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January 19, 2008
~ It was a bit of a timing issue. I wanted to buy two ten pound bags of fine Tilda basmati rice, but it was far behind the butcher's table, all the way in the back of the store. it was available only to those who knew to ask for it. I just did not want to ask the butcher. He was handling meat without visible refrigeration, the traditional way, on a marble table, with a saw. Lamb, I guess. So I waited until he left his station and then pulled one of the people working in the store to the back and asked for the bags of rice. I had run out of it about two weeks ago. The price has increased about 30% since i last bought it. Perhaps because these are the last bags for this year? Harvest just happened, I guess. Or maybe the prices are simply higher now. $13 for ten pounds. It used to be under $10. Still a really good price. But I think I might actually be in the midst of so called Little Bangladesh, in Kensington, Brooklyn. I did not want to buy only rice, so I picked up some ginger as well, a gigantic root. Oh, and then there were these other roots. They looked a bit like wasabi, maybe. The lady in the front of the store was not able to tell me what these roots were. Instead she pulled out a box cutter and scraped a piece of the plant. "Just clean it, then cut it, then cook it. It is a vegetable. Here, take it." She gave me the root. "Take a second one. They are free." I wanted to pay her. "They are free." Very nice of her to give me the mystery vegetable. I will most likely not use a box cutter to peel it. Will try to cook it though.