Shopping Asian Markets for the Adventurous Palate

Woman Shopping in Oriental Market

How far can one push their food boundaries?  The US is fortunate to have access to the food and culture of many different civilizations, allowing those with an adventurous palate to go on food journeys without leaving home.  Oriental supermarkets are famously found in Chinatowns all over the US, but more are located in suburban areas as well, to serve the local demographic.  These types of markets come in many sizes and ranges of merchandise, often specializing in the specialties of one cuisine, but most have a range of offerings. 

One local establishment offers a wide selection of items, and a quick tour of this wonderful place may make it easier to walk into such an exotic spot.  This oriental supermarket has a bakery, a deli, a produce section, a live fishmonger, dry goods, and a frozen foods section.  There is also a bubble tea cafe and video store in the front of it.  The bakery offers a beautiful range of breads and pastries.  The deli offers roast chicken, pork, and duck by the pound, as well as other barbequed meats. 

Some delis also offer banh mi which are Vietnamese subs, which are both tasty and full of vegetables.  The produce section offers fresh noodles, tofu, fruits and vegetables.  This grocery has more than six different types of mushrooms at any given time.  There are also duck, chicken, and quail eggs.  The butcher is a great place to buy ground pork. There is a wide selection of other cuts of fresh pork, beef, and a variety of poultry including chicken, duck, and quail.  Live fish swim before my eyes, as well as fresh fish in the case, at the fish counter.  Live crabs and conch wait to be purchased in large tubs.

Dumplings, wrappers, prepared meals, sushi ingredients, vegetables, seafood and meat of all sorts, and frozen desserts are available in the frozen foods section.  Dry goods include a huge variety of rice and noodles, both processed and unprocessed, an entire aisle of tea, and canned meats, fruits, vegetables, sauces, and spices.  There is a pharmacy at the front, and behind that counter, they keep the selection of their best quality and most expensive tea.


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