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Central Connecticut Markets and Speciality Stores


ludja
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Hello all,

I am unexpectedly cooking Thanksgiving for my family back in CT this year and would like to hear of good places to source ingredients. I'm especially interested in sources for produce besides that from supermarket chains. I'm thinking it may be a little late for farmer's markets there.

I'll start by mentioning a store we shop at a bit in Meriden; a German butcher and delicatessan: Noacks Meats

1112 East Main Street

Meriden, CT 06451 USA

Phone: (203) 235-7384

Fax: (203) 235-3281

http://www.noacks.com/

Any suggestion of where to go for specialty items like quinces or chestnut puree?

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Middlesex Fruitery in Middletown. They're on main st. Extremely high quality fruits and vegetables. Very small store, though. Make sure you don't go at a peak time, or there will be lines out the door.

If you call them, they may be able to tell you if they have quinces and or chestnut puree or direct you.

Also, there is the whole foods and wild oats in West Hartford. They also have a lot of specialty ingredients.

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Middlesex Fruitery in Middletown.  They're on main st.  Extremely high quality fruits and vegetables.  Very small store, though.  Make sure you don't go at a peak time, or there will be lines out the door.

If you call them, they may be able to tell you if they have quinces and or chestnut puree or direct you.

Also, there is the whole foods and wild oats in West Hartford.  They also have a lot of specialty ingredients.

What an excellent post for me! Thank you, ErinB. I'll be very close to Middletown and had no idea about the Middlesex Fruitery; thank you very much for the tip! Thanks also for the info on Whole Foods and Wild Oats; I hadn't realized that there were branches in West Hartford.

I have some other ethnic markets we go to but I need to check the names when I get home. Interested to hear other's comments.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Any suggestions on where to purchase non-processed lard? (i.e. Not the hydrogenated stuff like Manteca sold at regular supermarkes.) I'm also willing to render some pork fat if I can find that. Maybe there are Mexican groceries/butchers around? (Middletown/New Britain area would be good for me.)

Also maybe a butcher that sells chicken backs, etc for making stock?

Thanks!

I called Noak's in Meriden this morning but they primarily sell hams and sausages and coldcuts. The butcher had the same lament as my German butcher out here. Namely that the pigs are so lean that they don't get much extra fat that they can spare after making their sausages!

edited to add: Another great reason to go to Noack's is that they carry Waterbury Rye Bread. This is an excellent traditional rye bread that has been sold for decades in CT. You can typically buy a whole or half loaf and it freezes well.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We had a discussion on this here: New Haven Area Stores. There's some discussion about Liuzzi's which is an excellent Italian market in North Haven.

I actually grew up in Wallingford, and my mom used to go on a regular basis to pick up meat at Noack's.

I don't live in CT anymore, but I when I did, I ended up ordering my turkey from Wild Oats and getting my fruits and vegetables at the fruitery.

Unfortunately, central CT is lacking in ethnic stores. I don't know New Britain well, but I do know that there's a huge asian market in West Hartford (A Dong Supermarket) as well a number of latin markets in Hartford or the vicinity, but don't have any detail.

Also, in the Hartford/West Hartford area, there are a number of middle eastern markets. I don't know the names, but I can probably look up where they are, if you need them.

I hope someone can give you a better post about Mexican markets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the additional info. Although they're located halfway between Hartford and New Haven we don't really get down New Haven's way too often. Thanks for the link to the previous thread though. I may try to get down to Pepi's at Christmastime and may have time to also check out Luizzi's. One thing we are lacking on the SF peninsula (not SF) is good Italian markets!

I had good luck finding nice rendered lard at a Polish store/delicatessen in New Britain on Broad Street ($1.50 for a lb or so). There are a few different Polish stores there but I'm not sure of the name of the one we always go to. It is near Cracovia Restaurant (60 Broad St) on the other side of the street and a few blocks away in the direction away from downtown New Britain. (This is a great store by the way, clean, well stocked, nice meat section and a huge selection of other goods as well. We picked up a nice walnut strudel for breakfast and I also picked up some pearl barley for post-T-day turkey barely soup.

Per Erin's suggestion I stopped by The Middlesex Fruitery in Middletown. Interesting place. The drill is that the store staff assemble your vegetable and fruit order per your instructions. I guess this helps keep the produce and store more organized. They do have a small but careful selection of cheeses and of some other specialty dried goods. They seem to do a good business; there was a fairly quick moving line of 10 people or so waiting for help with their produce selections. I got some brussel sprouts that looked a whole lot better than the ones offered at Stop n Shop so it was a good find for me. Their produce prices were pretty reasonable as well.

One surprise was that I ended up buying mushrooms, (regular button) at Trader Joes in West Hartford. I don't usually buy produce at TJ's but their mushrooms were much cheaper than Stop n Shop's. TJ's had them at $3 / lb whereas Stop n Shop had them at almost twice the price!

Thanks for the extra tips on Asian markets; I may use that some time. The ethnic markets I am most familiar with in the Middletown/New Britain area are Italian, Polish and German. It's good to be reminded that there are likely Middle Eastern markets in the Hartford area as well.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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There are a number of small Mexican grocers in Wallingford.

San Juanito Mexican Store

35 N Colony St, Wallingford, CT 203-269-5509

Mexican Grocery

137 Quinnipiac St, Wallingford, CT 203-269-7744

Lupitas Mexican Deli

39 S Cherry St, Wallingford, CT 203-774-0014

Hope this helps someone!

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There are a number of small Mexican grocers in Wallingford.

San Juanito Mexican Store

35 N Colony St, Wallingford, CT 203-269-5509

Mexican Grocery

137 Quinnipiac St, Wallingford, CT 203-269-7744

Lupitas Mexican Deli

39 S Cherry St, Wallingford, CT 203-774-0014

Hope this helps someone!

Thanks for this info; I'm thinking of making turkey with red mole and maybe posole for my family when I go home and these could be a good resource.

I haven't noticed if there are any Mexcian markets in Middletown nowadays.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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