Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fresh World El Grande Supermercado

I sort of found myself in Glen Burnie this morning, just before the torrential rains began. I stopped by the new Fresh World International El Grande Supermercado to see what the excitement was about and to compare it to perennial favourite H-Mart. The Fresh World is just off Route 100 and Ritchie Highway in an old Giant. It's HUGE!

As with H-Mart, the produce is very fresh and pretty inexpensive. What I like about HM is that almost nothing is wrapped in plastic, while at FW there's a lot. The place was spotless, but it's only been open a week, so I'd expect nothing less. There were workers everywhere, replenishing produce, straightening shelves and answering questions.

FW has lots of Asian market staples, including durian, bitter melons, lemon grass, banana flowers and pumpkins. Additionally, they have a whole section with fresh fish in tanks, and fresh cockles and conchs.They have a meat section, too, but it doesn't seem like they've got a butcher on premise. But they do have goat meat.

About halfway through the market, things take a jarring turn and it becomes a regular grocery store with Kellogg's cereal, Campbell's soups and Uncle Ben's rice. I took almost 70 photos, so I thought I'd share some with you.

Head-on shrimp Parrot juice - or condensed milk.
Sodas of every variety. I bought a little bottle of champagne cola. This is chestnut juice.

Pocky sticks for men

They even had a small housewares section where you could buy kitchen items, dishes and rice cookers, amongst much other stuff!

I am one of the most squeamish people alive and I thought these were plastic fish on a display. When I touched them, I found they were real. Real dead. Real dead fish.
They also had mixed nuts in the most extraordinary flavours: pecans with cranberries, black pepper and orange zest; cashews with pineapple, peanuts, lemongrass and chinese chili; pistachios with sesame seeds, pepitas, fig and harissa; and almonds with apple, flax seeds, date, balsamic vinegar and red pepper. The very funniest thing was hearing Aux Champs-Élysées, a French pop song that's at least 30 years old, playing on their sound system!


Julie said...

I want to go!

Anonymous said...

Not to be a jerk, but that's cashew apple juice, not chestnut juice. Did you like it? I haven't seen that since I was in Brazil. Thanks for the review of the new market.

Liz Kay said...

Yay! Glad to see so many Latin products --- now I know where to go to look for frozen yucca and goat meat. But I'm surprised they wouldn't have an on-site butcher ... I'm guessing the meat's a popular choice at H-Mart.

Planning a pilgrimage now that includes a stop at Ann's Dari-Creme, just to check it out.

Pigtown-Design said...

Anon... the sign below it said chestnut juice, so that's what I thought it was, although I couldn't quite reconcile the pictures with chestnuts. I guess they look like an apple and a cashew. I didn't try it though.

Lucky said...

what a great foodie post! what a great find - i gotta go - i'm ALWAYS at hmart! (foreign husband and i teach cooking at ccbc) need to go here and to wegmans - only been there once. loved the pix and info.

Maureen said...

Holy cow...I had no idea this was anyway near me. That saves me a LOT of time schlepping to the VA Super H.

btw, I have a friend in ville du porc; too funny.

Anna said...

I was trying to post about the new restaurant in the freshworld market and ended up here. Nice pictures!

That 'dead' fish is usually salted and dried to be fried later. It's very good with a bowl of rice and kimchi(not sure if you like Korean food though). They rarely sell it like that-open and all. I'm surprised that they had it hanging like that there ^^.

Kim said...

I was trying to describe the Fresh World Market in my own blog but couldn't remember the entire name so I googled and found this awesome blog. My husband and I went there for the first time last week after a two week trip to Thailand. We were seeking ingredients like those little Thai eggplants so we could attempt to make the green curry we had grown so fond of. We were not disappointed! Now if we could only find a local supplier of kaffir lime leaves. Thanks for the awesome pictures!

Robin said...

Hope you don't mind if I steal your Fresh world photo. Im gonna link here on my post. I was too hungry to use my camera!!

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