We're quite lucky to have an array of food markets here in Miami. South Beach alone has three Publix stores, a Whole Foods, a Fresh Market and an Epicure Market all within a two-mile radius. But what good is having all of these options if we can't get our hands on some truffle salt or white mulberry jam when we need it?
With an array of cooking shows, blogs and classes, home chefs are stepping it up more than ever. But without the proper ingredients, how are we to reach the epitome of gourmet quality meals? Lucky for you, we've got the low down on some niche markets you can count on for those hard-to-find items.
Where to Go: Gourmet Markets in Miami
You know you've struck gold when there is a security guard at the entrance of your gourmet market. A culinary haven propped along the 79th causeway, this Russian market will have your mouth salivating from all the unique decadent food items. Marky's Gourmet Food Store offers delicacies ranging from Russian caviar to Norwegian Smoked Salmon, to Black Truffles, to Duck & Goose Fat. The store boasts a number of European products that would make great gifts for foodie friends, like their exotic honeys or foreign candies.
If you're looking to create an Asian-inspired meal, check out Lucky Oriental Mart in West Miami. The store offers an enormous array of packaged goods from all over Asia. Noodles alone take up their own aisle, while other prominent ingredients include teas, rice, cookies and crackers. They also carry a variety of produce that you wouldn't normally find in an everyday supermarket, including Durian, the infamous fruit that has a stench that will clear out a ballroom. The market could be quite overwhelming, so bring your ingredient list in hand - the employees are readily available to help with questions.
With a number of Mediterranean restaurants popping up in Miami (Kouzina Bistro, Estiatorio Milos, Poseidon), you may find yourself inspired to create a dish of your own. The Daily Bread Marketplace located in Coconut Grove, and recently Pinecrest, offers an array of cuisine staples from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece and Israel. It's taken them decades to perfect their signature hummus, but you can create your own chickpea masterpiece using any of their tahini pastes. They also offer Turkish coffee; an array of jams and preserves, including rose petal and pumpkin; pickled fruits and vegetables; grape leaves; and a variety of grains and cheeses.
Gourmet ingredients are no longer just for restaurants and professional chefs. With this newfound array of specialty markets boasting gourmet ingredients, home chefs and foodies of all kinds can now put their culinary skills to the test.