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What happened to that ???

What foods from years back have you gone to the grocer to find, but had gone missing? Some examples I've had in the ice cream department are butter pecan, butter brickle, and spumoni (the last one is back!). And one time a local store with a great cheese selection had no Muenster, nor had the clerk heard of it. So what do you have to cross off your shopping list? Or what's becoming more rare (find much salsify lately?)?

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  1. Yes, I'm adding to my own list, and reserve the right to continue. Sour cherries! Concord grapes! Whither art they?

    10 Replies
    1. re: Docshiva

      i can only find concord grapes at the korean grocery and my aunt's backyard.

      1. re: soypower

        When I was growing up, the grape choices at the store were Concord and Thompson Seedless. Concord has such a rich flavor, and makes wonderful preserves. Our Food Coop carries them for two or three weeks a year. Maybe they get them from your aunt? I would never have thought to check a Korean grocery, though I find many hard-to-find things at our local Asian supermarkets.

        1. re: Docshiva

          the korean grocery stores usually carry them for several months out of the year. be warned, they are HUGE grapes - almost the size of globe grapes. my aunt's vines produce much smaller ones, both green and purple. actually, are the green ones still called concords or are they muscat then? at any rate, they are awesome so i'm sure she wouldn't share with a coop. =o)

          1. re: soypower

            Those sound like another seeded, slipskin, American grape, of which there are many (muscat or muscadine, for example - both of which are good food finds).

            1. re: Docshiva

              i wikipedia'd concord grapes and found out the green ones arent' actually green. they're just not ripe. but they tasted good anyway.

            2. re: soypower

              I remember being able to get them in the store when I was little, but after my mom got her vines going in the backyard, we never bought them. At their new place they have them again, and when we were down there in August there was a big bowl on the table. They'd eaten enough of them that they were sick of them, so they were real happy to have the three of us come help them.

              I do not remember ever doing anything with Concord grapes other than eat them and spit out the skins. I have a colleague who gathers some kind of wild grapes that grow around here and makes some wonderful juice with them.

            3. re: Docshiva

              It could be a naming issue. When I was a kid my mom (a yank) would scour the grocery store for concord grapes and sometimes she could find them sometimes not. I thought they might be this rare thing until I was in a farmers market (in Ontario) and was pretty much surrounded by them, it's just that they were called black grapes.

          2. re: Docshiva

            Although southeast Florida is not necessarily a mecca (better since Whole Foods & Fresh Market came to town) for buying hard to find items, I have always been able to purchase concord grapes in the Publix stores from early September thru November.

            1. re: Docshiva

              We have both in our backyard. Yay! Unfortunately the past two year's cherry crops have been dismal, at least here in Southern New England. Just as the cherries started blooming, along came two weeks of rain. No sun, no bees, no fruit....

              BTW, a few years ago a produce manager at Sid Wainer's told me they had some sour cherries in, but had to charge something like 18 dollars per pound. Certainly a disincentive for grocers to carry something so fleetingly short-lived as fresh sour cherries. The type we grow - okay, they grew themselves and we just discovered them fighting their way through lots of invasive brush, ripen over a short two to three week period in July. I suspect most go right to the canneries.

              1. re: Docshiva

                We had Concord grapes at Trader Joe's a while back. I'd imagine they were a seasonal item, and probably not available in all regions (some produce is sourced locally), but we had them none the less.

              2. Right off the top of my head, things I would buy if I found them in my area. Darigold spumoni and Sara Lee banana cake. I can still buy them in Los Angeles but can't get them in Houston.

                Not really your question, but I wish I could get them here.

                1. Charlotte Russe -- maybe a NYC phenomenon -- only available in cold-weather months: a thin layer of sponge cake topped with a decadent amount of (real) whipped cream, all topped with a marischino cherry and held together in a cylindrical, white, cardboard container.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CindyJ

                    not exactly the same thing, b'c there's a milky caramel sauce w/it, but try asking for "tres leches" cake in a dominican bakery.

                  2. Chow Chow. Veggies in a vinager-mustard sauce.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fog City Kid

                      Fog City Kid:

                      http://www.jakeandamos.com/16fl_oz_-_...

                      Jake & Amos products are terrific and worth ordering.

                      Here in Missouri, I can find a variety of their products, including Chow Chow, in Dutch (Mennonite) bulk food stores in rural areas (Tipton, Knob Noster, etc).

                      I can also sometimes find them in specialty food stores and select prime groceries in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

                    2. Elio's Frozen Pizza. I don't even know if they still make this stuff or maybe it's only a regional thing in the Northeast and no where to be found here on the west coast of Fla. Even as a 10 year old kid (particularly growing up in pizza rich NJ), I was sharp enough to realize this stuff wasn't even remotely pizza-like. However, in the pre-microwave days this was the closest thing to a quick snack a kid could make on his own. Although at 10, I was already adding my own toppings - a drizzle of olive oil, some oregano, sliced olives, maybe some anchovies. If nothing else, it would be a nice jog dowm memory lane and after all, it was better than the toaster pizzas (at least you could add your own toppings to the Elio's.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: srcusa

                        elio's is still plentiful in supermarkets across south jersey. i'd never heard of it (and still haven't tried it) till i moved here about 11 years ago...they sure don't carry it in dallas.

                        1. re: srcusa

                          The stuff I grew up with as Elio's (is it 1 'l' or 2?) in the 70's hasn't existed in the Elio's box (which is still available in name only) for quite a while. You know- those 3 slice rectangular jobbies. We had it at home and even in the school cafeteria, and the cheese had sort of a cheddary taste.

                          Well...it is still available, but under a different name (or names)- the most popular is Betzios, but I'm pretty sure the Shop Rite store brand is the same stuff. Apparently there is still a factory somewhere churning out the stuff, the key is finding out what name it is selling under.

                          The new McCain-Elios stuff is horrid, btw. And my opinion of Betzios may be too clouded by nostalgia to be objective, but I like it in the same way that I like Godzilla movies...

                          1. re: srcusa

                            That brings back such memories! I used to love that stuff, and I liked to add my own toppings, too.