Every so often a reader will enquire about where an uncommon ingredient for a recipe can be purchased from. I'm always more than happy to assist yet I thought it would also be helpful to write some posts about my food shopping sources. My plan is to include these posts on a shopping index page soon. The below text had already been written for the Planet VeGMeL birthday zine and to get the ball rolling I've posted it here.
If you haven't done so already, take a look at the fabulous zine for many more interesting veg*n articles. The Kentucky Fried Tofu recipe supplied by where's the beef is really delicious too!
When I started reading blogs years ago I loved finding out about interesting veg*n places around Melbourne to stock up on goodies. The only problem was gems like Radical Grocery, La Panella, Vincent Vegetarian Food etc. were on the opposite side of town for me so it’s not often that I pop into these shops. Although there aren’t any exclusively veg*n shops I’m aware of in my area, there are a few stores I visit often to replenish the supplies in my pantry.
USA Foods - www.usafoods.com.au
110 Cochranes Road, Moorabbin
USA Foods interests me most for their range of liquid smokes, chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, tomatillos, masa flours and other various types of chillies and hot sauces. A huge proportion of their stock is made up of soft drinks, potato chips and confectionery so I steer clear of these aisles and focus on hunting down items for my next Mexican feast.
Their online product catalogue indicates when a particular item is out of stock and provides an option for an email notification to be sent to you when the item becomes available again. It’s handy to check the website before heading out there to avoid disappointment!
Oasis Bakery - www.oasisbakery.com.au
9/993 North Road, Murrumbeena
Oasis Bakery is a very popular Middle Eastern bakery that has been thriving for many years. The name is rather misleading as Oasis isn’t limited to selling freshly baked goods; it’s also a cafe and a grocery store. I haven’t eaten from the cafe for ages but before going vegan I used to love their cheese and spinach triangles and pizzas. Some of the tasty vegan options available are falafel wraps, zaatar pizzas, spinach and walnut triangles as well as a couple of suitable hot dishes in the bain marie like ful medames and a veg dish of the day.
Freshly made dips, salads, falafels, dolmades and harissa can be found in the fridge section. A variety of pizzas and triangles can be purchased fresh or frozen. Vegan sweets aren’t as plentiful although I did enjoy some coconut and date rolls recently as well as peppermint chocolate. All products are clearly labelled and a great thing about Oasis is that they do not use palm oil in any of their products. My favourite sections these days are the bean and spice aisles. Every type of dried bean imaginable is available and the variety of spices and spice blends on the shelves is enough to make your head spin.
Sunnybrook Health Store – www.glutenfreeshop.com.au
553 North Road, Ormond
Sunnybrook is my local health food shop; it has a big focus on gluten free foods although it is not 100% gluten free. I've been shopping here for years to pick up items like nutritional yeast, unusual types of flours, Sweet William cooking chocolate, Soymilke condensed milk, Cheezly, smoked tofu, the occasional Tofutti product and ironically gluten flour. Sunnybrook also has a small section of organic fruit and vegetables and stocks personal care and household products.