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Best place in the area to buy exotic/specialty fruits and vegetables

thebadsleepwell Jul 25, 2012 12:35 PM

Good afternoon everyone- I am an amateur cook who is working on a cookbook project that involves a fair amount of specialty produce. (Things like micro greens, edible flowers, wide assortment of mushrooms, etc). Does anyone know of a great place to find these things in the area? Or on the flip side does anyone know if LA Specialty Produce or Aztec Specialty Produce will sell to me as an individual (and not a restaurant/business)? Thank you in advance for any help! Cheers- Justin

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  1. scaheld RE: thebadsleepwell Jul 25, 2012 02:21 PM

    AJ's Fine Foods stores carry most gourmet produce items like that.

    1. b
      boingo2000 RE: thebadsleepwell Jul 26, 2012 04:07 PM

      Lee Lee International Supermarket in Chandler has a lot of specialty produce.

      1. t
        thebadsleepwell RE: thebadsleepwell Jul 26, 2012 06:02 PM

        Thank you for the help. Does anyone have any info on Aztec or LA Specialty Produce? I havent been able to get them to call or email me back.

        1. k
          kittyfood RE: thebadsleepwell Jul 28, 2012 09:55 AM

          I would love to find such a place but don't think there is anything, at least on the retail side, in the Valley. You can find some things at Whole Foods, and sometimes at farmers' markets. As for LeeLee, they do carry interesting Asian greens and vegetables, but I've never seen micro greens, edible flowers, etc.

          1. m
            mushroomaffairs RE: thebadsleepwell Aug 2, 2012 09:06 AM

            I went to a farmer's market in Old Town Scottsdale on a recent trip and saw some guy selling edible flowers. There were a lot of interesting fruits and vegetables but nothing too out of the ordinary, but then I wasn't really paying attention since I was only visiting and just happened upon it. It's worth the visit to see who's selling what in your backyard!

            1. pagesinthesun RE: thebadsleepwell Aug 12, 2012 10:02 AM

              Try the Asian markets...Lee Lee or the market at the Chinese Cultural Center. You might find mushrooms, pea shoots, and such. Also, Ajs, Whole Foods, and surprisingly the Fry's on Tatum and Shea has some exotic fruits.

              1. Jen76 RE: thebadsleepwell Aug 12, 2012 12:15 PM

                Trader Joe's actually sells organic microgreens. They come in a flat plastic clamshell type container for about $3. I love them in salmon-salad lavosh wraps. They often have pea shoots next to the micro greens as well. It might be worth browsing their refrigerated produce case. Sometimes things get hidden in there and aren't really obvious at first glance.

                I think I saw edible flowers at AJ's once. They may not have them all the time though. Might be worth calling to see if they have them or know where you can get them. AJ's also has a selection of dried mushrooms. I made a mushroom risotto with all sorts of dried mushrooms from AJ's for New Year's Eve dinner.

                Mekong is also a good market for Asian type ingredients including mushrooms.

                A quick Google search will lead you to online vendors, as well, although they are quite expensive with the overnight shipping factor.

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