Dojo Cooking Thread

Truck_1_0_1_

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Given that it was my bday weekend, I did no cooking (well, I made some bacon and egg sandwiches for my wife and I on Saturday, but that was it; all of 10 minutes cooking lol), but I do have something my dad made yesterday (his bday was the 9th, so we had a communal day) and the cake that my wife made for me! :D

1623678819429.png

Roasted rabbit in oil, with herbs and black olives. This is how they make it in Liguria (Italian Riviera, which borders the French Riviera), save for the missing Pine Nuts (my father is allergic and can't have them). I've also eaten rabbit this way, practically my whole life and it is delicious, very little fat and rabbit is the only meat that your body digests 100% no waste! Rapini, panfried with olive oil and garlic, accompanied it.

1623679035488.png

My cake, that my wife made completely from scratch for me! Plain vanilla sponge, with buttercream and orange curd.

She made the cakes on Thursday, the icing and curd on Friday and assembled it then. The buttercream she made from scratch as well and it was much better than anything in a store! (the best buttercream I've ever had is what my old boss used to make; it was insanely-delicious, but I'm not a huge fan of buttercream, all being said)

I'll be cooking up some dishes this week and weekend, some I'm excited for :D
 

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It is arguably the healthiest meat that is commercially (and readily) sold; chances are if there is an Italian (or other European country) butcher shop where you live, they'll have rabbit.

Anatomy-wise, it doesn't look anything like it, but meat colour (once cooked), consistency and flavor, it is probably closest to chicken, thus you aren't going to be eating anything that much different.

Wild rabbit (ie: Showshoe Hare or wild Cottontails) on the other hand, is darker and more gamey, but I love it all the same <3

Roasting is one of the more-common ways to make it, but I have it eaten it BBQd (just once) and in the last scene of a Sopranos episode from the 6th season (after Tony is shot), Tony's friend Artie (the one who owns the restaurant), makes a rabbit dish from the rabbit he killed earlier in the episode (actually a REALLY funny scene lol), in a frying pan, on the stove.

I made it, as it shows the recipe in a book (had to keep pausing and trying to interpret the cursive) and it was DELICIOUS, the only time (other than the BBQ) I had ever had rabbit that wasn't roasted. I'll see if I can rustle up a picture, but it was on my old phone so it may be gone...
 

Truck_1_0_1_

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Made Huevos Rancheros on Saturday morning for Breakfast and it was super-filling, so only made simple BLTs for dinner that night (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, 2 thin slices of Cheddar Cheese and sliced avocado, on a ciabatta bun). Even with the bacon, a light meal.

Last night made burgers again, with grilled Ataulfo Mango again; divine.

But I have no pictures of them!

I do have a picture of Lombardian Dish #18, that I made last week though; Malfatti di Carpenedolo. The ones from this burgh of Brescia, are a bit different than Malfatti from other regions. Essentially, Swiss Chard and a green of the season (Dandelion in the spring/summer, cabbage if the fall/winter), blanched, then cut up into tiny strips. It being the season, I made dandelion (wild, growing in my parents' backyard) and never again lol (have never liked dandelion in my life, as it is SO. DAMN. BITTER. :mad::mad::mad:). I'll use savoy cabbage next time and I'll make it in the winter.

Anyways! In addition to that, you cook them in butter, minced garlic and minced onion, after they've been blanched and then you add them in a bowl with breadcrumbs, grated grana Padano cheese, egg(s) and then mix all together, forming little ball-like things. Wrap 'em in flour and then boil until they float (2 minutes for mine). You then finish them off, cooked in a sauce of your choosing; again, as this is the version from Carpenedolo, I did it in butter/sage. If you make the Malfatti from Tuscany or Emilia-Romagna, you can use tomato sauce.

1624301458193.png

Quite-filling too, so this was a nice 300-400 calories and the non-dandelion bites were DELICIOUS.
 
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Inspired by @Truck_1_0_1_ I bought some rabbit loin. Due to its lack of availability in my area and the high cost, it will be an occasional treat.
20210624_204128.jpg
 
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Truck_1_0_1_

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Rotisseried another chicken last night and there was a grease fire in my BBQ, so the temp got up around 700 F for a few minutes, as I ran back out to get it under control. As a result, the chicken cooked in about an hour, 25 minutes (typically needs AT LEAST 1 hour, 45 minutes) and it got a touch over-cooked as well, but was delicious, along with grilled Ataulfo Mango and the salad mix of cucumber, tomato, avocado and the Ataulfo I couldn't BBQ (the same salad that I made the last time I rotisseried the chicken):

1624886933248.png

And I made Lombardian Dish #19, or rather, baked it! (it is a cake ;)). My wife did assist with a bit of it.

Torta del Paradiso (Paradise Cake or Cake of Paradise), which is butter, eggs, flour, potato starch, sugar and that's it. Light and tasty.

1624887176684.png

All in all, a good weekend (well, Sunday, technically) of cooking :)
 
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Just out of curiosity @Truck_1_0_1_, I have been meaning to try seafood such as Mussels, Octopus, Clams, etc, do you know how they taste? I recently ate some scallops and loved them.
 

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I'm a massive seafood nut (as mentioned in my above post about my salads, I have smoked salmon and/or tuna, at least 4 times a week) and I worked in a seafood department for 4 years (when I worked at the grocery store near my house, it was Meat for 2+ years, then Produce for 1 1/2 years, then Seafood for 4+ years and I did Meat again in that timespan as well), so I'm well-versed :). Strap in for an essay! (I'm sorry :()

Mollusks, are probably my least-favourite of the fish/crustacean/mollusk choices that we get from the ocean, however that isn't to say that I don't some shells! ;)

Snails: So yes, the snails you see in your backyard or on a walk, CAN be eaten! (though they need to be cleaned and purged, it's a super long, PITA process) But it's easier to just buy them in a can or if you can find them, fresh. I don't like these at all... like, AT ALL lol, but there is a Lombardian recipe (as they are commonly-eaten in Western-Europe) for these that I will be trying soon, as it is the summer now. I have some canned snails at home and everything else needed to make the dish, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I do like snails after all :)

Mussels: Used to hate them when I was a kid, love them now; I've only ever eaten them in Western-European ways (steamed with white wine, onions and parsley or cooked with Tomato sauce) or Chinese-style (steamed with ginger and onion). Any way you eat them, they are delicious and their flesh is firm, but soft and easy to chew (you can swallow them whole, they are soft-enough), provided you cook them correctly! lol More on quality, below.

No pics in my collection of just mussels, sadly.

Clams: Not a fan at all and never have been; I will only eat them deep-fried, as like sweet potato/yam, the consistency and flavour are completely-different when deep-fried. Don't get me wrong, it's a tasty thing to eat and there are SOOOO many different varieties of clams (Pasta, Littleneck, Geoduck, Surf, etc.), that each will have something you prefer. All clams though, regardless of variety, have a very dense, chewy flesh and while I typically enjoy that, I'm not a fan when it comes to clams. If you go for sushi and they have a Nigiri type that is wrapped with a thin layer of nori and is slightly pink, that is Surf Clam (also known as conch or in Japanese, Akagi). I don't mind it, but the chewiness and density is there.

Akagai (surf clam)


Like mussels, no pics of just them, but it makes sense as I don't like them lol.


Squid: Every Mediterranean-person's favourite mollusk! (save for me lol) You might be wondering why it's a mollusk if it doesn't have a hard, outer shell... but it does! Commercially-sold and prepared squid have their outer-shell removed, but it is there and on the inside, they have a long, membrane-esque bone that actually looks and feels like plastic (no distinction, honestly). Most people eat the body and rightfully so, as it is the meatiest part of the creature, but I go nuts for the tentacles, ESPECIALLY when deep-fried, as they are more-tender and have much-more flavour than the body. This is easily the mollusk I've eaten the most in my life and I didn't like it too much when I was younger (sensing a pattern?), but I always ate anyways and now, I rather enjoy it. Deep-fried calamari (the Italian name) is the most-common way of consuming squid, but I also love it grilled. Cuttlefish are different creatures, but for culinary purposes, they are essentially a small squid.

Here's a couple of pics from Italy (both coasts, at that) of a bunch of mixed, fried fish, including squid (the big rings):


1625326601400.png

The dark, leggy things are the tentacles.

1625326653573.png

Here's one done Chinese-Style; still deep-fried, but done with green onions, hot pepper and spicy salt:

1625328559144.png

Grilled, a Japanese specialty:

1625328733137.png

Oysters: My second favourite of the mollusks, oysters are basically eaten raw (freshly-shucked; if they were shucked an hour prior, don't eat them) or deep-fried; there's also Oysters Rockefeller, but that kinda kills the point of eating an oyster, as there are too many flavours thrown in. Raw is by far my favourite way to eat them and you can either add a bit of lemon, Tabasco sauce or other flavoured sauces to the flesh (or, completely naked as they are) and then you suck them out, typically with the aid of a small fork or similar tool. I've had them deep-fried at home (my dad made them) and they were delicious, as well I've had them at our favourite sushi restaurant in Ontario AND our favourite in Montreal lol (which has sadly closed down now :(). Both places served it with Ponzu sauce and it is PHENOMENAL.

1625328403531.png

The great thing about Oysters is that there are so many different types and species, it all depends on ocean and season; Pacific Oysters are larger, meatier and stronger-tasting and IIRC, their season is later in the year, while Atlantic Oysters are smaller, more-smooth and lighter-tasting and IIRC, their season is earlier in the year. I'll include some pics of both:

Pacific; these are Fanny Bay and they were the best ones we ever had (the one front/centre was literally 8 inches long):

1625328662433.png

Hmm, thought I had a pic of Atlantic Oysters, but I don't :(

Octopus: Save the best for last! Octopus is far and away my favourite mollusk and I like it boiled, stewed, BBQ'd, fried (though it is easily the worst to deep-fry, of all the above), as sashimi or as Takoyaki; just love it. It's similar to squid in that you have the fleshy body and the tentacles, but there is usually MUCH more tentacle for Octopi, than for Squid, percentage-wise. Takoyaki is my favourite way to eat it and to eat it in Dotonbori (where it was, "invented," is just bliss. The restaurants here do it decently, but they're all previously-frozen, so it isn't the same. I've made it at home (you need a Takoyaki pan to make them) I think 5 or 6 times now and it is also delicious. My dad BBQs it so well and biting into a tentacle is texture-heaven, IMO.

For some reason, I only have pics of Takoyaki and not anything else :(

1625330615468.png

And that's basically it! You mentioned scallops and they are one of my least-favourite edible foods on this planet, so I won't cover them lol. I mentioned in mussels about quality and the #1 rule for mollusks, more so than any other water-dwelling creature, is quality; everything MUST be fresh or if frozen, MUST have been super-fresh when frozen, otherwise not only will it taste bad, but you'll get sick... VERY sick. That goes for mussels, clams, squid, octopi, you name it, mollusks will ruin your bowels lol (with fish, you can get away with older flesh by cooking it more or mincing it, etc. With Crustaceans, same thing; cooking older crab or shrimp a bit more, may screw up the texture, but you won't get sick. Mollusks, you can't get away with it). This is especially due to the fact that one main way to eat some of these, is raw (oysters, squid, octopus).

For that reason, I only suggest getting your mollusks from top-quality seafood distributors/fish mongers or from a place that you know you can trust (this goes for restaurants too). If you live on a coast (or near a coast) of the US (or for non-Tsukiyo members, anywhere in the world), then it is much-easier to get fresh mollusks and it is more-frequently available.

For the species that are sold in-shell, there are specific rules. For mussels and clams, if the shell is open, simply tap their shell on a hard object a couple of times; if the creatures close up, then they are alive and good to eat. If they don't, they are dead and must be discarded. Clams live *exponentially*-longer than mussels, so if purchasing mussels, ensure quality and health status is high. Oysters, OTOH, are a 100% no-go if they are open; they can live for weeks on top of ice, with no food or water, but if they open up even a millimeter, they're dead and you must discard them asap. At restaurants, if they offer oysters, ensure that it is an establishment that sells a large volume on the regular, 'cause the risk/chance of eating a dead one will be slimmer.

Let me know if there's anything else you want to know! Sorry again for the essay and I'll leave you with my meal in Rome, the first night of our Honeymoon; pizza di misto di mare (Seafood mixture Pizza).

1625325916363.png

(Shrimp, clams, mussels, octopus and squid. I gave the clams to my wife ;))
 
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I'm a massive seafood nut (as mentioned in my above post about my salads, I have smoked salmon and/or tuna, at least 4 times a week) and I worked in a seafood department for 4 years (when I worked at the grocery store near my house, it was Meat for 2+ years, then Produce for 1 1/2 years, then Seafood for 4+ years and I did Meat again in that timespan as well), so I'm well-versed :). Strap in for an essay! (I'm sorry :()

Mollusks, are probably my least favorite of the fish/crustacean/mollusk choices that we get from the ocean, however, that isn't to say that I don't some shells! ;)

Snails: So yes, the snails you see in your backyard or on a walk, CAN be eaten! (though they need to be cleaned and purged, it's a super long, PITA process) But it's easier to just buy them in a can or if you can find them, fresh. I don't like these at all... like, AT ALL lol, but there is a Lombardian recipe (as they are commonly eaten in Western Europe) for these that I will be trying soon, as it is the summer now. I have some canned snails at home and everything else needed to make the dish, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I do like snails after all :)

Mussels: Used to hate them when I was a kid, love them now; I've only ever eaten them in Western-European ways (steamed with white wine, onions, and parsley or cooked with Tomato sauce) or Chinese-style (steamed with ginger and onion). Any way you eat them, they are delicious and their flesh is firm but soft and easy to chew (you can swallow them whole, they are soft enough), provided you cook them correctly! lol More on quality, below.

No pics in my collection of just mussels, sadly.

Clams: Not a fan at all and never have been; I will only eat them deep-fried, as, like sweet potato/yam, the consistency and flavor are completely different when deep-fried. Don't get me wrong, it's a tasty thing to eat and there are SOOOO many different varieties of clams (Pasta, Littleneck, Geoduck, Surf, etc.), that each will have something you prefer. All clams though, regardless of variety, have a very dense, chewy flesh and while I typically enjoy that, I'm not a fan when it comes to clams. If you go for sushi and they have a Nigiri type that is wrapped with a thin layer of nori and is slightly pink, that is Surf Clam (also known as conch or in Japanese, Akagi). I don't mind it, but the chewiness and density are there.

Akagai (surf clam)


Like mussels, no pics of just them, but it makes sense as I don't like them lol.


Squid: Every Mediterranean person's favorite mollusk! (save for me lol) You might be wondering why it's a mollusk if it doesn't have a hard, outer shell... but it does! Commercially sold and prepared squid to have their outer shell removed, but it is there and on the inside, they have a long, membrane-Esque bone that actually looks and feels like plastic (no distinction, honestly). Most people eat the body and rightfully so, as it is the meatiest part of the creature, but I go nuts for the tentacles, ESPECIALLY when deep-fried, as they are more tender and have much more flavor than the body. This is easily the mollusk I've eaten the most in my life and I didn't like it too much when I was younger (sensing a pattern?), but I always ate anyways, and now, I rather enjoy it. Deep-fried calamari (the Italian name) is the most common way of consuming squid, but I also love it grilled. Cuttlefish are different creatures, but for culinary purposes, they are essentially small squid.

Here's a couple of pics from Italy (both coasts, at that) of a bunch of mixed, fried fish, including squid (the big rings):


View attachment 12145

The dark, leggy things are the tentacles.

View attachment 12146

Here's one done Chinese-Style; still deep-fried, but done with green onions, hot pepper, and spicy salt:

View attachment 12149

Grilled, a Japanese specialty:

View attachment 12152

Oysters: My second favorite of the mollusks, oysters are hucked; if they were shucked an hour prior, don't eat them) or deep-fried; there's also Oysters Rockefeller, but that kinda kills the point of eating an oyster, as there are too many flavors thrown in. Raw is by far my favorite way to eat them and you can either add a bit of lemon, Tabasco sauce, or other flavored sauces to the flesh (or, completely naked as they are) and then you suck them out, typically with the aid of a small fork or similar tool. I've had them deep-fried at home (my dad made them) and they were delicious, as well I've had them at our favorite sushi restaurant in Ontario AND our favorite in Montreal lol (which has sadly closed down now :(). Both places served it with Ponzu sauce and it is PHENOMENAL.

View attachment 12147

The great thing about Oysters is that there are so many different types and species, it all depends on ocean and season; Pacific Oysters are larger, meatier, and stronger-tasting and IIRC, their season is later in the year, while Atlantic Oysters are smaller, more-smooth and lighter-tasting and IIRC, their season is earlier in the year. I'll include some pics of both:

Pacific; these are Fanny Bay and they were the best ones we ever had (the one front/center was 8 inches long):

View attachment 12150

Hmm, thought I had a pic of Atlantic Oysters, but I don't :(

Octopus: Save the best for last! Octopus is far and away from my favorite mollusk and I like it boiled, stewed, BBQ'd fried (though it is easily the worst to deep-fry, of all the above), as sashimi or as Takoyaki; just love it. It's similar to squid in that you have the fleshy body and the tentacles, but there is usually MUCH more tentacle for Octopi than for Squid, percentage-wise. Takoyaki is my favorite way to eat it and to eat it in Dotonbori (where it was, "invented," is just bliss. The restaurants here do it decently, but they're all previously frozen, so it isn't the same. I've made it at home (you need a Takoyaki pan to make them) I think 5 or 6 times now and it is also delicious. My dad BBQs it so well and biting into a tentacle is texture-heaven, IMO.

For some reason, I only have pics of Takoyaki and not anything else :(

View attachment 12153

And that's it! You mentioned scallops and they are one of my least favorite edible foods on this planet, so I won't cover them lol. I mentioned in mussels about quality and the #1 rule for mollusks, more so than any other water-dwelling creature, is quality; everything MUST be fresh or if frozen, MUST have been super-fresh when frozen, otherwise not only will it taste bad, but you'll get sick... VERY sick. That goes for mussels, clams, squid, octopi, you name it, mollusks will ruin your bowels lol (with fish, you can get away with older flesh by cooking it more or mincing it, etc. With Crustaceans, same thing; cooking older crab or shrimp a bit more, may screw up the texture, but you won't get sick. Mollusks, you can't get away with it). This is especially because one main way to eat some of these is raw (oysters, squid, octopus).

For that reason, I only suggest getting your mollusks from top-quality seafood distributors/fishmongers or from a place that you know you can trust (this goes for restaurants too). If you live on a coast (or near a coast) of the US (or for non-Tsukiyo members, anywhere in the world), then it is much easier to get fresh mollusks and it is more frequently available.

For the species that are sold in-shell, there are specific rules. For mussels and clams, if the shell is open, simply tap their shell on a hard object a couple of times; if the creatures close up, then they are alive and good to eat. If they don't, they are dead and must be discarded. Clams live *exponentially*-longer than mussels, so if purchasing mussels, ensure quality and health status are high. Oysters, OTOH, are a 100% no-go if they are open; they can live for weeks on top of the ice, with no food or water, but if they open up even a millimeter, they're dead and you must discard them asap. At restaurants, if they offer oysters, ensure that it is an establishment that sells a large volume on the regular, 'cause the risk/chance of eating a dead one will be slimmer.

Let me know if there's anything else you want to know! Sorry again for the essay and I'll leave you with my meal in Rome, the first night of our Honeymoon; pizza di misto di mare (Seafood mixture Pizza).

View attachment 12143

(Shrimp, clams, mussels, octopus, and squid. I gave the clams to my wife ;))
Wow! Thank you very much for your profound knowledge of the subject as I was not expecting this. If you do not mind, I am going to screenshot this post as a point of reference. I did forget one type of shellfish/crustacean on my list and that is crabs and lobsters.
 

ShenGCH

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@Truck_1_0_1_ Babe, if you're looking to hire someone to test each and every one of your meals (you know, just in case you're worried a Mountie might have poisoned them, for example), I'm your man.
 
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Wife and I started a Cookie business last year. Well we registered it last year and in our spare time got little bits and pieces done. Long story short, we ended up finally getting on Uber Eats a couple months ago and almost every day we are getting orders just from our local area. Have most of the bones of the website done so should be in a position to take order next week if I can a spare few hours to finish it off. IMG_20210630_185230.jpg
 
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My wife and I started a Cookie business last year. Well, we registered for it last year and in our spare time got little bits and pieces done. Long story short, we ended up finally getting on Uber Eats a couple of months ago and almost every day we are getting orders just from our local area. Have most of the bones of the website do so should be in a position to take orders next week if I can a spare few hours to finish it off. View attachment 12161
While I am not a big cookie eater, if you can ship Internationally I would be happy to order from you. If nothing else, but to support your business.
 

Truck_1_0_1_

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I always like that, when I'm dieting, I check the dojo and this thread magically comes to the top of the new posts.
I feel like some pitiful Yakuza character who "can't help himself" for going to eat seafood... Bless this place.

(Per usual, excellent commentary and presentation, @Truck_1_0_1_ : you have a real gift there).
So many thanks, Nigel! I do my best ;) and I lol'd hard at the Yakluza comment XDXD

Wow! Thank you very much for your profound knowledge of the subject as I was not expecting this. If you do not mind, I am going to screenshot this post as a point of reference. I did forget one type of shellfish/crustacean on my list and that is crabs and lobsters.

Absolutely, Tsyukuyo! I can do another post for Crustaceans, but not at the moment, lol (a bit busy ;)).

One last thing I forgot to mention; there are many types of mollusks that can be eaten that I didn't cover (barnacles, cockles, sea snails {such as Whelks}, Nautilus {which I believe are on the endangered list, so it would only be eaten as a local thing} and Spirula), but they are not widespread and in some cases, only eaten in specific communities around the word (Spirula, for example, is edible, but incredibly hard to obtain).

Also, I know it's spelled with a, "c," but after the 10th red line, I just changed it to ending with a k, as I hate the spellcheck line lol

@Truck_1_0_1_ Babe, if you're looking to hire someone to test each and every one of your meals (you know, just in case you're worried a Mountie might have poisoned them, for example), I'm your man.
XDXD I'll definitely let you know! ;)

Wife and I started a Cookie business last year. Well we registered it last year and in our spare time got little bits and pieces done. Long story short, we ended up finally getting on Uber Eats a couple months ago and almost every day we are getting orders just from our local area. Have most of the bones of the website done so should be in a position to take order next week if I can a spare few hours to finish it off. View attachment 12161

OMG, those look incredible lol. I'm with Tsukuyo; if you ever ship internationally, I'll DEFINITELY partake :D
 
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By all means, take your time as I enjoyed reading your food posts. While I hope to extend my palate as I believe that eating healthy can be tasty, I also have to be realistic. Also, if you do not mind, I would like to know if there is any place where I can pick up some actual seaweed?
 

Truck_1_0_1_

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As in fresh Kelp? Or Nori for sushi?

I know for the fresh stuff (also known as Wakame in Japan, thus seaweed salad is, "Wakame Salad)," you can most-likely get it at any fresh market that sells fresh produce and other items on the daily (here in Toronto, we have a place called St. Lawrence Market, for example). And again, if you live on one of the coasts, you should be able to find something. Nori, the dry stuff used for sushi, I can find that in almost any large grocery store, anywhere in Southern Ontario, so I would have to think it's the same for you.

When I was looking for Foie Gras a few years ago, I simply searched (in Google), "Foie Gras Toronto Buy," and not only did some results come up, but food messageboards and reddit, had locals saying where they were able to buy it. Voila!
 
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