From Teresa, in Burlington, North Carolina:
The Grand Asia Market in Raleigh was my destination to pick up 15 pounds of Chinese broccoli for our New Year Celebration at my office. And, of course, my own home pantry list was quite long, too. Before I left home, I checked for recommended brands on The Perfect Pantry -- thank you, Lydia! I came home with baby bok choy, bean sprouts, hoisin, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, fresh/dried noodles, dumpling wrappers, garlic, peppercorns, curry powder, chutney, brown rice, Chinese sausage and other goodies.
Everyone was very kind and helpful even if they couldn't speak English and I couldn't speak Chinese. I learned a trick though....ask a young person for help -- they can speak my language! I asked a lovely 20-something young woman if she could point me to malt vinegar as someone in our office said that's what our associates in Souzhou put on their dumplings. She couldn't find malt vinegar, but when I mentioned that we have a plant in Souzhou, she perked up and found a type of vinegar that they would use. It seems different parts of China use different kinds of vinegar. Who knew?
They have a little restaurant inside the market, the Joy Luck Club. I took time to have some steamed buns and pot stickers for my lunch. The buns were too big and bready for my taste, but the pot stickers were wonderful. After this light lunch, I went back in to buy a few more items for my home pantry!
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