The Market

Dont you love Chinese and other Asian markets?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Braadwijk says:

    DURIAN FRUIT!!! I love that stuff.

  2. Brian Day says:

    The second picture immediately made me think of SpongeBob SquarePants and Jelly Fish Fields.

    On topic: I live very close to Little Saigon here in Orange County, CA. The Asian markets are very interesting. Love some things, kinda’ weary on some of the more “exotic” fare. ;P

  3. RichR says:

    My wife is half-Korean. Her mom is full-blooded. My idea of “food” changed dramatically the day I first visited my future in-laws.

  4. jarhead462 says:

    Love, love, love, the Asian market! So many cool things to choose from.
    Father, get some of those Chinese sausages, cut them up, saute’ them in your frying pan,(or grill them) and squeeze some lime juice on ’em…..YUM!

    Semper Fi!

  5. Art says:

    Beware of the durian Fr. Z. Anyone who opens one of those spiky fruits is guaranteed to make the entire neighbourhood smell like death warmed over.

  6. Kristen says:

    Anthony Bourdain says that durian tastes like runny French cheese.
    Buy some and tell me if it’s true!

  7. Braadwijk says:

    It does taste like runny French cheese, mixed with a hint of garlic and deliciously custardy. It’s a guilty pleasure.

  8. Jenny says:

    Okay, I have to ask…..4th one down…is that some kind of brain?

  9. Stephanie says:

    Jenny, I was thinking the same thing… either that or some sort of rectangular chunk of intestines?

  10. justinmartyr says:

    Asian markets are great, as long as they keep buying our T-bills.

  11. Art says:

    The ‘hint’ of garlic has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I found that I could only eat the stuff holding my nose….

  12. Paul Haley says:

    My wife is half-Korean. Her mom is full-blooded. My idea of “food” changed dramatically the day I first visited my future in-laws.

    ROFL (or rolling on the floor laughing for those not tuned into the internet acronyms).

  13. KJ MacArthur says:

    Durian does not taste like runny French cheese with a hint of garlic; it tastes like gym socks that haven’t been washed for several months, soaked in runny French cheese, and with a moldy clove of garlic stuck on top.

  14. tihald says:

    There are some great Asian markets here in the Chicagoland ‘burbs. Particularly Mitsuwa and H Mart. I tried a Durian shake at a restaurant near one of the H Marts. Couldn’t get through all of it. My wife says that durian tastes like what sewer gas smells.

  15. GOR says:

    I have dial-up, so it takes awhile for the pictures to display. But, upon reading the title, I was quite sure this would not be about the economy…:)

  16. PMcGrath says:

    We have a place called “Foodmart International,” in Spring Valley NY, near my place. Not only does it have all of the Asian fun stuff you see here — well, maybe not the “brains” pictured above — but it also has all of the Latin American fun stuff.

    Think of:
    * more rice than you could possibly imagine. Fifty-pound bags of it.
    * one entire side of an aisle with every possible Asian noodle.
    * two-story tall stack of canned coconut milk and other canned wonders on the “Great Wall of Values.”
    * Spices? Yeah, they’ve got ’em.
    * Live fish tanks.
    * Beans!
    * Really weird teas!
    * Cornmeal for masa
    * Other things that I’ve completely forgotten.

    Can’t get much better for entertainment.

  17. Dave says:

    Tripe, the fourth one down, and I’ll take 5 pounds!

  18. KK says:

    I get the feeling “you are not in Kansas anymore”

  19. Luigi says:

    Tripe is correct, I believe, Dave. And you can have my 5 pounds. : )

    That’s the lining of a cow’s (or some other beast’s) stomach, for those who have never had it.

    We ate it a lot growing up in a dish we called gugootz, Southern Italian imigrant dialect for “cucuzza” which is squash. I loved it as a kid; tripe, tomatoes, garlic, onion and zucchini. It was good peasant food.

  20. We’ve got H Mart in the DC area as well. I believe it’s Korean-owned. Other chains include the Chinese-owned Great Well. We go there for the produce, as it’s cheaper than the American chains. They also have fresh Maryland crabs, which can save a trip across the Bay Bridge.

  21. Scott W. says:

    Us southerners did boiled peanuts, but you need raw peanuts for it; and for us in the more northernly southern states, only the Asian markets carry it.

  22. Corleone says:

    BRAADWIJK – I had my furst “Durian Encounter” precisely 3 Christmasses ago. My aunt is Filipina and since my childhood would try and explain a durian to me to the point where I was finally convinced that it was a hoax or running-joke with her and my uncle at my expense. But then one Christmas I got one as a present (too big to fit in the stocking though). I invited a few of my friends over to “break it open” and have a go, but I was the only one who partook. And although everyone who’s ever tried a Durian has their own special description of the taste and smell, to me it was a mixture of garlic and sweaty socks. And no matter what I would put on my tongue afterwards (milk, juice, salt, chilis) I couldn’t get the taste out my mouth for about 4 hours.

    FATHER – Those are great pictures, and gratefully don’t show the LIVE fish gasping for air in dry trays. That always upsets me.

  23. Corleone says:

    KJ MacArthur – sorry, I didn’t read your post before I posted mine. And yes! I felt the same way!

    RICHR – I dated a half-Korean half-American girl way back in college. She first introduced me to Korean BBQ, and I never miss an opportunity to eat it if I get the chance. Not a lot of opportunity for that here in Italy tho. Although Rome has one.

  24. Joanne says:

    A little Creap in your coffee?

    I lived in Japan for 2 yrs and their supermarkets are pretty Westernized. They’re not quite the um, olfactory experience that the Asian markets I’ve been to here are.

    Japanese food is just. so. good. If anyone likes sweets and is near a Japanese grocery store, I recommend the daifuku. (Not sure, they may be sold at other kinds of Asian markets as well.)

  25. Brad says:

    Ahhh the durian.. the undisputed king of acquired tastes.

  26. John Enright says:

    Just gotta love these food posts!

  27. gregg says:

    Looks like some of the markets on University Ave in Saint Paul.

  28. Maureen says:

    Jungle Jim’s in Hamilton, Ohio is another one of those superduperhuge and diverse international markets. They do stock durian — outside and out back, from what I understand. :) But I’ve never seen or had any, because nobody ever takes me when they go to Jungle Jim’s. They just tell me about it afterward. Although once, they brought me back some crickets to eat.

    (In case you’re wondering — not much meat or taste on a dried cricket.)

  29. Marc says:

    Oh, happy memories of Jungle Jim’s! we would drive from Oxford…. But I don’t recall the durian exiled outside.

  30. Brian Day says:

    Tripe…That’s the lining of a cow’s (or some other beast’s) stomach, for those who have never had it.

    Tripe is the basis for Menudo, a Mexican delicacy.

  31. Fr Z. (Z.??),

    I am so glad to see your love for Chinese food again. Please let me know when you come to Vancouver, Canada, and we will bring to around to eat different kinds Chinese food.

  32. supertradmom says:

    We went regularly to a Vietnamese market until lately, when we moved away from the neighborhood. The cream buns from the Chinese bakery in Chicago were excellent. All the tea was wonderful, as well as the boiled candies. We had fish from the market, but I could not bring myself to buy the fresh, live crabs, which always look a little bit sad.

    However, my VERY favorite market, and I wonder if it is still open, was the Polish market, called “Polcan” in Calgary, Alberta, where the meat was fantastic, the kippers wonderful, and the plum dumplings to die for….We lived in Canada for several years and I must say, that the mussels there, surprisingly, were as good as any in France. Is this a heresy?

    Wonder if there are any out there in blog land who know if this excellent market is still open on the south-east side, on Heritage Drive.

  33. Khaled says:

    Waiting for a post on Fr. L’s blog on Fr. Z’s day at the market. Let the first salvo fly.

    Just tryin to stir the pot.

  34. Amadan says:

    People, please be wary of potential health hazards at these place.

  35. Oh durian fruit! An Asian friend of mine once gave me a durian fruit cookie. She warned me that it would be unlike anything I’d ever tried before. I laughed and opened the little package. My first thought was: gas fumes. And the taste pretty much matched. I forced myself to eat it. Our other friends who witnessed it politely refused.

  36. wsxyz says:

    My wife is Korean so I see this stuff all the time but it is nothing compared to what you will find in a market in Korea.

    I ingratiate myself by eating anything someone gets for me in Korea. One fine day at the Busan fish market I started off with live baby octopus and hot sauce (the tentacles try to grab your face while you’re eating them). Then we had some stir-fried eel. (Old lady grabs a couple of squirming eels out of her bucket, chops off the head, slices down the middle and guts them, then tosses them in the frying pan — all in about 20 seconds). We finished the day by strolling down the street occasionally stopping to choose a fish, which would be instantly netted, smashed on the head and then tossed in a plastic bag. (The squid had to be thrown on the floor first to let it shoot it’s ink) and we took the 4 or 5 chosen fish to restaurant in a tent, when the fish we brought were sliced and served raw, along with dozens of side dishes and many bottles of soju (Korean liquor).

    Another time we were taking a trip and saw a guy selling stuff on the side of the road. It turned out that my mother-in-law knew him and so we stopped to buy some of his wares. The boiled fish cakes were good, but the steaming hot dark brown liquid I was required to drink was really not my favorite. I later found out it was “tea” made from kudzu roots.

    I won’t get into the rest but here’s a good rule of thumb: If they say it’s good for your health or stamina, you probably don’t really want to eat it.

  37. Steve K. says:

    I consider myself fairly adventurous in food, and like all sorts of (western) unusual things, I will eat for example meats from nearly any part of an animal, I’ve had tripe soup (in Poland even, so it’s like menudo without the delicious spices), but… my couple of visits to Asian food markets, especially in Chinatown in SF, were traumatic, and I’m afraid I just can’t bring myself to eat these things you lot describe. Just the wriggling things from abyss were enough to make me lose my appetite for hours. It was like being in an HP Lovecraft novel. I thought the “food” market was going to get up and wriggle after me shrieking “Cthulhu fhtaghn!”

    East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat!

  38. Jason says:

    Let me just start off by saying that I adore the Durien fruit! It does not taste like “sweat socks” or smells of “rotting cat” or anything else people describe it as.

  39. Jason says:

    “People, please be wary of potential health hazards at these place.”

    would you kindly explain what you mean to imply with this comment? Am I correct in deducing that you mean to say Asian food markets are somehow unsafe? Perhaps you have had an off-putting experience, but it is certainly unfair to make such a generalization. Did you see anything in Fr. Z’s photos posted above that cause you alarm?

  40. Austin says:

    Durian is truly the King of Fruits. It is addictive. Granted, it seems to stink at first, but that wears off once it is on the tongue. The creamy custardy pungent slightly sweet indescribable glory of pulling an egg-sized mouthful off the first big seed, and then to realize there are half a dozen more of the perfect pods to eat inside one fruit. It is one of the world’s great experiences. Eat with an open mind, if not with any friends.

  41. teresa says:

    Dear father Zuhlsdorf:

    What a surprise to see pictures of Chinese foods on your blog!

    I am Chinese and I began to read your blog some months before, because of the TLM!

    But isn’t it great that the world is getting so close and we, despite our different cultural backgrounds and outlooks, are all catholics?

    It is a great feeling to be a catholic.

  42. TK says:

    Say no to durians!

    Say yes to jackfruits, the true king of the fruit world!

  43. Adam says:

    What a glorious and delicious fruit this is. How I miss having a regular
    bite at the durian fruit with its soft texture, golden chunks of sweetness.
    Ah yes, what a find to see that this is on the WDTPRS site…Never thought
    I would see such a thing here.
    It is the theological fruit that defers description.
    If you think this is over the top, then you need to try it and savour.
    The smell – bunkem!!! Its the taste and texture of one of God’s great creations for his people.
    It ought be TOP in the canon of fruits.

  44. Corleone says:

    TK Jackfruit is GREAT! There’s an ice-cream parlour in San Francisco, CA called “Marco Polo” which serves both Durian and Jackfruit icecream (I always order the latter). It’s usually an fun and exotic day out with family/friends going there. And you can buy sliced semi-fresh jack-fruit just around the corner. The stuff in the cans just isn’t the same.

  45. John Kusske says:

    Fr Z, looks like Ocean Star Foods on Minnehaha and Dale St. in St. Paul, if I’m not mistaken! The seafood selection there is the best in the Cities, and the rest is excellent too. But if you are looking for a few really authentic Chinese things (and a couple of the more strictly Northern Chinese variety, such as Shanxi vinegar, which are hard to find), then stop by Shanghai Market on Como and Snelling near the fairgrounds. They are small but worth stopping by!

  46. Ohio Annie says:

    I used to go to United Noodle Company years ago when it was in a little warehouse. very cool.

    freeze-dried cuttlefish rules. better than chewing gum!

  47. David says:

    “Fr Z, looks like Ocean Star Foods on Minnehaha and Dale St. in St. Paul, if I’m not mistaken!”

    Which would be right down the street from Leaflet Missal.

  48. Gregg the Obscure says:

    One of my favorite moments in an Asian market was seeing the crab tank with a sign warning “Thesee crabs bite!”

  49. Come to Toronto, Father! We are famously multi ethnic and multi cultural with at least three major chinatowns, one Korea Town, one Little India, Greek town, Little Italy, Corso Italiano and so many others of verious cultures that I often find myself looking in vain for a good meat and potatoes restaurant.

  50. irishgirl says:

    ‘Durian = ‘gym socks’, ‘sewer gas’, ‘gas fumes’….I’m trying not to LOL here in the library!

    My eyes are tearing up, and I’m ready to bust!

    Too funny…..!

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