markets of the worldwe travel alot and markets including supermarkets are our "museum of the living" I love the markets in France, even LeClerc the supermarket is way cool. We ended up buying a whole leg of spain ham and hung it above the fireplace in the old farmhouse we stayed at for the month. Everynight we'd have some ham and port or wine yumm and it was ridiculously cheap. Too bad you cannt bring those things back home.
In Southeast Asia Bali in particular both the outdoor produce and sundries market and even the supermarkets are facinating.
I would say we have been to markets and supermarkets in Greece, Turkey, Israel, France, Spain, Portugal, Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Java, Lombok, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica to name a few... Yeah we love to travel on our stomaches.
Living in New York there is a pleuthra of great sources. Besides the many that Suzanne mentioned - and we use the green market at Union Square and Chelsea Market extensively for the catering business, there are some great areas and markets in the outer boros. In fact I often take vistors and even local NY friends on what I call a food safari.
Since Suzanne covered alot of Manhattan, I'll do Queens
I live in Queens, Forest Hills to be exact, and in my hood there are alot of Russian, Uzbeki, and Israeli Stores that sell great stuff from deli items - lots of pork products, cheeses, capanata in jars, korean carrot salad (a hold over from the soviet days I guess when the communists were all buddies)
A great find has been the Russian Candies - interesting flavors and gorgeous wrappings and graphics on individual chocolate and filled candies sold loose by the pound between 4-6#. There's a fabulous store that sells alot of Israeli products, as well as salmon caviar, fresh pita, prepared hummous as well as their own, fresh roasted coffee, nuts and dried fruit, spices by the pound so you can just get a small amount.
Then if you go to Elmhurst there are numerous Asian stores, restaurants and supermarkets with so many different ingredients I wish I had a translater sometimes. We've even found an Indonesian store and they sell this amazing dried block that becomes a good peanut sauce with lots of flavorings including a very distict lemongrass. I've used it as a coating on grilled shrimp, since it crumbles to a powder (which you are supposed to mix with water to make peanut sauce) The asian in general are into alot of packaged foods and seasonings. Funny enuf, there was a vendor at the weekly market in the south of France selling some of the same items we had brought with us for my niece like chili jam, peking duck seasoning, hoisin etc - down to the same brand even.
Then there is the Patel Brothers chain of supermarkets. I believe they have stores across the country. The biggest one in NY is in Jackson Heights which is a very multi ethnic community with Indian, Pakistani, Pan Latino, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian (the store I mentioned) and more....
Then there is the Flushing Chinatown, which covers many asian cultures and on the fringes of it there are many pakistani supermarkets and bodegas. The food choices are boggling. But if you want good BBQ NY isn't really the place to be...and good BBQ is an art form unto itself. Then of course you have the carribean neighborhoods of Queens, with everything from Jamacian Jerk and Patties to Trini Roti and Curries. And the fruits, vegetables and spices change again. There is a chain of supermarkets called Western Beef - in fact there's one across the street from Chelsea market, but mostly they are in very ethnic neighborhoods and cater to whatever groups lives closest - so when you need hard to source produce and canned goods/spices they are another source to check out. They don't carry the same thing in each store.
Parts of Eastern Queens that border with Long Island have become very Indian and you find restaurants and shops and bakeries all over the place.
Astoria has middle eastern foods - there's a fabulous bakery called Laziza's of NY, also well known for Greek Food, Titan Foods is a fun store to visit with 10-15 different kinds of olives 6 kinds of feta, etc. Best find there has been a 1 kilo tub of total greek yogurt for $6.25 man I love that stuff especially with some of the phillipino honey lime stuff drizzled over the top.
That's a cool product we found in the Asian supermarket. It's a special Phillipino lime probably similar to key lime from the smell called Kalamansi Lime
mixed with a honey - it's a concentrate to make a drink but we use it in lots ofthings from crab coleslaw to fruit preparations as well as a drink if you aren't feeling that great.
It's fun to have so many choices in your own backyard. Of course I cann't go pick Meyer Lemons off the tree like my friend Ron does but hey, I can have pizza at Nick's or DiFara's.
Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...