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Thursday, July 22, 2010
A visit to the Asian Superstore
I had been wanting to visit the T & T Supermarket ever since I had heard it opened. I had read a few other blog articles from moms in the area who thought it was a cool adventure to take their kids on. I had to go to that end of town to pick up the cheque for my Taurus stationwagon that was written off, so it seemed like an opportune time. According to their website: T & T Supermarket's goal is to enrich the lifestyle of Asian families in Canada by offering them choice food and household items in a comfortable shopping environment. We also hope to introduce the colourful Asian food culture to the Canadian multicultural society. I figured that since they are hoping to introduce families who are unfamiliar with their products that they would not mind me pointing out all sorts of interesting things to my kids and taking pictures to show you, too! Upon entering the supermarket the belwo picture is what we saw. Not so different from your ordinary grocery store, except that most of the packages are written on in Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese...), sometimes with NO English translation. It must be very frustrating for them to shop here when they arrive, as we don't have Asian translations on any of our products. The kids and I roamed around the aisles, each kid with a little red basket on wheels. (You had to pay a loonie to get a real cart and of course, I had no change).
Next, you will see many pictures of foods that we found interesting. We talked about what kind of words to use to describe things we saw or tasted, because saying it was weird, gross or yechy, wasn't very polite. We tried to say, "that is different" or "I've never seen anything like that before, cool!", etc. They had many different types of chicken feet: marinated and ready to cook, raw, frozen and they had duck feet as well. I just can't get over in the picture below that they have little toenails - that does make me shutter a bit. We also saw for the first time, Gooey ducks. Deanna, is this what is underneath those green circular things at the beach? Jasmine seemed to think she had seen these, at least the very tops of them. They were quite the site to see. They also had Silkie chickens that had blue flesh. Then there were pigs feet, again something you saw in a few spots, marinated, raw or frozen. Then there was the cow tongue and we couldn't get over just how big it was - huge, really! Unfortunately, I could not bring myself to buy any of these items. After looking some of them up online (check out the link to the gooey ducks, very interesting video), I might be tempted to try a chicken foot at an Asian restaurant, just to try it, but I couldn't see preparing them at home quite yet.
Although we didn't buy any of the above items, we did manage to spend $78.00 on: pork and lamb for a hot pot (we'll use them in fondue, they are sliced really thin and rolled up), vegetable dumplings, steamed pork dumplings, chocolate steamed buns, passion fruit, mango roll with bean curd, mung bean bread with custard, Jasmine honey tea (like iced tea), mini-sponge cake, Asian popsicles, mini jellies and more. Tonight we taste tested all the drinks and dessert items. Jasmine loved the sponge cake, Pam and I loved the Mung bean bread (I thought Devin picked the coconut bread, but this was still good). Most of the desserts were cool to try, but necessarily to eat again... if you know what I mean.
Below you will see us on our way out of the store, we stopped for some bubble juice. If you haven't heard of this before, it is a Taiwanese drink that is becoming more popular in America. The bubbles are actually tapioca balls and taste sort of like gummy candies. I think all of these drinks have a bit of a tea base, so they sort of had an after taste we did not love, but the cherry slush one was very good and the mint chocolate one was not too bad, we did not really drink the pudding one though. It was a fun way to end the shopping trip and ensure we were hydrated and full before the 30 minute drive back home.
All in all this was a fun way to spend the afternoon. The kids said they would like to go again and I would go a few times a year to buy items for a sushi meal or a night when you wanted to experiment with something new.
Check out the Tapioca ball in the straw. You drink and chew at the same time.