Tim Foolery

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Excuse me, where is the fish sauce?

I made Pork Larb Lettuce Wraps earlier this week. Most of the ingredients were in my pantry including Fish Sauce.  I live just a few blocks from Argyle Street – which is full of great little Vietnamese restaurants and shops.  

A few months ago, I was making some Asian recipe that called for fish sauce. The recipe also said that you can find fish sauce at major grocery store.  Ok, so let’s give that a try.

I head over to Jewel-Osco across the street from my apartment.  I check the “ethnic food” aisle (which has everything from hard taco shells (ethnic??), rice, rice noodles and coconut milk.  I couldn’t find it. I head over to the condiment section, again, no luck.  I wander around aisle by aisle and found nothing.  

I find a young gentlemen who works at Jewel and I ask him if they carry fish sauce.  He says of course, it’s on aisle 4 (or whatever).  I clarify, explaining what fish sauce is and how I intend to use it.  He again says “yeah, we’ve got it!”.

I obediently follow him over to the condiment aisle. I am a bit surprised that I missed it moments earlier.  This young man then grabs a bottle, hands it to me and says “See, fish sauce”.  What did I have in my hand?

Good god!  I explain to the young man, who is doing his best to be helpful, that this isn’t fish sauce, it is tartar sauce.  His response “Well, that’s what I put on my fish…”
I went to a different grocery store.

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1 Comment

  1. Have you been up to Golden Pacific Market on Broadway? They have a really top notch stock of noodles, sauces, a fairly good fresh veg isle, and tons of frozen items. You can select from a wide variety of fish sauces there! https://plus.google.com/116947263352256629856/about?gl=us&hl=en

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