Shopping Ethnic Markets for Enticing Options

Shopping for Asian Produce

When trying to make lifestyle changes, there are ways to improve food quality, and ways to improve food costs.  Ethnic markets in some cases can help to do both.  Ethnic markets often offer other meat, dairy, produce, grains and legumes, deli, and beverage choices than what an ordinary grocery store does. 

Standard US supermarkets only offer a fraction of what is actually available, and often it is over-packaged and higher in price.  Oriental, Middle Eastern, and Indian supermarkets often offer spice selections in bulk that are cheaper, fresher, and packaged in bulk.  Items such as saffron are available in different quantities and grades.  Middle Eastern and Indian supermarkets offer dairy selections that are unusual, rich, and varied, sourced from goat, sheep, and cow's milk. 

Tea is a great way to change one's standard beverage choices.  Ethnic markets of many kinds offer different selections of tea, such as black, green, and herbal, in a range of grades, styles and sources that are often unfamiliar, exotic, and enticing, which can offer an interesting option to those who are trying to remove soda from their diet. 

In many places, the Oriental groceries provide the best and often only live fishmonger available in an area.  They also often offer a wider range of shellfish than an ordinary grocery.  All three grocery types offer beans and rice in a range of varieties.  Rice in particular comes in a large number of different types, and most of them are not marketed for the average US supermarket.  Different varieties of short grain, long grain, jasmine, basmati, and many others, as well as whole grain blends that are meant to supplement the need for whole grains in the diet offer many subtle and not-so-subtle flavor and textural variations that can make Asian and Mediterranean cooking at home a whole new adventure.  


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