Make Your Own Meals: Explore a Specialty Food Market #30DaysofGOOD

Hit the aisles of a region-specific grocery store you've never been to.

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for June? Make your own meals.

If there’s one grocery shopping tenet I live by, it’s "buy from the source." If you want the best peaches or the sweetest cherries, get them from a family-run orchard that sells at the farmers market. If you like killer coffee, buy it directly from a company that roasts the beans. If you want awesome ingredients for a Thai curry, you’re better off buying them from a store that specializes in Southeast Asian cuisine than you are settling for an American chain supermarket.

With that in mind, today's challenge is to seek out a specialty market you've never been to and hit the shopping aisles. You surely already know that vibrant immigrant communities offer some of the best neighborhood restaurants and food carts around. But it doesn't end there. Region-specific grocery stores offer a wide range of imported ingredients you can't find anywhere else (and at really cheap prices).

So, let's go. If there's a shop you always pass on the way home that's intrigued you, now's the time to pop in and explore. Ever wondered what that large spiky fruit stacked outside a Vietnamese market tastes like? Buy one. Have you always wanted to make your own corn tortillas from scratch? Find a carnicería that prepares fresh masa and nab a sack.

Oh, and be sure to share a picture of whatever you pick up at the market—go here for info about how to submit your photo and enter to win a GOOD t-shirt.

We're giving away $500 for you to unite your community and "Make More Meals" from locally-sourced foods. Participate in our Share a GOOD Recipe challenge.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user EvinDC