Scenes from Chinatown: Odd Produce and Buckets of Crabs

New York

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Do you shop in Chinatown? We're always intimidated by the markets there. The produce is often unfamiliar, and a language barrier doesn't exactly help. But we snapped some pictures while walking along Grand Street this past weekend, then came home and did some Internet searching... We're already familiar with the infamous durian, thanks to Kathryn's post a while back about how to open one.
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We think this is a silk squash, which we found compared to okra and loofa. It is apparently good fried...
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Below is dragon fruit, which has mild white flesh flecked with tiny black seeds.
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This bumpy guy is called bitter melon. The most familiar reference we found was to zucchini.
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Long beans! These we know.
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And then there are the seafood markets, with their boxes brimming with fish, squid, clams, and crabs. Boy, do these places stink. But the goods do look fresh.
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And above the jump: crabs and fuzzy melons, which are gourds similar to winter squash.

We got some of our information from this article:

But we want your input! Do you shop in Chinatown? Where do you go? What do you buy?

Related: Finding Cheap Food in San Francisco

(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)

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