Saturday, May 12, 2012

From the ridiculous to the sublime

The sign maker was going for the word "Mangia"at Napoli Pizza in Hackensack's  Home Depot Shopping Center. Hey, but I'm sure the owner got a good price on the sign.
At the H Mart in Little Ferry, a box of 12 large Haitian mangoes (8.8 pounds) was $13.99. That is a good price, but two were rotten and we'll be seeking a refund.

A favorite prepared item is Korean stewed tofu, center, made with lots of red pepper.

At H Mart, fresh fish come up for air in a sea of ice.
Whole croaker ($2.99 a pound at the H Mart in Englewood) became Escoveitch Fish, a Jamaican dish based on a recipe brought to the island by Sephardic Jews.

I stopped at the H Mart in Little Ferry to pick up a few items on Thursday.

A box of 12 large Haitian mangoes for $13.99 seemed like a bargain, but the first two we tried at home were rotten.

The Korean supermarket probably stored them improperly.

Mother's Day sale

The store had a Mother's Day special on a 15-pound bag of medium-grain, California-grown Kokuho Rice (Yellow Label) for $8.99, compared to the usual price of $14.99.

I picked up a bag, but saw a woman and her son loading 10 bags into a cart.

California rice

I've been buying California-grown rice at H Mart for five or six years after reading that some growers in the South use old cotton field that were treated with arsenic to kill pests, and traces of the poison have been found in the rice.

My wife prefers to shop at the smaller H Mart in Englewood, where she picked fresh, wild-caught croaker for $2.99 a pound this week.

Jewish recipe

The fish were seasoned and fried whole, then covered with onions, garlic, pimento or allspice and sweet and hot peppers prepared in a little oil and a lot of vinegar with sugar.

This preparation is called Escoveitch Fish, which I just learned is based on a recipe brought to the island of Jamaica by Sephardic Jews (also called Spanish Jews), some of the original colonizers. 

Jamaica was under Spanish rule for more than 160 years before the British took over. 

An article about Jamaican food and Escoveitch Fish on says the fish is marinated in the vinegary sauce for 24 hours before cooking it, but that's not how my wife and mother-in-law do it.

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