Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
shepgs

Buying In An Ethnic Store

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking mainly Asian stores, how many of you buy ingredients there? What do you buy? I feel a little leary about doing that. It's hard to know how to trust anything on a package I can't read and from a company that is less accessible to public scrutiny. It sure would be nice to be able to utilize this source, though. For what's it's worth, I wouldn't be looking for the grain flours. I've just ordered a mill for that, but the other stuff...

Thanks! I'm new to all this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right to be cautious. Import stickers are occasionally missing information, we have found because we have two languages under our belts. We use our language skills to contact companies or do research too. There is still some risk though. We also use our knowledge of the cuisine and ingredients. There are still quite a few things that are safe choices and that you can enjoy though.

Some things that we purchase and enjoy but don't need any special research for are:

canned pineapple stuffed lychees

dried s$#&ake mushrooms-whole, sliced or diced

fresh vegetables and fruits

frozen asian vegetables-lotus root, burdock root, edamame(soybeans) etc.

tofu

unseasoned nori sheets or ones that are seasoned with only salt and oil

rice noodles

sesame seeds

roasted sesame oil

unseasoned rice vinegar

plain frozen fish or meats-my husband likes the mackerel or other oily fish that is not readily available elsewhere, and the one near us sells special cuts of paper thin sliced beef and good quality fresh shrimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rice flour is one to be leary of......years ago I use dit then my lead levels went out of control. It appears to have been the rice flour ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get my gluten-free soy sauce at asian markets -- much cheaper than buying it at health food stores. (The negative: there are a TON of soy sauces to choose from, so it involves a lot of label-reading the first time around. It also helps to have someone who can read the original label just in case there's a mislabeling thing going on).

Otherwise I mostly buy fresh ingredients there, so there's no real worry.

*edited to fix glaring typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to what has already been suggested - I also get the starches I bake with at the local Asian market. Potato and tapioca are more than 75% cheaper there than at the health food store and I've never had a bad reaction.

I have to say, ASK the owner. Really. The store I go to is a family run business, and while there are moments when the communication can get... entertaining for both sides (the owner is a simply wonderful guy who moved here with his wife and mom 8 years ago from Mainland China - both he and she speak English, but to differing levels. Their respective mothers - not so much, but they ARE willing to guide a confused but willing girl around the aisles and figure out what each other want. When all else fails? They call in the super translator - the three kids, all under 11, who roll their eyes at both their family AND the idiot customer! lol) they have seen a sudden upswing over the last year in people looking specifically FOR gluten free products. Go in when you have time to wander and ask questions - and you might be surprised at home much you find... and how much you learn! Now, I HAVE to plan enough time to account for brain storming sessions and recipe quorums with the owner's mother when I go in.

Give it a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bought Sweet Rice flour from the Asian section of our local market. I don't think I will any more. Too many other reliable sources.

I have occasionally bought fresh produce from a big Asian market, but usually it isn't that good or fresh. Have bought some candy for my daughter. I've bought little serving dishes. And I buy my brooms there. They have nice ones with long handled dust pans.

Mostly I'm afraid to buy the food. I can't read the writing on the packages and I won't buy anything that comes from China.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't have an asian store, we do have two Mennonite stores that sell bulk items and several gluten free flours being part of the selection. I would love to buy in bulk because it is so much cheeper. I have asked the owners and while the flours are originally purchaced in 25# bags, they break it down further. They also do this with wheat and other gluten containing flours. Everything is processed in the same room. Hence my hesitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×