In the Tropics

Don’t like shopping for food?  Me, neither, though there are ways around it.  In Boston, there’s ARAX, a remarkable and family run shop filled with fruits and vegetables and prepared items and dry goods that draw upon the cuisines of Armenia, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.  Hagop is now in the kitchen cooking, and his sons run the front.

Whole Foods now delivers for free, plus tip, so I no longer have to go through its doors.  Russo’s is there on desperate days and looking over its items, seemingly left over from restaurants that turned the stuff down, I go there at most once or twice per year.

Best of all?

TROPICAL FOODS in Dudley.  The lot alone is welcoming.  What with a guy in the summer with an open van selling flavored ices, to the music, often reggae or old soul, pouring out of speakers from inside.  Inside, the rafts of yams, bananas, limes, oranges, and lemons speak of abundance.  Ginger.  Big containers of dried spices.  And pleasant.  People are pleasant: Eye contact, brief conversations about what’s in store.

“See these steaks?  I don’t mess around!”

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