Brooklyn: You name it, we got it

The title is one of our local slogans, thought up by, I think, our
borough president, Marty Markowitz. And it’s a good one, because in
Brooklyn we do have everything you can think of, and a lot of stuff you haven’t thought of.

So in view of this embarassment of riches, I went out today to do a big shopping. What a day! We started out at Sahadi’s, a wonderful, if intimidating Middle Eastern store (here’s a piece of advice worth its weight in gold: you do not, repeat, do not
serve anything to yourself. Take a number immediately upon arriving,
have your list in order, and once they bark out your number, you’re
ON!). A woman waiting in front of me (she was #43Sahadi_jars
, I was #54) said one guy behind the counter just gets meaner and
meaner. This being Brooklyn, she said it at full volume, but I don’t
think it fazed the mean guy one iota.

When my turn came, I bought spices and nuts for Indian cooking, some basmati rice, a jar of halvah and one of tahini, and some beautiful dried fruits.

Next stop: Damascus Breads and Pastry, where we drooled over the
pastries but didn’t buy anything. Then, Oriental Pastry, which
specializes in Syrian foods, and where they sell an amazing orange
cake–not to mention apricot pits, which I always thought were toxic?

Finally, we drove to Orchard Fruit,
on Coney Island Avenue, a most unlikely place for one of the greatest,
and smallest, sources of top-quality and unusual produce. I bought some
Meyer lemons (what do you do with those, anyhow?), blood oranges (I do
so love the way they look inside), and something called a sweet lime,
which looks exactly like a lemon, and you eat like an orange. We also
sampled some unusual, very aromatic grapes. In the window there were
packages of something I would love to have tried, but I only wanted one,
not four, so I didn’t get them: a grapeapple? “Looks like an apple, tastes like a grape.” ?? Who knew?

All in all, a splendid shopping day. Brooklyn! What a place!

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