You know what’s the best part about shopping at a discount retailer like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s? Browsing the food section. I swear it’s like perusing a food bank in New York City’s Upper East Side–you’ll usually find a random assortment of fancy condiments, spices, teas and other artisanal (read: expensive) goodies. Take, for example, my latest trip to Marshall’s near the Pentagon City Mall in Arlington. The food section was looking a little picked over, but I still managed to find:
1) Himalayan pink sea salt
2) agave nectar
3) pomegranate white balsamic vinegar
4) pimentón, or Spanish paprika
5) sweet potato butter
6) gianduia chocolate spread
7) and Spanish extra-virgin olive oil derived from “century-old olive trees.”
And the best part is, even the most
cheap frugal shopper can take any of these splurge-worthy items home without feeling guilty about it.
Example: an $8 box of rooibos vanilla tea for about $4. I mentioned rooibos way back when I was recovering from my macaron-making mania, and it’s worth mentioning again because, well, it’s awesome.
Rooibos (pronounced roy-bus) is a tea derived from a red bush that’s native to South Africa, and I first heard about it a few years ago when my best friend, Annabelle, fell in love with it while visiting South Africa on business. She raved about it when she got home, but I never really got into it until I came up with the rooibos-white chocolate macaron this past Christmas.
By all accounts, it’s the perfect tea, with all the antioxidants and other health benefits of green tea, but without the caffeine or teeth-staining tannins. Plus, it tastes a lot like a creamy, vanilla-y black tea, so it’s perfect with a little milk and sugar after dinner, and it won’t keep you up at night if you’re as sensitive to caffeine after 5pm as I am.
I started out with Celestial Seasonings’ Madagascar Vanilla African Rooibos, but after that ran out, this cute box of Kromland Farm tea caught my eye at Marshall’s. It’s actually from South Africa, so you know it’s good. And yes, it’s in fact pretty damned delicious.
So delicious, in fact, that rooibos just might be the next big yuppie food trend. A dubious title, to be sure, but hey, trendy or not, I can see myself keeping a stash of this stuff in my cupboard for years to come.
Have you tried rooibos tea? What did you think of it?