A world of flavor Whether you're in the mood for Jamaican jerk chicken or an Indian pudding, food stores in the area have the authentic ethnic ingredients you need

Focus on ethnic tastes.

August 16, 1998|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

No need for adventurous cooks to settle for Americanized versions of their favorite ethnic recipes.

Although sometimes a bit of a challenge to find, authentic ingredients for many international foods are sold in markets, shops and delicatessens throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. Tucked away on a shelf in a tiny store may be the straw mushrooms, Jamaican jerk spice blend, fish paste, sweet black-bean sauce, asafetida or yellow curry paste that you need to achieve the genuine taste of a foreign dish.

If you'll only be satisfied with the real thing, start your search at a local grocery store that may sell basmati rice for an Indian pudding, cannellini beans for minestrone and padang peanut sauce for a Thai pasta salad.

At gourmet markets such as Eddie's Supermarket, Graul's Supermarket, Fresh Fields, Gourmet Again or Sutton Place Gourmet, you may be able to find dried sea vegetables for Japanese sushi or Indian buttermilk soup to make sauces for dumplings, spinach greens and rice.

And if an obscure ingredient is still elusive, try one of the ethnic markets listed on this page. This list is just a sampling of local groceries that may be able to supply items from fresh lemongrass and wasabi paste to garam masala and chickpea flour.

Asian

* Asia Food, 5224 York Road, 410-323-8738. Hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, noodles and Chinese tea are among the Chinese, Thai and Japanese products available at this large market.

* Bamboo House, 5722 York Road, 410-323-1900. Korean and Japanese ingredients are stocked in this grocery.

* Dae Sung Oriental Groceries, 2213 Greenspring Drive, Timonium, 410-561-4467. This Korean specialty shop also sells Japanese and Chinese products.

* Oriental Gourmet Store, 636 Frederick Road, 410-788-2277. Oriental carries ingredients for sushi, fish eggs and other items for Chinese, Thai, Philippine and Japanese recipes.

* Philippine Oriental Food Store, 8019 Philadelphia Road, 410- 866-7907. While the majority of the products sold here are for Philippine cooking, this grocery has an international flavor with items needed for African, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and Spanish recipes. Shop for rice stick noodles and Chinese eggplant.

* Thai-Philippine Oriental Foods, 523 Gorsuch Ave., 410-243-6193. Stocked with everything from lemongrass to shrimp with heads on and goat meat, this market is a true find for fans of Thai, Philippine, Chinese, Korean, African, Jamaican and Spanish foods.

Caribbean

* EKO Food Store, 5007 Harford Road, 410-319-9550. This supermarket has Caribbean and African products as well as some Oriental items. You can find sauteed beef and pig's tails, dry and wet jerk seasonings, and curry with leaves.

* West Indian Imports, 5318 Park Heights Ave., 410-664-1818. Pick up everything you need for a taste of the West Indies, from red peas to oxtail to pineapple soda. Goods from Cuba, England and Nigeria are also available.

European

* Kirchmayr Chocolatier, 6223 N. Charles St., 410- 323-7705. Finish off your international meal with sweets from this confectionary shop that specializes in European candy, from liqueur chocolates to truffles. Known for its chocolate-covered strawberries, which are made only on Saturdays.

German

* Egon Binkert Meat Products, 8805 Philadelphia Road, 410-687-5959. German sausages and lunch meats are made on the premises, including Westphalian-style ham, landjager and bratwurst with garlic.

* Mueller's Delicatessen, 7207 Harford Road, 410- 444-4860. Now in its 51st year, this fourth-generation family business is known for its Tilsit cheese and homemade liverwurst, weisswurst and beerwurst as well as its imported and local German breads.

Greek

* Atlantic Foods, 7810 Harford Road, 410-668-9722. Shop here for Greek and Italian cheeses as well as extra-virgin olive oil made from Kalamata olives. Pastas and homemade Italian bread also sold. On weekends, homemade Greek Village bread is available.

* Greek Town Bakery & Deli, 4705 Eastern Ave., 410-276-8052. Dimitrios Trikoulis offers Greek pastries, breads and cakes, along with olives, cheeses and products from Greece, Italy and Spain.

* Greek Village Bakery, 4711 Eastern Ave., 410-675-8155. Specialties here are Greek breads, cakes with rum flavoring and baklava and kataife mixed together. Greek cheeses and olives are also sold as well as some Italian and Spanish products.

Indian

* Bombay Bazaar, 1524 W. Pratt St., 410-233-6303. A fine selection of pickles, chutneys, spices, beans, rice, homemade Indian desserts, samosas and ready-to-eat frozen foods is available.

* Himalaya Spices & Gifts, 8833 Belair Road, 410-529-3421. Offers spices, pickles, oils, snacks, lentils, bread and Indian movies.

* Shyam Foods, 1724 Woodlawn Drive, 410-265-5119. Try the Indian ice cream and Asian vegetables along with lentils, spices, pickles and sweets.

International

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