Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventures at Jungle Jim's

Where can you find a fortune telling Einstein?
An Elvis-impersonating monkey/bear? A talking, robotic Robin Hood
and the very hairy comrade, Little John?
How about a giant,794 pound phallic cheese?
The answer? Jungle Jim's of course!
Where to start? Ok, I went on a road trip today with my mom and my brother. We trucked two and a half hours to Ohio for two specific places: IKEA and Jungle Jim's International Market. I got wind of the international market a couple of years ago and have wanted to check it out ever since. This 6.5 acre grocery store heaven did not let down. It is like a foodie's theme park, complete with tours and magic. Below are a few items that I found particularly cool.
Fruit, strange fruit! I wish I could have tried them all.
I'd never seen so many unknown-to-me fruit. I felt like I needed a fruit translator.
Baby pineapple! The cuteness is killing me. So THIS is what a water chestnut looks like outside of a can! They are beautiful.
I especially needed my bud, Natalie in the Asian candy isle. Nat, this one is for you.
Fish paste in a tube, anyone?
This is exactly what I need to be looking at while I'm eating my cereal in the morning: a big, brawny man in a kilt. Look at those Scottish muscles.
There was enough jam here to fill an Olympic swimming pool. There were so many flavors, too.
Here's some of my loot: udon noodles, an artichoke & tomato pasta sauce from Italy, whole wheat gnocchi made with sweet potatoes, a meat seasoning from Germany, a guava soda, a grapefruit soda, a pear infused balsamic vinegar, rye flour, graham flour, and (not pictured) raw, dark agave nectar. Hello food adventures!
I thought my excursion at Jungle Jim's was ending until I stumbled upon the cheese section, all divided by country. I got a smoked Gouda from the Netherlands, a Mexican string cheese, spreadable German-style Quark from Vermont, a muenster from Connecticut, and some crappy cheese curds from Wisconsin. They were pretty crappy. Not the usual squeaky, deliciousness of Wisconsin curds.
White pear, tiny red bananas, and a guava. I haven't eaten a guava since I was 11 or 12. It's going to be a good time.
These are my edible goods I scored from IKEA. Orange and Elderflower marmalade sounded interesting. They also had a gooseberry jam, but how much jam does one person need, really. I hope I can do the bread justice. Bread and I, we have a rocky relationship. I also had a tasty lingonberry frozen yogurt on my way out of the store. I was pleased.
Overall, it was an awesome day of sensory overload, emptying pockets, scoring loot, and lots of walking. I hope to repeat this extravaganza again soon!


  1. We appreciate you making the trip, the blog and the compliments! :)

    Have Fun!
    Phill Adams
    Director of Development
    Jungle Jim's International Market, Inc.
    Fairfield, Ohio 45014-4108

  2. Oh I love Jungle Jims! Before I moved to Indy., I lived in Fairfield for nearly 10 years and was within walking distance of JJ's. I never get tired of that place.

    A couple of months ago we also made the Ikea/JJ's trip. Now we're looking forward to going back. Only this time we're going to skip the Ikea and head straight for Jungle Jim's.

  3. Don't worry friend, I am here to save you!
    The chocolate you found is Peko-chan and Poko-chan. Peko-chan is the one licking her lips. That's just what she does as the mascot for Fujiya- a Japanese confectioner that started in the 1950's and has been making mediocre novelty candy ever since. It says let's play using cell phone! (I dont understand either)
    PS I didnt know all these details, I knew peko chan and fujiya and looked up the rest.

  4. I loooooove Jungle Jim's! I've only been once, but it was the greatest time :)