So, I usually do not do this, but I have to tell ya'll about a store I went to the other day. It was "Buford Highway Farmer's Market" in Atlanta (Doraville to be exact). It is SOOOOOOOO not a farmer's market, so if you go, don't expect it to be locally grown produce, or really local anything. But let me tell you about this store......
First it's the size of a Home Depot or Lowes. Second it's quite possibly the most wonderful store I've been to in a long time. It's basically a grocery store.... It's really a grocery store for the WORLD.
We'll start with produce, because that is what I walked into..... I wanted to look at peppers, because really, there are a lot of different peppers and very rarely do you see more than 5 or so at a time..... this place had an entire block (those things in the middle of produce sections) of peppers... hot peppers, sweet peppers, little peppers, large peppers, Mexican peppers, Thai peppers, Chinese peppers, peppers I have never seen before. It had about 10 different kinds of FRESH mushrooms, and probably that many different kinds of tofu. There were fruits and vegetables I've never heard of, and many that had taken on mythical qualities, as I had heard of them but never seen them before. As well as the "normal" fruit and veg. FRESH turmeric!!! This section of the store was HUGEMONGUS!! Seriously. Front to back, not some afterthought stuck in the corner. That in itself was enough to sell me on this store. But WAIT!!! There's more!!! This section was less than 1/4 the entire store.
The aisles are separated by country of origin. Want something to cook a hispanic dish? You don't have to search the entire store for the three shelves of "hispanic" foods, two of which are salsa. You can browse entire aisles of "hispanic" foods and ingredients. Now I did not walk these aisles (I was looking for Asian), but there were about 10, and they were packed ceiling to floor with everything you could imagine.
There was a bakery with fresh bread, a counter with possibly Russian (or some other slavic country that uses the same alphabet) and all kinds of prepared foods, a frozen food section with pre-made items also separated by country, even an American section (which I did not even glance into).... and in the back of the middle part of the store was the fish counter...... area..... section..... Everything from "crab sticks" (imitation) to prawns, and shrimp and octopus and squid and things that I didn't identify and fish out the wazoo.... The "meat counter" covers the back of most grocery stores... double it, maybe triple it and you will have the size of this fish counter. And it smelled like fresh fish. Not day old fish, not nasty, just clean, with a hint of the sea. *sigh* It was fabulous!!!
Back to the center parts.... Norwegian, English, Scottish, German, Middle Eastern, whatever, it was there. It finished up with a frozen Asian section..... But wait..... then you turned around and the remaining aisles in the store were Asian.... Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino.....and others I'm sure. First the refrigerated section..... from Japanese pickled ginger to Korean kimchee.... it was there. Separated by country as well. Need soy sauce for a Japanese dish, they had it, need it for a Korean recipe, it's in the Korean section... I didn't know there was a difference, but apparently there is. Then behind all of that is a prepared food section.... from kum bop, to dumplings, prepared fresh.... *sigh* like a street vendor almost.
Walking towards the front of the store sees you into the gadget section.... from sushi mats to dumpling makers, to rice cookers, it's all there.
BUT you aren't done even YET!! After you check out, there's a food court in the front. We ran out of time and didn't make it there, but the smells coming from that area made me want to!
Now we started this quest to find some items used in Filipino cooking that weren't in our local area. One of those items was annato seeds. Not even the Filipino store in Atlanta carried them, but this place did... (in the Hispanic section, but still). Now I had recently been to a Mexican grocery (that you could fit three or four of in the hispanic section), and an Asian foods store (mostly Korean, some Thai, very little Filipino) That would sit in the refrigerated Asian section of this store, and an actual Filipino store (that one was tiny, though packed).... and got more from this store than from all the rest.
I must admit, that even I who has been in all kinds of markets in all kinds of countries was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of items available in this store.... but I LOVED it. And the prices were reasonable. The store was clean and did not smell unpleasant... in fact quite the opposite, it was very inviting. The personnel were helpful and knowledgable, even about foods not in their sections. The aisles were large enough to easily navigate, even with the carts.
Now, keep in mind, I am a country girl.... totally... But I will return to this store in the heart of Atlanta traffic, in a city with millions of folks, because in my experience it was just that unique and special. And truly, I can not say that about very many places.
For those looking for an update on the diabetes, we had another appointment, we have one more to go before we go to spacing them 6 months apart.... For this one we dropped all meds, went through two surgeries, took our trip, and another shorter one for my grand-daughter's birthday, had birthday cake.... (hey first grandchild, first birthday!! and topped out at 174, not good, but not bad either) and the doc is happy with his numbers. I'm not as sure as she is, but I think she's trying to tone down the militant in me a bit. =0) His numbers went up about 10 points off the meds to the low 90s in the morning, and are a lot closer to "normal for normal" highs after eating (140s), but tend to come down quickly as well (100s at the 2 hour). Sooooooo.......... it's looking good off the meds, but we're still checking regularly after meals and sometimes randomly... next month we'll see what the trips and surgeries did to his A1C numbers. And go from there. Doc was surprised, thought she was going to have to talk us back onto meds.... instead we talked her off them! *L* He's down 62 pounds now... or something close to that. Still losing, though it's slowed down some lately, I think he's getting closer to where he's "supposed to be" so it's coming off slower. =)
Thanks for reading my commercial. *L* We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming! =0)