Gourmets rejoice! Exotic foods are now available at select stores in the metros. Anoothi Vishal does a quick recce of what’s on offer.
American-Japanese food is gaining popularity even in Japan — not to mention in India with restaurants such as Wasabi by Morimoto and Ai. If you’ve been lusting after the mayo they dip the tempura into, seek no further.
Price: Rs 360 per kg
We’ve been used to it at high-end or five-star Italian restaurants, which would usually import their prized cuts directly. Now, much to the joy of home chefs, several importers (such as Resource International) are bringing this into retail stores. Pair with scooped-out melon balls or wrap around blanched asparagus stalks for a fresh start to your cocktail evenings.
Price: 2,300-2,500 per kg
With so much locally grown fruit — be it mangoes, pears, plums or peaches — buying imported fresh blueberries may defy logic. But if you want a special after-dinner touch, put these on the table instead of dessert. Don’t waste them in pastries or desserts. Bottled blueberry preserves should do for that. This is an exotic and expensive fruit best had fresh.
Price: Rs 2,000-3,000 per kg
No, this is not “caviar” in the strict sense. But it’s exotic enough, and cheaper than Beluga. Spoon it up the same way with a lemon wedge or, if you are trying to make sushi at home, roll the maki in it.
Price: 10,000 per kg
Are Indian “lobsters” really lobsters? That’s a raging debate. If you are desperate enough for the species with enough meat in their claws, try the French relatives.
Price: Rs 1,800 per kg
This is another import that is finding much favour this season. The longish prunes were not really available locally earlier.
Price: Rs 1,000 per kg
Fancy a goat cheese tart with caramelised baby onions? Or as an appropriate beginning or end to a fine meal with wine? The good news is that there are many more cheese varieties available these days than ever before. India may not have a tradition of cheese-making (apart from the ubiquitous cheddar) but surprisingly, the strongly flavoured blue cheese is a bestseller in India. Try the collection at stores like Godrej’s Nature Basket.
Price (French blue cheese): Rs 1,950 per kg
FRESH FENNEL BULBS
If you like to try your hand at French cooking, try flavouring your salads and soups with this.
Price: Rs 90 per kg
Restaurateur Sudha Kukreja’s recommendation prompted this reaction— “Peking duck, imported from Canada!” Our own farms do good-quality duck but, apparently, the imported bird is much better because, as the expert explains, to make a crispy Peking duck the skin should have enough fat under it so that when you roast it, it gets crisp while the inside remains tender. Indian duck doesn’t have that.
Price: Rs 750 per kg
All products available at gourmet food stores, including Nature’s Basket (www.naturesbasket.in) stores in Delhi and Mumbai, and Le Marche stores in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai