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Mar 7, 2008 12:50 AM

Store bought Naan

I had noticed already made naan, the puffy and chewy Indian bread, in packages only in my local Indian grocery stores. More recently, I have noticed more and more of the local large chain supermarkets selling various brands of prepackaged naans, also - two to four in a package, selling for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 to $4. Whole wheat naan, plain naan, that was basically it.

Yesterday, while shopping (window shopping that is, just looking!) in the bread section at Trader Joe's, I noticed by the pita bread, something labeled "Tandoori Masala Naan." It looked kind of yellow. I picked it up, smelled the package, and was speechless for a few seconds. I have come to believe that Trader Joe's spicy foods are not spicy at all, but this, naan under its brand name defied that mellow flavoring. It smelled like something I would get at an Indian restaurant full of flavor. It contained many various spices, and even after seven smells, I was left wanting to inhale more.

A fellow shopper was nearby and I held up the nann to her inviting her to smell the bread. She made a face after inhaling like it was something very nasty. That validated to me that this bread passed the test for non-mellowness. For anyone who likes naan, and who likes spicy Indian food, you may want to check out this version of naan at Trader Joe's. They have other version, more like what you may find at you local supermarkets - the plain naan, and the whole wheat kind.

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  1. I don't really have any thoughts about the product, but I'm curious how the pick-up line "would you like to smell my nan?" worked for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HSBSteveM

      Since this thread is food oriented I will not devote much time to your question which may prompt the Chowhound management to create a completely new board devoted to dating inquiries and stories.

      Unfortunately for me, the question had no element of creating a new relationship of that order. The woman who I brought into my sphere of enthusiasm for a newly discovered item was considerably much older than myself. She was just looking without focus into the bread section, and I wanted to bring her back to reality as well as sharing my newly found food element of desire. I simply gave her the command to smell the naan (no kidding, no warm up, just right into the command, like I was using her as my inspector) to which she obeyed and made a face at the naan. I asked her if she didn't care for Indian food and she made another face. This variety of naan at TJ's really is a decent testing tool for a person's like or dislike for Indian spices and food. The plain naan is another story, since it resembles any other sort of flavorless bread.

      No, unfortunately for me, that opportunity had no element of picking up anyone, it was just a pure moment of sharing my new discovery with whomever came into my sphere of influence, and she happened to be the victim.

      Yes, I have made more than a few elements to engage young ladies and older folks in conversation at TJ's, and it's such a friendly place to shop, almost everyone enjoys my schmoozing!

      (I have tried pickup line, since you asked at other stores, but inevitably the responses inevitably include the phrases, "my husband" or "my children." I am still waiting to hear, "my ex didn't like this, but you do! How about that!" That line of conversation has yet to happen.

    2. I love that naan. We discovered it a couple years ago at the TJ's in Silverlake (Los Angeles). I can eat it plain, with a meal, or even as the base of a weird pizza.

      1. The best naan at traders is the frozen version from India. It's an irregular teardrop shape. But it is more expensive than the ones in the bread section. I usually don't buy the flavored ones, preferring instead plain ones that I can eat with any meal. At the moment I have a pack of the multgrain version of the one mentioned by the OP.


        1. I bought the garlic naan at F&E and it was very fresh and garlicky, good stuff.

          1. I love to bake bread. I've given up on Naan. I buy mine from the local Indian Grocery store and I think it's pretty good. As compared to the wonderful Indian restaurants we have here. I think we're up to five locally now. I am off to Trader Joes in an hour, so I will be on the lookout for it, but I probably will stick to the stuff at the Indian store, because they have a huge variety and it's supporting the local place. Still, I'm looking forward to smelling the bread. Husband will be with me, so I can't pretend it's a pick-up line and run a social experiment. :)

            7 Replies
            1. re: nliedel

              We have a very old gas stove. We crank it up as hot as she'll go and whop the naan dough on the sides as if it were a tandoor and we are very pleased w/ the result.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                I've thought of doing that, but was worried the enamel-over-steel interior of my oven would not be an appropriate surface. I figured it would have to be clay. I seem to recall that there is a clay "thingy" you can put in a conventional oven to slap the Naan onto. Anybody know about this?

                1. re: HSBSteveM

                  I'm chagrined, but I said it was an old oven. The carbon & organic matter over time may have formed a clay-like surface!

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    New stove here and I'd set the house on fire. I know my limitations and Naan is among them :)

                    I can make a mean Challah though. Your Jewish grandma would weep with joy. I have no idea how I manage that, but I had a Jewish roomie years ago and she helped me.

                    Today, I try Pho, tomorow it's French. Which means my ten year old might starve to death. Poor thing thinks Cheese-Its are a diet staple.

                    1. re: nliedel

                      I think I was weaned on kapuasta (Russian saurkraut). Don't buy junk food for kids and it is not an option. We have 5 and they always said there was nothing to eat. We said nothing in reply and they are all hounds, all over the world. I ate Pho in a Viet Cong camp we surprised. I was soo sick of c-rations that I disobeyed an order and ate the still hot Pho simmering over a fire. One chooses one' s fate.

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        In theory never having anything like Cheese-It's in the house was always my plan. Until we wound up with three of our four kids with issues. We adopted two and one of them has FAS. We were prepared for that and we had no junk food. Then, I got pregnant. Quite a feat, since my doctors said it would not happen. He came at 29 weeks and was very sick for a long time. That's when the junk began creeping in. Another preemie and a little more junk. I mostly do whole foods cooked from scratch, but some weeks...One of the preemies has autism and one of the other kids has Tourette's and has some issues with that. If it's not one thing....I do my best, but the occasional box of Cheese-its does show up.

                        1. re: nliedel

                          Wow! Give'em the junk and take heart. My wife and I are both educators. One of my fave. students was one of a set of twins that had Tourette's, she is brilliant and now in college. I know that Aspberger's is at the high end spectrum of autism, I've taught one who is also at U Maine and presently work w/ 2 more that I feel could be college bound. I have a sweet spot for them. A lot of work is being done now w/ autism and it is now more in the public consciousness. God bless.