One of the more difficult ingredients to find in Paris has been okra; this is sacrilege to a Southern American. Why you ask? We like our stewed okra and tomatoes, fried okra, pickled okra, and of course, it’s the prime ingredient of gumbo!
However, with the passing of time, one learns the city and becomes a master at where to find things: clothes that don’t cost more than your month’s rent, peanut butter, books in English, and the elusive okra.
It’s just not a popular vegetable for the average Parisian. It’s not the beloved courgette, aubergine, marron, or tomate. But, given the nature of the origin of okra, this green tube of delicious can be found among the African and Asian stores.
And lemme tell ya- there’s nothing more perplexing to an African in Paris than a little white American girl buying okra from his store. The shop owner asked me how I planned to cook it and offered his own suggestions. So now that I have found the little place who will sell me what I need, I’ll probably have a new friend who might eventually think that it’s not so odd that an outsider could appreciate okra all the same.