My Visit to an Asian Market
Fortunately for me, I live close to an excellent Asian Market. The Grand Asia Market is a chain of two Asian markets, one in Raleigh and one in Charlotte. I’ve been in the Grand Asia Market several times before but I was so impressed with the variety of produce on my last visit that I decided to share my visit with you! I went there looking for tahini as their prices on some items are much lower than the local grocery store. (See my last post Chicken Pita Pockets with Lentils, Tahini Sauce.)
On their website the Grand Asia Market states that they carry thousands of fresh and dry products sourced from countries such as China, Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam. They claim to have the freshest produce at the best prices in town. (I can vouch for the price of Roma tomatoes – I bought 6 large ones for a total of $1.32!) This Asian market carries oranges, apples, broccoli and other familiar fruits and vegetables while at the same time carrying Asian essentials such as bok choy, nagaimo and lychee.
The Grand Asia Market has a meat department as well as a seafood department that has a large tank filled with live fish, clams, crabs, lobsters, tilapia and striped bass for starters. They also have Non-Food Items such as sake sets, sushi sets, chopsticks, bowls, bamboo skewers and much more.
The Asian Market Bakery
In this Asian market there is a Hong Kong-inspired bakery. I enjoyed looking at the decorated cakes there, which are reportedly not as sweet as cakes found in a western-style bakery.
There were also cakes decorated with fresh fruit.
The Grand Asia Market occupies space in a building that was once a Winn-Dixie supermarket. When you walk in there is a huge container of larger-than-life, boldly-colored faux peonies to greet you.
Upon entering the Asian market, many aromas welcome you inside. There is a restaurant on the premises with a seating area. The restaurant offers items you might expect in an Asian restaurant such as hot and sour soup, wonton soup, spring rolls, pot stickers, cashew chicken, Kung Pao chicken, fried rice, and low mein in addition to roast duck, seafood, beef and pork specials.
Asian Market Produce Area
The produce area is almost overwhelming with the huge variety of vegetables and fruits available there. Here’s a sampling of photos for your perusal!
Between the oranges and the kiwi fruit is this unusual fruit called a Dragon Fruit. I had never seen one before but I was captivated by the deep pink and lime green colors. I researched it when I got home and discovered that the inside is white with small black seeds, somewhat resembling chocolate chip ice cream. (I relate everything to food!) I’m totally intrigued by the Dragon Fruit and I plan to try one soon!
The vegetables on the back wall shelves were all green ones!
There are so many vegetables here that are unfamiliar to me. This table was labeled Taro Malanga. I googled Taro Malanga and found that there are a lot of people with that name! Seriously, Malanga is a brown, hairy tuber cultivated in tropical regions around the world, being closely related to taro root. Malanga is ground into a paste from which a rich, starchy flour is made. The flour may be found in Latin American markets.
Beautiful Ginger, Garlic, Tomatillos, & Roma Tomatoes!
Above photo: Lotus Root Slices and Ginkgo Nuts, below photo: Korean Daicon
A colorful area adjoins the check-out area of the Asian market. The cashiers are friendly and eager to assist the customers.
In conclusion, I enjoyed my visit to the Asian market and I’m sure I’ll return soon! For my readers who have children and/or grandchildren out of school for the summer, a great educational field trip for them would be to visit an Asian market if there’s one near you! If you’re homeschooling your children this would also be a great way to study another culture as well as unfamiliar foods.
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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