I read a lot of fabulous recipes online, in magazines and cookbooks, and elsewhere, and see a lot of discussion here on the boards of people mentioning all sorts of wonderful ingredients that I don't have access to down here in southern Mississippi. I have to drive to the next state to find a grocery store that doesn't consider colby jack an exotic cheese. Just last night, I went to three local grocery stores in a vain effort to find fresh basil.
I typically drive about an hour and a half once a month or so to pick up some prosciutto, some duck breasts, some good cheeses, and whatever I can find to stock up. However, I have to admit that I got downright frustrated last night while looking through a copy of Saveur (anybody else getting that free subscription?) and seeing ingredients that I just have no access to: dried chanterelle mushrooms, grapeseed oil, truffle oil, or special rice. I read a recipe calling for whole wood pigeons and couldn't help thinking of plucking doves out of the live oak out front with my brother's old air rifle.
I can't just drop by "any Asian market" for that special spice, pick up some esoteric cut of lamb from the Greek butcher, or visit the guy with all the baskets out front for the perfect almond oil. What do other "country hounds" do to find ingredients that are considered out of the norm by the local Jitney Jungle? Is there a good, inexpensive online supplier where I might be able to find such things that do or don't require refrigeration?