I'm curious about the availability of authentic ethnic ingredients for the home cook in MSP.
I've been happy (and even impressed, in the last 10 years) with the array of produce, meat products, spices, sauces, etc. available at the likes of Shuang Hur, Holy Land, El Burrito Mercado, Dragon Star, United Noodles (and yes, even Ingebretsen's *wink*). I'd love to hear from some outside sources - ex-pats from another country/culture, or transplants to MN that previously lived in a more "Chowish by rep" locale - if the ingredient spectrum is really truncated in our cities. And if so, in what categories? What are we missing out on, specifically? Anyone with a super-secret place for getting an obscure component of an ethnic dish?