Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

New-to-me farmer's market

I can get a lot of "exotic" grocery items in the regular grocery stores around here--Atlanta's a big city, and DeKalb County is the most culturally diverse county in the State. And if I do need something not found at Publix or Kroger, it can usually be turned up at Your DeKalb Farmer's Market--I get there every week or two for Greek yogurt, wheat grass (for the cats), unsalted dry roasted nuts, bulk grains, things like that.

But yesterday I decided I wanted to make Cook's Illustrated's hot and sour soup, and the Chinese black vinegar the recipe called for was not to be found at YDFM. So at lunch today I went to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market, a large store in the midst of the Buford Highway olio of many Hispanic and Asian groups. I'd been to their old store a number of years ago, and I remember it as dark, not so clean (rather like YDFM, but worse), and very confusing. But they moved across the street into a new space, and boy is it different. Bright, spacious, well-laid out. Huge produce section with the usual things plus all sorts of Asian and Hispanic specialty items. A not-too-big bakery section (not as fancy as YDFM, which runs to French pastries and cookies). I didn't investigate the meats and fish, but there were lots of tanks for live seafood at the back. The middle of the store is grocery items, with aisles labelled as "Asian" "Hispanic" or "American" plus whatever the food types, so I could go to "Asian oils/sauces" and found my black vinegar immediately. With a choice of at least 2 (that were clearly labelled in English), plus another that was sweetened--not what I need for the soup. The far side of the store was housewares--pots, pans, china, utensils, cleaning supplies, etc., most clearly Asian imports.

I need to go back and resurrect my attempts to find several good types of frozen items for dim sum. I'd tried a couple of things from a Ranch 99 market (smaller store also on Buford Highway) but most choices of dumplings seemed to involve soy filler and surimi as major ingredients). This place looks to have some different brands and varieties, so I need to come again when I have time to explore, search out the English labels, and decide what to try.

P.S. Postponed the soup making until after dinner, as sister-in-law offered steak. Good thing, too, as it took me an hour and a half to do all the prep and make the soup. Now I have 8 cups or so of what promised to be quite-spicy hot and sour soup--may have to reduce the chili oil next time around. We'll see...
Tags: cooking

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