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12 September 2013

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Penny, that's great. (We had a SuperRanch store in PHX that had some of this - just nothing near the scale -- AND, as I thought I really didn't like Chinese food, I wasn't all that interested in exploring the aisles.)

Recipe cards would be great - I'll keep an eye out. Right now, I'm just using the local stuff in lieu of usual stuff in recipes I already know. (As I don't cook much, I don't know that many ...) It *is* fun to experiment though -- and given the huge difference in cost between the "imported" options and the local options, I'm very motivated to figure out how to cook stuff with the local stuff.

This looks pretty familiar to me, as we have a couple of Asian supermarkets in Boston's Chinatown and Allston neighborhoods (Super88). I'm always fascinated to go, leery to experiment, and unwilling to carry more than a bag or two. (We use Peapod to deliver our regular groceries.)

The live fish are interesting but I feel bad doing the Caesar routine -- "That one has offended me. It shall die." The tanks are labelled "Big Head Fish," "Canada Fish," etc. Somehow, the English labels don't actually help. I've never seen anything like the shellfish in your market, though! Wider variety of fish I haven't seen. Atlantic v. Pacific, I suspect.

Here, we don't have the bins of dried meats and fish. (Except for salt cod, but that's also in a few other stores. New England after all.) Everything has to be shrink-wrapped. We do have a huge frozen meats section. Birds from 2" long up to turkeys, with and without heads, all without feathers. Frog legs from 2" up to Russian wrestler size. Well, 18 inches and plump.

I'm much more adventurous in the noodle section. There's a sweet potato powder one that's gluten-free. We also have a huuuuuge Ramen Noodle section. I brought my nephew there a few years ago, and he bought 4 each of 30 flavors. The shipping cost more than the noodles! They also seem to sell the powder separately in jars. At least, the jars are in that section.

I'm also fine with experimenting with the fruits and veggies up to a point. We've tried Dragon Fruit, for example. Also many types of sauteed fungus. (Enough garlic and soy sauce make most fungus wonderful.) Some carrots are about the length and thickness of my arm. I suspect that's for decorative uses and/or matchstick cuts. Or weaponry. One carrot is more than we would use in a month.

My brief experimentation with the soy sauce section clashed with my Yankee cheapness, though. I enthusiastically bought a lovely bottle of something, but it tasted burnt. Nasty actually. The second bottle was flavorless. So with 4 bottles of soy sauce (low-salt and reg Kikkomon), I stopped. I can't throw them out, and I can't keep collecting!

Now I am feeling an urge to go experiment. Next week I should be walking enough to try a trip. I do wish they had recipe cards or something -- with pictures. If you find a site, let me know.

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