Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 282

Mango Hot Pickle: As this blog winds down into the last quarter, it's been really difficult for me to find new places to shop, even in a town as culturally diverse as Atlanta. I've found myself hitting the same markets over and over again, and even though they always yield something, some of them just aren't as exciting as they used to be. I knew that could be one downside of doing this, but unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about it.

While brainstorming for a new place to shop today, I remembered a place that my uncle who lives near Decatur told me about. I wasn't sure of the name or exact location, but he described it as an Indo-Pak grocery store right off Highway 78 near Lawrenceville Highway. I figured it couldn't hurt to go look, so I jumped in the car and found it pretty easily: it was Patel Brothers Market.

I managed to find a lot of great new foods (more of those to come over the next few days), but I noticed something interesting right near the entrance: a self-serve pickle bar. These definitely weren't your standard kosher dills or bread and butters, and if you've never had Indian-style pickled foods, they're much different that their American counterparts. The bar featured several different styles, but I opted for a bit of the hot mango pickle.
Since each item didn't have ingredients listed, I chose to dive straight into these tonight with no research. I could smell the heat from these as soon as I took the lid off, and the pieces of mango (with skin on) were cut into thin strips. Speaking of the smell, it also had the same sweet undertone of the eggplant relish I tried a few months back. My first bite tasted much different than I expected - the mango pieces were more bitter than sweet, and I detected a few of the traditional Indian spices (turmeric, fenugreek seeds, chili powder, etc.). The heat factor wasn't too bad, but the combination of sweet/hot/bitter wasn't at all what I was expecting. Not bad, but I suspect this may taste better as a condiment.

Despite these not being what I'm used to when referencing pickles, I enjoyed these. Stay tuned over the next few days for more new foods from Patel Brothers...

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