Frequent visits to the Asian grocery are one of the perks of living in our new loft in Brussels. I’ve just returned from such a trip with two full bags of goodies for 30 euro. Mostly though it’s the fun of exploring the aisles that I enjoy. I never know quite what I’m going to find.
The first time I ever visited an Asian grocery was in Amsterdam. There were two markets there that I frequented. One was big and bold and covered in dragon carvings on the outside. Inside, in addition to groceries they sold clothes, shoes, decorations and swords. It was all pretty high-end stuff. The other grocery was across the square and a whole other world. The customers were mostly Asian. The aisles were maze-like and the items on sale were a total hodge-podge and likely to have packaging written only in some Asian language.
My Asian market in Brussels is similar to the latter Amsterdam store. The Kam-Yuen market, or KY, as the huge purple and green sign unfortunately reads, is quite possibly the most random store I have ever been in. I can wander in there aimlessly for hours just picking things up and wondering what the heck they are, what do you cook with them and why the heck would anyone buy them in the first place. It is truely Asian in the sense that you can find foods from China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, England and the US (appearantly these last two have changed continents since the last time I looked at a map). The “organisation” of the store is also totally mind boggling. I’m sure in someone’s mind it made sense to put the “American” peanut butter beside the deep fried crispy anchovies…
Despite these curiosities, Kam-Yuen remains one of my favorite places to shop. It’s the only place I’ve been able to find Pak Choi and today I discovered frozen edamame… Yay! I did however take a pass on the corn juice…
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