There is one thing I can’t stop doing every time I travel.
And not just when I get to leave the country, but even when I just leave the state. I just need to wander around a market. A locals only place, stocked with whatever people who live in the neighboring streets like to eat. Once while in Costa Rica, in a small and run down town, I found myself in a small market that had just lost all power.
"It happens," the shop owner told me, "We just stay open, hope the light from the door can reach to the back." I made a mental note not to buy any thing perishable, but did leave with 3 bags of coffee and an unidentifiably spice that I later used on roasted vegetables.
Sometimes these little adventures just bring me back to an ingredient that I forgot that I loved. My recent trip to a local market in a neighborhood heavily populated with Italian imigrants lead me to buy a bag of farro. I love this little grain, much more than rice, much more than quinoa and I can’t understand why it isn’t used more often. It doesn’t get mushy the way that rice can, it has a nice almost chewy texture, tons of those vitamins/protein/ health benefits that people seem to like, and much more flavor than other trendy grains.
Plus it cooks up really well with beer. Which means it wins.