Gothamist can't abide fruit cake. (Who the heck does?) But, there is something to be said about the virtues of dried fruit on its own, in cake-free form.

2004_12_food_dates.jpgOne of our favorite spots to shop for dried produce is in the heart of the Middle Eastern section of Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue. No, not Sahadi's, the iconic Arabic grocery emporium in Brooklyn Heights, but its neighbor across the street: Oriental Pastry & Grocery.

A much smaller operation, Oriental Pastry's selection of dried fruit is spectacular - from dried dates still clinging to the vine to vibrant slices of dried-glazed oranges sporting bitter peel along with a citrusy sweet center.

Most surprising offering: dried canteloupe. Sugary, juicy, succulent melon - dried? You read write. And, Gothamist strongly suggests you stop reading this very second and get yourself some. It's delish!

Oriental Pastry & Grocery
170 Atlantic Ave. (between Court & Clinton)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875-7687