One of the unexpected pleasures of this project has been the joy of weekend visits to ethnic markets. Portland is hardly a multicultural utopia, but it has its share of great, friendly ethnic grocers who stock hard-to-find ingredients – usually at prices way lower than I could expect to find online.
One thing this project is teaching me about our globe is that there are a lot of island nations. When you sit and think about it, it makes perfect sense, but it’s not something I put a lot of thought into before this project.
One of the challenges of this project that I underestimated was the sourcing of ingredients. Portland’s a pretty good food town for its size, but that’s mostly on the restaurant end of things.
Our lack of cultural diversity in the Rose City really makes it hard to source quality multi-ethnic ingredients – note the fact that I still haven’t gotten to The Bahamas yet, because I can’t find conch meat in Portland and I haven’t made it to Uwajimaya in Beaverton to see if they sell it.