Sometimes I feel like eating a cuisine I’m not particularly good at, or don’t have the cupboard resources to roll out on a dime. Chinese food is one example — if I ever want to feel inadequate as a cook, I’ll try to make a Chinese dinner. Same with Indian. I can could a reasonably good generic curry, but am lacking the encyclopedic pantry of spices and unusual ingredients to go much further. Fortunately, my cravings for either of these two cuisines is rare, and when need strikes I can usually survive on the occasional take out. I’m mostly satisfied with my repertoire, and will leave the meins and masalas to the experts. Or, I eat Trader Joe’s.
I get annoyed when I meet people from the East Coast who ask whether we have Trader Joe’s on the West Coast. More