After a crazy few weeks at work, I was looking to get out of town. After having visited Jungle Jim’s nearly two years ago with my friend, Erin, we decided to make our way there so that my husband could experience it for himself.
Now, we’re really lucky in that my hometown of Louisville, for a city its size, has a ton of international markets spread throughout the city. And if I wanted to, I could probably find all of the ingredients I purchased in various markets around town. But to find them all under one roof? Well, that’s the beauty of Jungle Jim’s, which is based outside of Cincinnati. Sure, you can do your regular grocery shopping there, but its international section is a sight to behold. Oh, and not to mention that the store itself looks like a combination of a Chuck E. Cheese and a water park. It’s just bizarre.
If you decide to make your way there, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and eating a good meal before you head into the market. You’re going to be there for a while (we spent nearly three hours there and were even rushing towards the end) and there’s nothing worse than being hungry while shopping for food. We opted to fill up at a Chipotle next door, which does offer vegan items (avoid the pinto beans as they are cooked with bacon).
So, what did we bring back from our trip?
- jackfruit in brine
- black salt
- rice vinegar
- shichimi tōgarashi (Japanese Seven Spice)
- chocolate extract
- coffee extract
- Düsseldorf-style German mustard
- Chinese mustard
- black sesame seeds
- panang curry paste
- habanero and orange peel hot sauce
When we got to the counter, I was afraid so see the total, but we only spent $66 in all, and that also included two six packs of beer, a bag of okra and a bag of raw almonds. And most of the ingredients we purchased will last a while.
My only complaints about the place are that its natural food section, while fairly large, is really, really pricey. Also, the carts: I really wish they would offer smaller, pushable carts. The place gets really packed and with everyone pushing large carts, aisles can get quite jammed.
Still, if you’re anywhere near Fairfield, Ohio, a trip to Jungle Jim’s is a must. And if you aren’t completely worn out from browsing international foods all day, there is an IKEA about 15 minutes away (we managed a quick trip there, too).
Hope you all are well! I’ll have some food posts up soon.