The Spouse and I survived another trip to the world-famous Jungle Jim's up in Ohio (in Fairfield, just north of Cincinnati for those of you considering the roadtrip). We even dragged my parents along and wore them out on the 2 and a half hour excursion from one end of the store to the other.
Jungle Jim's is known not only as an International Market, but as being one of the largest (if not THE largest) grocery on the North American continent. Not to mention, they also have the nicest restrooms in the U.S. (and the port-o-potty doors are pretty damn cool).
Another thing that makes this place so amazing is the weird and wonderful selection of unusual foods you can find. Below are just a sampling of the things the Spouse and I picked up:
Mexican tamarind candy
Hot 'N Spicy nori snacks
REAL Cranberry Fool
Dundee Marmalade from Scotland
my Blenheim Ginger Ale (which I can no longer find anywhere here in Loserville)
2 pounds of frozen crawdads (just thaw, heat and eat!)
Haggis. In a can. Two of them (THAT'S the Spouse's purchase, not mine)
Oh, and a turducken
Other things you can get there that we decided NOT to purchase:
from the Meat department - elk, kangaroo, bison, ostrich and goat. They even had elk burger patties.
Pickled pig's feet
Chocolate covered ants and other bug candy
bug snacks - Crick-ettes and Larv-ettes. In a variety of flavors (bar-b-que, sour cream and onion, chedder, salt and vinegar)
But back to the turducken.
A while back on Food Network I saw a program about turducken. It's a cajun-inspired delicacy that consists of a deboned chicken rolled in stuffing, then stuffed into a deboned duck. Then THAT is rolled in stuffing and stuffed into a deboned turkey. And the stuffing is cajun-style stuffing with spices and sausage and other cajun goodness. And if the elk and kangaroo mentioned earlier doesn't freak out my vegetarian friends, I'm sure the turducken has them running for the hills.
Anyway, the program mentioned that these things are usually special ordered in advance and can get quite pricey. But I thought, "Damn, I would still like to try one."
So the other day the Spouse and I were making our list for the Jungle Jim's expendition and I casually mentioned, "Ya know, we oughta look for a turducken. If any place other than Louisiana would have them, it'd be Jungle Jim's."
In all seriousness, I didn't expect to find one there. Really.
But low and behold, as we were making our way thru the meat section, past the goat and bison, there, in a small box, was a turducken. I gasped. The Spouse gasped. I grabbed the box and looked it over. Sure enough, it was a real turducken. I was just about to load it into our cart when the Spouse exclaimed, "Look! There's another one!"
And there, in a much larger box, was a much larger turducken. Fifteen pounds of bird upon bird upon bird. And it was ours. For $79.
Yes. We really did spend $79 on a turducken. But dammit, you only live once (well, some of us are all for the reincarnation bit, but if I came back as another person, I may not have a chance at a real turducken experience). And Thanksgiving is coming up. And we're doing it at our house this year. So it looks like the Spouse and I will be serving oven-baked turducken for Mom and the Dads.
And no, you cannot deep fry a turducken. It has to be oven cooked. So the one Thanksgiving ritual of all the men standing outside in the cold, gathered around the large vat of boiling peanut oil and turkey will not be happening.
But until then, our turducken stays lovingly tucked away in our freezer, awaiting its moment of glory when it can bask in the glow of the pre-heated oven.
And a good time shall be had by all. Unless the Spouse breaks out the canned Haggis.