Market to Pantry #14: Grand Asia Market, Raleigh, North Carolina
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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I love it! Now The Perfect Pantry is our guide to gastro-tourism -- so all we need to do is get there.
I live in Raleigh and love the Grand Asian Market!! It's such a great source of inspiration for me in my cooking. They always have a great produce area and so many fun and interesting condiments to choose from among a myriad of other groceries. I always come home with something new to try!
thanks for sharing your experience. These type of markets are eyeopening in that their selections dwarf what is available at the local stop and shop! Not sure if yours has one, but the fish departments actually have live fish!!!!! and the mongers happy to cut it up anyway you like, where back at the stop and shop the clerk makes you feel like they are doing you a favour wrapping a pre cut fillet into a bag :)
This is my Asian market as well. We love it. Great produce, meat and lots of the freshest fish. Great staple items, dishes, snacks, sweets. It's got everything.
Asian markets are phenomenal. There's one about 30 minutes away from me and it's always such fun to go there (which I do not say about my regular grocery store). I especially love buying their gluten-free flours because they are so finely ground and such a bargain (as are most of their goods).
I live in Raleigh and have never been to the Grand Asia Market but that is about to change. The weather is turning favorably for me to get out and that's one of the destinations I'm aiming for. I know my daughter shops there fairly regularly. Looking at the pictures and reading the comments, the market brings back the regular shopping/eating excursions I used to make to the NYC Chinatown area for 40 odd years.
We have these in the Atlanta area and they are a WONDERLAND of ingredients. The confusing thing is that they are most often referred to as "Farmer's Markets." You can google "Farmer's Market" and find an address, get all the way out there only to discover you're in a ginormous ethnic market instead of an open-air market. Luckily I have one right near me called International Farmer's Market and (you guessed it) - giant ethnic market. They have Jamaican ingredients, Thai, Chinese and even some European stuff. Their produce is generally dirt cheap and beautiful.
If you go to one of these markets ===>take the recipe with you. All the better if the ingredient list is in the native language of the cuisine you're trying to cook. I have a Chinese cookbook (from China) and the ingredients are listed 3 ways: Chinese character, Chinese pronunciation and American term (if available). I handed the book to the clerk and pointed out what I needed. It turned a potentially frustrating shopping trip into a really speedy, happy experience.
Way to go Raleigh! nice market!
There is a Grand Asia in the Charlotte NC area now and it is wonderful! I shop there every week.