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Jan 14, 2009 09:24 AM

Ann Arbor - Thai ingredients

I have to thank Michigan Mishuganer again for turning me on to Z Z's Produce, in Ypsilanti on Packard west of Carpenter. I've been there three times in the past week. They not only have kaffir lime leaves, but also fresh galangal, tamarind pulp, dried shrimp paste, star anise and a treasure trove of other ingredients.

If you don't see what you want, just ask. The owner and his son are dedicated to good service. If they don't have it (and they probably do), they will get it for you in a couple days.

When asking for kaffir lime leaves at Hua Xing, I chuckled at the response I got from the clerk. "No." Do you have them sometimes but you're all out now, or don't you ever get them? "Never." Then, not looking up while she continued to ring up my purchase, she said "we get asked that all the time." She said it with annoyance, like "quit bugging me about this," not "hmmm, maybe we should stock them." Not the attitude at Z Z's.

You should check out Z Z's. Amazing stuff.

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  1. zz's IS great, albeit in a pretty non-descript building. Another little gem right next door is La Taqueria Fiesta. Good stuff in a small corner of Ann Arbor. I think it is technically in Ann arbor though, and not Ypsi.

    1. ZZ's is a funny place. Building is kind of falling down, a large percentage of the produce looks bad, but if you pick through it you can find things no one else has.

      Last summer I found fresh guavas in there on a regular basis. Only ever found them once around AA before.

      They also have Mexican ingredients, and usually at least a few varieties of produce that I can't identify.

      1. Second on all that's been said here, except it's east of Carpenter.

        The other produce markets along Packard are similar, if less extensive--totally inconsistent, but often with good deals and unusual stuff if you look for it.

        1. i saw fresh kaffir lime leaves at Plum Market this past weekend.

          1. more bad news from Ann Arbor, a car crashed into ZZ's yesterday!


            An employee and a customer of ZZ's Produce in Pittsfield Township narrowly escaped injury today when a car drove directly into a wall of the market, authorities say.