Some people unwind with a good book or head to the mall for shopping. I enjoy finding little ethnic markets and looking for ingredients I may never have seen before. I love it when a store sells fresh produce grown by local immigrants to fill the needs of a transplanted community. The more people from other lands settle here, the more diverse the demand.
Aren't we lucky?
If the store isn't too busy, I ask the staff for help and usually it's the store owner who is happy to oblige me, as these are usually family-owned operations.
I especially like stores that carry homemade foods, which a store owner or a relative has prepared. As long as I know the food is safe, I try something while shopping. At an Israeli market in South Florida I sampled warm homemade burekas filled with cheese, spinach and potatoes. A traditional Israeli street food sold from carts or open-air bakeries along with hard-boiled eggs and a fruit drink not unlike our Kool-Aid, they are delicious.
Burekas are easily made with puff pastry and farmer cheese. Try them as appetizers or a side dish at your next party or family get-together.
—By Chef Steve Petusevsky