Saturday, March 9, 2019

Exotic Food

Do you want to have a taste of an exotic culture without hopping on a plane? You can by going to a new Asian food-market where I live (Long Island, NY). iFresh is a huge supermarket of Asian foods -- 85% I'd never heard of. Lots of strange vegetables in their large produce department, hundreds of varieties of noodles, and thousands of jars of odd delicacies. Just walking through this store feels like a trip to China.

For example, have you ever seen black chicken-meat? Black! I speculated that the plucked birds were dyed/marinated but later learned there's a special brand of chicken called "Silkie Chicken" whose meat is naturally black. How weird!

One great feature of this store is that everything is cheap. Even American products cost less than normal stores. I found white pepper (which is strikingly different from black pepper and is one of the secret ingredients in KFC's "11 herbs and spices") for only $1.99. Large bottles of flavored soy sauce are $2.69. You can experiment with new foods without worrying about price. Wild salmon is half the price of other supermarkets and looks very fresh. Plus there's a bakery section (where I bought Black Sesame Cake Roll [$2.50]) and a houseware section (where I bought beautiful ceramic bowls [$5]).

iFresh is planning to open a hot food section soon with Asian dishes none of us know how to make. I'll be going back. If you visit stores selling food of other cultures, you'll be surprised at their interesting offerings.


  1. That sounds like a paradise of grocery stores and markets. I love small specialty shops and appreciate when the prices are low and the variety is high.
    Black chicken certainly sounds intriguing as does the white pepper. Would you mind telling me what city that is in. Perhaps next time I am traveling towards the Hamptons I could stop there.

    The prices of fresh groceries in Manhattan are so skyhigh. I hope they might open a store near me?

    Anyway I hope you are well and are enjoying this lovely weekend. Finally today a little hint of spring.

    1. iFresh is the largest Asian supermarket chain in this country -- and is even listed on the NASDAQ stock market. They have 12 stores in the New York region -- half of which are in Manhattan. A list of those is here:

      The one I visited is in Garden City (Nassau County) and right off the LIE as you're heading east.

  2. I do like International supermarkets. I used to buy my Vermicelli from the ROmford Market hall as they were really cheap and nice!

  3. I love love love experimenting with new foods. I'm trying more all the time, but i need to actually poke my head into more of our international markets. Parking is a problem in my city, so that presents a barrier to my explorations.

    I'm curious about the chicken. Did it taste different?