International Foods

Pete’s Fresh Market is proud to offer produce and products from around the globe. Each location focuses on the surrounding community and aims to provide items that reflect that unique neighborhood. Our team searches high and low for authentic international foods and beverages that can’t be found anywhere else in Chicago. Often, these products are imported directly to Pete’s from places like Europe, India, Asia, and the Middle East. Our goal is to bring the nostalgic flavors of home to the diverse people of Chicago.
 
Below is a selection of some of the more exotic and unfamiliar items you may find in your neighborhood Pete’s Fresh Market. We challenge you to try something new and expand your culinary horizons!

Atta Flour

South Asia
This semi-hard wheat is high in gluten, which makes dough strong and able to be rolled out thinly. This ability makes it good for making flatbreads like chapatti, roti, and naan.

Baba ghanoush

Middle East
A traditional blended mixture of cooked eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and tahini that is eaten with pita. Similar to hummus, it can be eaten as a snack or appetizer.

Bittermelon

Asia & Africa
With an unusual shape and texture, this melon is extremely bitter in flavor. Lower its intensity by cooking it into stir-fry dishes, soups, and curries.

Boniato

South America
This type of potato is a cross between white and sweet potatoes. It is fluffier, drier, and less sweet than orange potatoes. Boniatos can be used in place of any other potato.

Chayote

Latin America
Chayote is a squash light in flavor with a crisp texture. It should be rinsed heavily before cooking due to its slimy coating. Apply it to dishes like you would a summer squash.

Cherimoya

Latin America
This fruit’s creamy, white flesh blends the flavors of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Enjoy it fresh or in smoothies and shakes.

Daikon

Asia
Daikon is a mild flavored type of radish. It can be pickled, stir fried, or mixed with cooked rice.

Dals

India & South Asia
Dal is a general name covering dried and split lentils, peas, or other beans. Dals are a good source of protein prepared by boiling. (Chana - black chickpeas, Toor - yellow pigeon peas, Moong - mung beans, Urad - black gram, Massoor - red lentils)

Fish Sauce

Southeast Asia
The fermentation of fish with sea salt causes the strong scent and amber color of fish sauce. It is used in cooking to add flavor and as a base for dipping sauces.

Ghee

India
Ghee is a clarified butter made from cow’s milk. It is popular in Punjabi cuisine and is used in place of oil. It can also be served with rice or roti.

Kohlrabi

Germany
Kohlrabi is similar in taste and texture to broccoli stems. However, it is milder and sweeter and can be eaten raw in salads or slaws, or cooked as a side.

Lupin Beans

Mediterranean & Latin America
These beans must be soaked in salted water for days to become edible. Once soaked, they can be pickled and eaten as a snack. They offer a high amounts of protein and fiber.

Mamey

Latin America
The brown and rough skin gives way to a pink or orange flesh that is creamy and soft. Eat mamey raw or add it into smoothies, milkshakes, or ice cream.

Mayocoba Beans

South America
Mayocoba beans are mild in flavor and have a creamy texture. Use them as a replacement for pinto or cannellini beans. Incorporate them into soups, salads, and refried bean dishes.

Nopales

Mexico
At first intimidating, nopales or cactus paddles have a flavor similar to asparagus. Pads with the thorns already removed make them easy to cook. Add to eggs, meats, tacos, and salads.

Piquin Peppers

Mexico
Piquin peppers are 13-40 times hotter than jalapeños. Their citrusy and nutty flavor is best used in pickling, salsas, soups, and hot sauces. They are most commonly found dried in the grocery aisle.

Pizzelle

Italy
Our imported cookie section includes these thin waffle cookies. They are made in special irons with intricate shapes. The cookies can be used as a cannoli shell or to make a sandwich with cannoli cream.

Polenta

Italy
Polenta is cornmeal boiled into porridge. It can then be baked, grilled, or fried. Eat polenta as a side dish or incorporated into other ingredients to add substance.

Ponzu

Japan
This Japanese citrus-based sauce is tart and dark brown in color. Use it as a dressing for meat or as a dip for sashimi.

Puya Chiles

Mexico
Puya chiles are small, but range from 5,000 to 8,000 Scoville heat units, slightly more than a jalapeño. They have a light, fruity flavor profile like wild berries. The chiles are most commonly found dried and used in mole and flavoring meats.

Rambutan

Southeast Asia
Hairy looking rambutan fruit is sweet and mildly acidic, similar to grapes. They can be eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies.

Tahini

Mediterranean & Middle East
Ground sesame seeds create the paste named tahini. It should be stored in a refrigerator. The paste is used to make hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.

Tamarind

South Asia & Latin America
Tamarind pods have a sweet flavor and can be used in desserts as a jam, blended into juices, or ice cream. It is also used as an ingredient in Worcesterhire sauce.

Tindora

India
Tindora is similar to a cucumber in shape, color, and taste. It does have a mildly bitter aftertaste. Add it to curries or deep-fry it.