The other day, after dropping the kids off to meet the shuttle bus, Ellen and I returned to the wet market in old Tai Po and found a place that sold fresh tofu and another place that sold fresh noodles. My favorite, though, was this little booth that sold freshly ground herbs.
Then, when we left the market we turned left instead of our usual right. At the corner, we found a little open-front shop that had tall baskets of nuts and dried fruit, sold at bulk prices. We looked for a few minutes, then one of the women working there filled her scoop with a handful of peanuts and gestured toward the price per ounce sign, letting us know how much $60HK would get us. We pointed at the almonds. She filled a bag, then tapped the price. More-or-less $10 US for the equivalent of two cans of nuts. We nodded. Next she pointed toward the dried mango. I shook my head, figuring it was the usual mangy fruit dusted with too much sugar. “No, no,” she said, waving her hand. She broke off a piece for Ellen and me. It was astounding. Just the taste of fruit and nothing else. So we bought a bag of that, too.
At home, I took out the almonds and tried one. They were dusted with a salt so fine that you could neither see it nor feel it. They were delicious.