While specialty food shops offer a wonderland of delicious and unique grub, some of the offerings can be a little over the average eater's head, like that crazy truffle oil, which tastes nothing like candy. Figure food out, then buy it, at Gourmet Library
The new sibling of already successful WineLibrary, Gourmet's a foodie's wet dream web shop that'll also help guide the culinary-inept with lots of info, reviews, and informative videos on everything from hand-picked snacks to hard-to-find ingredients, which would actually be quite easy to find if you'd just slide the Sunny D to the side of your fridge. The schooling starts with each item's brief descrip, rounded out with straightforward info on its geographic origin, a list of ingredients, and processing methods; each product also gets its own video hosted by the connoisseurs behind the site, during which they taste and comment on everything from "awesome smelling, not hard, not overly salty" fennel salami, to Cerignola olives, which they tout as "sweet, meaty, and not super-briney", a description they brazenly plagiarized from your JDate profile. Deliciousness spans broad categories from Artisan Cheeses to Sauces & Spreads to Charcuterie, with each broken down into hyperspecific subsections (i.e., goat's milk/soft/sharp cheeses, salsas/jams/BBQ sauces, pate/meats/foie gras), with some of the more interesting finds including Jamaican jerk jack cheese, Corsican beer jelly, smoked alligator sausage, and Russian bologna, which has a first name, and it's Vladimir
To get an advanced degree in pseudo-yuppiedom check Gourmet's wine-pairing section, which is quite a nice trick, but offers precious little on autumnal orchard fruit.