Monday, November 19, 2007

International Market

(NOTE: International Market has moved to the 2800 block of East Grand River in East Lansing. It's in the same strip with Oriental Mart and Fiesta Charra.)

The first thing you see when you walk into the International Market on Grand River in Okemos, is a wall of baskets, each full of candies. Unfortunately the wrappers on the candies are in Russian, so it's a pot luck purchase. But it's kind of a treasure hunt too.

The candies are odd and fun, but the rest of the store is a great little font of eastern European foods with a Middle-eastern flair. They don't have a lot, but they have a good variety of what they carry -- various rices and lentils, and a case of cheeses and cured meats and sausages. Not to mention Teas. (My mother has been yearning for an Earl Grey tea she got at a Russian tea room in LA. I found her a good substitute here.)

There's also a wall length refrigerator-case full of good stuff. I purchased some Labna -- a thickened creamy yogurt that is a lot like cream cheese. It is high fat for yogurt (though I haven't compared it to cream cheese yet -- might be a wonderful substitute for your bagel spread).

Labna could be used as a substitute for sour cream too. I'm considering experimenting with a salad dressing or dip that could be a variation of wing sauce for those who don't like bleu cheese. Heck, next time you have hot wings, just try dipping them in straight labana! (I will be posting a recipe Sunday for an easy treat I call Buffalo Shao Mai. I tried one with some Labana and it was heaven.)

International Market is located in the 2800 block of East Grand River in East Lansing. (Same building as Oriental Mart and Fiesta Charra.) (517) 853-8400.

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