The search for lemongrass continues. Today after work I stopped by Harvest Fresh Natural Foods, on State Street in Orem. Yes, this is the place mentioned in my previous post. When I walked in, I noticed something different. There were customers! Lots of customers! I had never seen such a thing in there before! As I walked around, I noticed that the deli counter was properly stocked, and somebody was actually behind the counter! This was new. In fact, the whole store seemed to be stocked! Every shelf was filled. The produce area was full of fresh fruits and veggies that actually looked pretty good! I was impressed. Somebody really got their act together at that store and it shows. They even sell bison meat. They sell it ground, in steaks, you can even buy a bison t-bone there. Still, no lemongrass.
I hopped back into my trusty Ferolla and continued south down State Street. I had only gone a couple of blocks before my eyes spied a sign for The Herb Shop, right next to Nickelcade. Surely a place like that mujst have lemongrass! I walked in and was promptly ignored by the woman at the counter, who was on the phone. I walked back through the shop and saw and impressive wall of dried herbs. I also noted a seemingly impressive array of books on herbs, natural healing, that sort of thing. And there was a very friendly woman in the back who instantly greeted me and asked if she could help me. "What are the chances if you having fresh lemongrass," I inquired. "About nil," she replied. "Are you looking for a whole plant?" "Well," I said, "I'm just looking for a couple of stalks." "You're probably going to want to try a nursery," she offered helpfully. I informed her that in Salt Lake, I could easily find lemongrass in certain markets, but that it didn't seem to exist in Utah County. Just for the heck of it, she checked for dried lemongrass in her array of herbage, and none was to be found. I thanked her for her help and continued on.
About half a mile south of there, about 500 south and State, I found Good Earth Natural Foods, and its brother, the Junkies Cafe. I walked in and discovered a very interesting store indeed. It was much, much smaller than Harvest Fresh, and yet almost seemed to have as much. They didn't, of course, but it certainly was a little more tightly packed. They have beautiful produce which I wanted to buy based on its beauty alone. Sadly, no fresh lemongrass. I perused the store and found the obligatory book section, a well-stocked grain section and even a small room full of bulk food items, lining the walls. This was my first visit to this store, and I knew instantly it wouldn't be my last. I even found a dried herb wall which stocked dried lemongrass leaves. Sadly, what I needed was fresh lemongrass stalks.
You'll be glad to know that my experience impressed me so much that I did not stop and grab and artery-hardening burger on the way home. No, I stopped by Subway. Okay, so they're not the best sandwich shop in the world, but they're not bad either. The health food situation in Utah County isn't as bad as it had once seemed. It's not that I think that tofu, eggplant and sprouts are any way to live. But these stores are a treasure trove of interesting alternative ingredients. If you truly are interested in playing with your food, I suggest you check one of these places out. Don't buy the premade stuff. Processed food is still processed food, health claims or no. But check out the flours, check out the grains. Check out the things that can only be classified as ingredients. I'm happy to say that you won't be disappointed, even around here. Still, the search for fresh lemongrass continues.