Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asia Mart! The beginning of new culinary adventures.

If you've ever driven around the Castleton Square Mall, you've probably whizzed past Asia Mart - an oriental superstore that carries cuisine and ingredients from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. Step inside for a cultural whirlwind.

Just like every other grocery store, the freshly baked goods are at the front, reeling people in by their sweet tooths.

Noodles! Every type; dried or fresh, thick or thin, long or short, made from wheat, buckwheat, or rice. Oh, to try them all!

Fish! They come in all varieties as well: living, freshly refrigerated, frozen, dried, canned, bottled, and tubed.

Quail eggs are the epitome of cute. So tiny, so dainty, so speckled. Apparently, they are the new "hip" ingredient and are said to have the most delicate flavor of all eggs. It's probably just the cuteness that grabbed all of the attention.

Wonton and dumpling wrappers are so delicate. I'm forever amazed at those who can make these by hand. Check out this video to fully appreciate the work that goes into handmade wrappers.

This is a durian. It's a fruit with stinky, but sweet flesh underneath that scary, spiky exterior. It can be eaten raw when ripe or used as a flavoring in candy or other treats.

The frozen section has a myriad of heat-and-eat items. How about this appetizer variety pack!

The beverage isle. Can't read anything? Me either. Just look at the pictures on the cans. There's a giant chance you'll like it.

Roasted and salted bean of sorts? I'd eat it.

Get your traditional dish ware at the back of the mart.

My beloved bubbles/pearls/boba/tapioca balls. They are so cheap. Now all I have to do is figure out how to make my own bubble tea. This day will be marked on the calendar.

Candy! Glorious candy! I love the little chocolate filled cookies in the shape of pandas. They remind me of the Koala Yummies of my childhood. Find green tea and mango flavored chocolate in this isle.

It's obvious that many customers will not be able to read a quarter of the packaging on the grocery items. The staff is prepared to answer questions and are very kind when doing so. The Asia Mart is a catalyst for breaking through old, mundane cooking/eating routines. It is the aid for expanding your weekly home dinners and the first step towards new cooking adventures. Com'on, give it a try. You may never look back.

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