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HELP!! -- Okra on North Shore

j
julie id Mar 3, 2000 08:09 PM

I HAVE been out of the country too long.... Went to the supermarket today to get plain ole everyday OKRA, and was surprised to find that this is considered OBSCURE here!!

Went to 6 more supermarkets, Trader Joe's (known for this kind of stuff), 2 Asian markets, and 3 Latin/Carribean ("quimbombos", btw). I give up -- I thought OKRA was as common as eggplant.

I see "gumbo" on the menus of DOZENS of restaurants in my town alone...prolly HUNDREDS when you look at the entire North Shore. And yet NOONE sells okra??

I'd rather not go all the way into Boston for this if possible (and even if I did, where to then -- C-town?? Haymarket??). This was originally intended as a quick run down to the corner store!! I thought I'd have more trouble getting the zucchini, actually.

Oh, and before anyone says it -- it is not a winter/summer issue. The stores above all said that they NEVER carry it.

TIA for any leads.

  1. m
    MU Mar 4, 2000 07:59 AM

    Try an Indian market. You also can probably get it frozen in one of the big supermarkets, where you will find it next to frozen collards and turnip greens. Or try a grocery store in a neighborhood where there are a lot of African Americans.

    None of these is guaranteed, but will increase your chances of finding it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MU
      a
      anisha Mar 4, 2000 04:18 PM

      star market always has okra! or try a home deliveries service- i am incredibly please with homeruns.com

      1. re: anisha
        j
        julie id Mar 4, 2000 07:11 PM

        Sorry for anyone offended by title, but...

        Yes, Star, Stop&Shop, and Crosby's all turned out to have frozen okra. This despite everyone on the phone saying they didn't, and no less than *8* staff members at the store saying the same.

        I was initially looking for FRESH okra, so didn't even think to look for frozen until MU suggested it. Which is fine for my current purposes. But I am still curious as to where one finds the real stuff....

        1. re: julie id
          r
          Rachel Perlow Mar 10, 2000 12:14 PM

          It might help to look for fresh okra _in season_ (summer), the supermarkets might have it then, and your local farmers markets may too.

    2. t
      Tord Mar 10, 2000 07:42 PM

      I assume that when you say ocra is "obscure here" you are refering to the supermarket you asked. Ocra is well known among Boston area supermarkets. I called the headquarters of a few -- they all are aware of ocra. Stop and Shop said that it's out of season. Star has it in many of its outlets. They advised to call ahead -- ask for the produce dept. --- to be sure it is in stock. My local Dorchester Star has piles of it.

      Bread and Circus also has piles of ocra.

      These sorts of questions can be best answered by phoning the supermarket chains or produce stores. The Haymarket may or may not have ocra. The newer Star Markets usually have large produce departments with a broad range of vegetables and roots. Trader Joe's is NOT a good place to look for produce.
      Tord

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tord
        t
        Tord Mar 10, 2000 08:06 PM

        The Star Market on State St. in Lynn Mass. 781/599-8473 says that they have fresh ocra in their produce dept. Lynn is probably a pretty good place to check out ethnic foods. Where I grew up, ocra was not known. It wasn't until I came into contact with the black soul culture of the 1950s that I tasted ocra, tripe, collards, yams, hog maws and all that funky stuff.

        Once a white-boy tastes those hog maws and greens with a jelly roll for dessert, there is no turning back :-)
        Tord

      2. t
        Tord Mar 21, 2000 11:56 PM

        Plenty of fresh okra at my local Dorchester Stop and Shop today. If they have it , it makes sense that other Stop and Shops do too.
        Tord

        1. d
          dw Mar 23, 2000 04:08 PM

          star market usually has fresh okra

          1. c
            C. Fox Jun 29, 2000 07:11 PM

            Can't believe nobody mentioned the Market Basket in Danvers -- they almost always have it. K-Mart Plaza, Endicott St., not far from the Liberty Tree Mall.

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