Like a beacon in the sky, Jungle Jim’s is a Foodie’s Paradise!
I’m sure you are like this too. Whenever you travel back home or to a city that you love, you always have a “hitlist” of local spots you have to visit before you leave. For me, Jungle Jim’s International Market is always on the “list”. Think about the craziest thing you would ever want to buy….duck feet? a whole pig’s head? the favorite chocolate you ate every day during your study abroad in Europe? Hot sauce called “sphincter shrinker”? Yep, they have it at Jungle Jim’s.
Jungle Jim’s is the perfect blend of:
- Function (they have everything)
- Quirk (their decorations are eclectic to say the least – check out their website for photos),
- Adventure (there is a surprise at every corner and you WILL lose track of time exploring the expansive selection)
Our “Mangia Memior” (what we’ll remember)
To set the scene appropriately, my father and I are both insane. We go into a trance the moment we walk through the doors. My mom loves food andloves the adventure, but she is along for the ride. And poor Anthony…ahh poor Anthony. He loves to eat, loves to cook and is definitely an adventure seeker, but unfortunately, just had jaw surgery. This means that he can’t eat for 6 weeks. My worst nightmare. But Anthony is a saint and doesn’t even complain.
My dad and I wove through aisle after aisle, while mom and Ant trailed us with the cart.After an initial scattered quest, we aligned on what our “weird” menu item would be - “cinghiale” (aka wild boar). Cincinnati was kind of chilly and a wild boar ragu would be a nice hearty meal.
To our dismay, the meat department was fresh out of cinghiale. Said he just sold the last one and was surprised about it. I guess all the Italians in greater Cincy had a hankerin’ for some wild boar ragu.
No wild boar, no problem. Guanciale (pork cheek). We could make a nice Amatriciana instead- a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale, pecorino cheese and tomato, originating from the town of Amatrice. We also purchased some baby octopus, cerignola and castelvetrano olives and rosemary bread.
For our Amatriciana recipe, click here Recipe for Amatriciana
- Visit the Bathroom. The facade is a Port-a-Potty. Hilarious. Check out this video for a real view.
- Scope out the Seafood section. Tons of life fish, whole fish, shellfish. Awesome.
- Check out the Hot Sauce area. The names alone, will cure depression. You will laugh out loud.
- Look Up. Look Left. Look Right. Amazing decorations EVERYWHERE. An Amish carriage. A bear dressed as a singing Elvis. A talking Campbell’s soup can. Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. Where do they get this stuff?
- Check out the produce. Bring your iPhone. You will see fruits/veggies you’ve never heard of. Look them up and see how to eat them.