Thursday, February 9, 2017

Strange things from World Market #1 - Zanae Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice

This may be new knowledge to some, but I work at World Market. Working there is quite stressful for an introvert like me, but it does have it's perks. They import foods, furniture, and other things from all over the world for us americans [as well as foreigners who have moved here] to easily get our hands on.
Did I mention empolyees get a discount? 
I tend to mainly use this advantage to try out the countless odd and interesting foods and snacks that World Market has to offer. One of them being Zanae's Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice. 
I am a lover of all things "grain". Rice, bread, oats. I want them all! That's what led me to this well as a sale on them, heh. I wont lie, it has taken me quite some time to muster up the courage to actually taste these stuffed leaves. I found some English instructions, and dove in. 

Serving Suggestions
It is served warm or at room temperature. Put the tin, before you open it, into boiling water for 10 minutes. Otherwise, empty the contents into a non-metallic bowl and microwave on full power for about 3 minutes. It can be garnished with slices of lemon and / or yogurt. It also makes an excellent combination with dry white wine or "ouzo".

It came easily equipped with a pull tab, so there's no need to pull out a can opener.  

Oh how appealing. Mush in a can 😅

I dumped the contents into my microwave safe bowl. Yes, I'm going the microwave route. I don't want to struggle with figuring out how to open a pre-boiled can.
Here we have some beautiful before and after photos of our can mush turning into mush soup. Though it has a very mush like appearance, the aroma was welcoming. If I had to guess it was a small and subtle blend of spices and maybe vinegar. 
I actually tend to try to stay away from cooked leafy vegetables, and decided I'd attempt to separate the rice filling from the leaves. Just to ease my nerves a bit, and I did end up trying the leaves in small pieces on it's own.

All in all, it was pretty ok. After I added hot sauce, it went from pretty ok to pretty good. I think I'd enjoy it as an add on dish instead of a snack on it's own. It would probably taste amazing along side some shredded chicken! 

Final Thoughts
I initially thought there would be a musty smell of some sort, but was pleasantly surprised to get a hint of seasonings. I didn't know whether or not the leaves were edible for this dish, but the inner rice was yummy enough on it's own.  I don't think I would buy this frequently. Maybe on occasion when it's on sale and I need an easy addition to a protein filled meal.

In the end, I think I could happily rate this dish a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Not something I'd actively search out for, but if I were to catch it at a deal [and have some shredded chicken on hand] then I will possibly pick it up.

I will be trying many more foods from World Market, since there are so many different kinds. I hope to make it easier for you when going in to pick up foods and snacks!
Thanks for reading!

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