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I guess I do about half my food shopping in my local farmers' market and the other half in supermarkets. Today, I went to my favourite supermarket. They have lovely, very fresh vegetables, great fish and well... there isn't much they don't have.

 

Here are a few pictures, beginning with the vegetable section:

 

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and the fruit:

 


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Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Seafood etc.

 

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Sea Fish

 

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Clams

 

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Oysters

 

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Freshwater Fish 

 

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Frogs and Eels

 

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Turtles and Terrapins

 

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Tortoise

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Although there is a long meat counter, I seldom buy meat here - I prefer the farmers' market. The meat is fresher and I can get the cuts I want.

95% of what they sell here is pork, with a small selection of 'beef' (actually often water buffalo) and chicken. I occasionally buy duck and rabbit when they have it.

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Of course they have chicken feet and every other part of the beast.

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and pig offal.

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Edited by Smithy Duplicate photo removed, at poster's request (log)
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So many photos, so many questions I have! In the first fish photo, it looks like they're lying (beautifully arranged) out in the open air. Arethey lying on a bed of ice? Can the supermarket plan to sell that much in a day? What happens to the unsold fish at the end of the day? (Taken back into refrigerator, covered, left as is...?)

There's a fruit photo with what looks like oranges next to something that looks like polished coconuts. The relative sizes make me think I'm wrong about one of them. What are they?

Is this a typical supermarket in your area?

Thanks for the photos!

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So many photos, so many questions I have! In the first fish photo, it looks like they're lying (beautifully arranged) out in the open air. Are they lying on a bed of ice? Can the supermarket plan to sell that much in a day? What happens to the unsold fish at the end of the day? (Taken back into refrigerator, covered, left as is...?)

 

Yes, they are on ice, which is replenished several times a day. The seafood area is also air-conditioned to very cool. It is 35ºC / 95ºF here today and will be for months. I visited around 11:30 am this morning. By 6 pm they will normally be sold out. I've gone in the past after work and found nothing there.  :sad:

 

 

There's a fruit photo with what looks like oranges next to something that looks like polished coconuts. The relative sizes make me think I'm wrong about one of them. What are they?

 

The oranges are large. And what you see as coconuts are indeed coconuts. Two different types. Relatively small ones. But I think the perspective and foreshortening is making the oranges look out of proportion to the coconuts.

 

 

Is this a typical supermarket in your area?

 

Yes. 

 

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. More to come tomorrow. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I can't promise to know the answers, but I will try!


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I find it interesting they sell turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Is there enough demand for this sort of product--reptile meat, I guess--that stores sell three varieties of meat that I assume would taste very similar? What is normally done with the turtle meat? 

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I find it interesting they sell turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Is there enough demand for this sort of product--reptile meat, I guess--that stores sell three varieties of meat that I assume would taste very similar? What is normally done with the turtle meat? 

 

It is hugely popular. There are even whole streets full of turtle restaurants. It is almost always used in soups or are braised.

 

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Edited by liuzhou typo (log)

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Interesting to see the shell used in the presentation of the final dish.

 

Turtle is a meat I've never had but am somewhat curious about, as I've heard glowing reviews and hugely negative ones (Heston Blumenthal's efforts at making turtle soup in his historical feast series). Have you had it? I mean, judging by the photo, I assume you've partaken. How would you describe the flavour profile and texture? 

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Have you had it? I mean, judging by the photo, I assume you've partaken. How would you describe the flavour profile and texture? 

 

Yes, I've had it  - often. Usually at weddings. The one I pictured was from this wedding meal. It isn't something I'd go looking for, though. 

 

There isn't much meat on the animals and what there is, is fairly bland and somewhat chewy. I think it is mainly eaten because it is considered to have health attributes under the Chinese traditional medicine system. However, as often as not, the meat is discarded after being used to make the soup.

 

The shell is nearly always presented with the dish to prove that what you are eating is real. (Which, of course, it doesnt!)

Here is a recipe.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Your posts are always enormously entertaining and interesting, and this thread certainly qualifies.

 

I was enjoying looking at the fruit, and wondered about mangosteens.  Do you get them in season?  Are they popular?

 

I think they're my favorite fruit. 

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I was enjoying looking at the fruit, and wondered about mangosteens. Do you get them in season? Are they popular?

I think they're my favorite fruit.

 

Yes. Mangosteens are very popular and in season now. They didn't have them in that supermarket today, but the farmer's markets are full of them. Also one of my favourites.

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Are the green spiky fruits Durians?  Do they really smell as bad as the literature would have it?  I'd love to taste one.  I believe they are available in Toronto.  Here in our local city you can get frozen pieces but I don't know if that is a useful way to be introduced to a Durian.

The fruits and vegetables are beautifully laid out.  So clean and neatly arranged.

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Are the green spiky fruits Durians?  Do they really smell as bad as the literature would have it?  I'd love to taste one.  I believe they are available in Toronto.  Here in our local city you can get frozen pieces but I don't know if that is a useful way to be introduced to a Durian.

The fruits and vegetables are beautifully laid out.  So clean and neatly arranged.

 

Most of the Vietnamese restaurants in Houston offer Durian Smoothies.  Not the same as eating the fresh fruit, but that distinctive "durian" flavor definitely comes through.  IMHO, it puts one in the mind of a pile of dirty, sweaty gym socks that have been rotting in a locker somewhere for a couple of months.

 

Houston has an enormous expat Vietnamese population, so there are hundreds of authentic restaurants that cater to them.  Not sure what your Vietnamese restaurant situation is like, but you might start there in your quest to sample durian.

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Are the green spiky fruits Durians?

 

No. It's jackfruit. I've never come across durian in a Chinese supermarket. On the street, yes.

 

Does durian really smell so bad? I don't think so. I love the stuff. But I have friends here who can't even walk on a street selling it without feeling violently sick..

We have a shop in town which only sells durian, durian candy, durian ice cream etc. I love the ice cream. My friend won't go anywhere near the place.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Your grocery store is amazing.  Simply amazing.  I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat.  In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top.  Are those mushroom stems?

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Your grocery store is amazing.  Simply amazing.  I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat.  In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top.  Are those mushroom stems?

Those are King/ Eryngii mushrooms. Very nice, especially sautéed with a bit of butter and soy sauce. I cut them into thin strips for my son, and he likes to slurp them like noodles.

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Your grocery store is amazing. Simply amazing. I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat. In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top. Are those mushroom stems?

 

As nakji says, they are Eryngii mushrooms,a member of the pleurotus family which also includes the common oyster mushroom. They are known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). Here is a picture from the Chinese mushroom thread showing the size better.

 

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I guess I do about half my food shopping in my local farmers' market and the other half in supermarkets. Today, I went to my favourite supermarket. They have lovely, very fresh vegetables, great fish and well... there isn't much they don't have.

 

Here are a few pictures, beginning with the vegetable section:

 

 

 

 

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This is one of my favorite vegetables. Unfortunately we can't find it in the USA. 

 

I understand it is virus infected wild rice stems. That's why it can't be imported here.

 

Like asparagus with a little nutty flavor.

 

dcarch

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And the shopping continued. Some dried goods.

 

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Peanuts

 

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Flowers

 

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And, of course, rice

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Sausages and Cured Meats. There are fewer of these than you might think. Most people seem to prefer to make their own, At Chinese New Year, there are a lot more.

 

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Dried Sausages

 

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Fresh Sausages

 

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All sorts of cooked and cured meats

 

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Unfortunately, they also have this section full of industrial pork products. There are a couple of companies dedicated to turning pigs into plastic. They do dozens of different sausages which all taste exactly the same - that is, of nothing. To be avoided.

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There is a huge section selling prepared foods. Everything from sushi to Chinese pizza. I didn't take so many pictures here as much of the food is behind glass and the lighting is odd. Here are some:

 

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Salads

 

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Chinese Pizza

 

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Pastries filled with horrible sausages

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Some general goods:

 

Don't believe anything you hear about Chinese people not consuming dairy products. It is nonsense. There are several aisles selling nothing else. Milk, flavoured milks,  milk powders, yoghurt, plastic cheese etc

 

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Milk

 

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More milk

 

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Plastic cheese

 

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Cooking oil - mostly peanut oil

 

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Oil

 

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Soy sauce, Oyster sauce, Vinegar

 

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Instant Noodles

 

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Tea

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All that shopping made you thirsty?

 

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Beer

 

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Wine - Chinese Grape Wine

 

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Imported Wine

 

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Imported Spirits

 

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The more expensive stuff is kept locked up

 

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Chinese White Spirit - Baijiu

 

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More Chinese White Spirit - Baijiu

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