But I often manage to find something interesting at Bangkok Market, near the corner of Lyndale Ave. N. and Lowry, in the heart of planned commercial development as part of the Hawthorne neighborhood's Eco Village cluster. A few days ago...
I was checking out their great assortment of frozen fish--including some really exotic stuff--and I came upon this item: apple snails, each of them as big as a golf ball. Oh my word. It's like escargot, one of my favorite foods, only BIGGER and, actually, a whole lot cheaper.
Only problem: based on my internet research, the preparation of apple snails is rather complex and involved. And I really don't feel a lot of confidence tackling it. Really, what attracts me to these apple snails more than my desire to EAT THEM UP YUM is their lovely dark green shells. I just want to grasp those shells in my hands, sopping with melted herbal butter, slipping and sliding from my fingers, but ultimately cornered with a fork.
Also, I happen to be the only person in the world I know who "recycles" sea shells. So I think how much fun it would be to take those apple snail shells to my usual private shell recycling spot, and cast them upon the water, chasing that "buzzy feeling of oneness with the earth" which makes recycling not a burden, but a pleasure.
Sigh. Exotic apple tree snails. Maybe some day, when there's less 311 calls to make to turn my neighborhood around, and more time to cook things, drink wine, sample the exotic.