During my time at Miami University (which is in Oxford, Ohio, not Florida), I discovered a place so amazing that you truly have to see it to believe it. Located 20 miles north of Cincinnati is Jungle Jim’s International Market.
If you’re a foodie, this is a must see place. Seriously. No matter where you live, you should incorporate a visit to Jungle Jim’s into your next vacation or take a weekend trip to the Cincinnati area. Just be sure to allot about 4 hours to get the full experience. With products from over 70 different countries from around the world, this place is sure to mesmerize.
Like beer? There’s 1,200 varieties to choose from. I said one-thousand and two hundred varieties. You can visit the tasting bar if you need help deciding what to buy.
The most fascinating part of the store to me is the fresh meat section. Have you been dying to try kangaroo burgers, rattlesnake, ground camel? Or maybe you need a pig’s head? I love to stand back and watch just how many people reach into the case for chicken feet, cow tongue, brains, kidneys, pig’s tails and every other part of the barnyard animal. Each time I’ve been to Jungle Jim’s (about 9-10 times now), there has always been a steady flow of people selecting items from this case, and I’m reminded that in many cultures around the world, the nose-to-tail concept of eating is no food trend–it’s just common practice.
Maybe you aren’t ready to try a pig’s head for dinner yet. You can always pick up one of these little piggies in the bakery instead. So much cuter:)
The journey continues into the produce department where you’ll find the usual selection of fruits and vegetables, and the not-so-usual like durian, bitter melon, and lychee. Jungle Jim’s actually began as a small produce stand, so this is truly the heart of the store.
I could really go on and on and on, but it’s better to discover all of the wonders yourself.
Are there any international markets you love shopping at? What’s your favorite exotic fruit or vegetable?