I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been born and raised (and to continue to live) in southern New Jersey. I grew up going to a multicultural public school, had friends of various ethnicities and got to taste a variety of ethnic cuisines. So for me, the idea of checking out an Asian market or an Indian market seems pretty much like a no brainer. But I figured I’d share a few easy reasons you should check out ethnic markets!
Spices are Cheaper
You know that big name brand of spices that you can find at virtually every major supermarket? The one that starts with ‘Mc’ and ends with ‘ick’? Their prices have nothing to do with supply and demand. They cost so much because there’s no competition! I will grumble and pay the price if I really need something ASAP, but why even do that when I can run into the ethnic market and get a HUGE bag for half the price? Here’s a hint: do you think the millions of first- and second-generation foreign born cook spice-laden traditional dishes paying mass market grocery store spice prices? Heck no. The grocery store big brand is there for those who care more for convenience than price.
So Many Greens
Do you want more than lettuce, kale and cabbage? Go to an Asian market! You’ll see greens, fruits and veggies just about everywhere.
Fruits and veggies you’ve never tried before can be purchased for a fun tasting party.
A Way More Exciting Seafood Department
Whole, head on fish, head on shrimp, seventeen types of squid, huge fish, tiny fish, shellfish, etc. I can’t tell you how much better cod tastes right off the bone with the skin still on. Plus you KNOW it’s fresh because you can SEE it.
There are SO MANY THINGS you can find in an ethnic market you can’t find in your run of the mill supermarket. Special cuts of meat, offal, and alternative proteins. Between our Asian market and our Korean market, we can find silky chicken, quail, pheasant, goat, rabbit, duck and several hundred varieties of seafood. Plus eggs from all sorts of birds, and more noodles than you can shake a stick at.
Tonight the Hubs and I decided to wing it, and came home with sliced ribeye for dinner, along with some rice and kimchi. I already had bulgogi marinade in the fridge from a previous excursion so we had a fun tabletop Korean meal!
Do you shop ethnic markets? I love them!