Today F took a walk through the neighborhood and found a treasure trove of places for us to explore when I arrive. The apartment is just a few blocks away from the Rhone River, where there’s apparently also a beach-like area to lounge at. Call it fate or call it luck but I somehow always manage to live near a body of water – even in a land-locked country!
Then, after discovering a shortcut to the city center, he came across the one thing that he knew would absolutely seal the deal for me: a Latin grocery store.
I was already stressing out about not being able to find certain food products abroad and started stocking up on things like sazón completo (complete seasoning) to marinade my meats, bijol (annatto powder) to color my yellow rice and soups, slabs of guava to make my Cuban pastelitos (puff pastries)… and the list goes on. Because they are so hard to find outside of Miami, every time I come home I binge and splurge on Latin comfort foods without fail. And, when I start thinking about what I’ll be packing for my next trip, I always struggle to find a balance between food and clothes. Fifty pounds is never enough…
The grocery store is called Sabor Latino. Almost immediately I started wondering where exactly the store owners are from. The glass storefront reads “spécialités sud américaine,” or South American specialties; that rules out Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. There is also a flyer on the storefront advertising empanadas (stuffed bread pastries) and something else called salteñas. After some research I found out that a salteña is the Bolivian version of the empanada. Maybe the owners are Bolivian? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
Check out this recipe for salteñas – sounds delicious! Here’s a picture of the storefront I was talking about, too.