors, chances are you’ll be offered a sample. Or just take a chance. The prices are more than reasonable, considering this place has a bit of a corner on the market.