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International Markets...To buy or not to buy, that is the question

Yesterday, in an effort to find duck, I went to a couple international markets in my area. Just wondering if anyone else in the egg community buys meat from them. I was really astounded with the variety; there pork shoulders looked fantastic, they looked much "healthier" than I've seen at Wegmans/Costco. They had almost every cut of meat you could think of and some, I would not purchase (head of lamb, crosses my mind). They had the same flap meat I use for fajitas, which I usually buy at Costco, for half the cost, brisket, steak, quail. The cost issue led me to ask myself this question: "What's the catch?" You would think a big box grocery store would be more competetive (price-wise) than a small international market. Has anyone had experience with the meat quality, taste, etc? Thanks for your input.

GO BLUE!

Springfield, Va

Comments

  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,459
    I say give it a try. Many international markets have deals with local farmers/fishetman/etc which may drive prices down some. And some stuff is not sold very often so it may not be the freshest that you'd find at a high volume turnover store. So, give it a shot.
    Dunedin, FL
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,177
    I go to several on a regular basis. I haven't been happy with the beef but would buy anything else there. It's funny but I always check produce for where it's from and these markets have more Canada/US stuff than the regular stores. I would be careful buying chicken in Indian markets though.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Cymbaline65Cymbaline65 Posts: 760
    edited October 2013

    We have a massive Asian/Latino/Indo/Pak market about 45 minutes drive from us. It's fantastic for variety and price and we make a sojourn there probably every other month to stock up. Overall my take is:

    Seafood: much better selections and interesting stuff for a better price. Quality the same

    Meats: be careful. Some cuts normally found in standard grocery stores are priced higher but the interesting cuts (as you mentioned) are much cheaper

    Veggies: Almost always a better buy.

    We stock up on the hard to find stuff and freeze etc until the next run.

    In the  Hinterlands between Cumming and Gainesville, GA
    Med BGE, Weber Kettle, Weber Smokey Joe, Brinkman Dual Zone, Weber Genesis Gas Grill and portable gasser for boating
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,781
    edited October 2013
    Great spot for spices. Our local markets serve either the east asian community or the south asian community. The east asian stores sell beef that is meant to be boiled/braised with the cuts being quite lean. The pork and chicken is fantastic. The lamb is all local, no NZ or Aussie meat. Never seen brisket at either stores. 
    Like LS, I think the chicken at the south asian stores is questionable, the samosas are fantastic but please do not tell me what is in them...
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,970
    ill buy lamb from the halal shop down the street, and whatever in a nearby korean shop, any thing canned, any of the pastas and dried peppers, dried mushrooms, pretty comfortable with a lebanese place nearby as ive been in the back and seen their operation with pitta breads, sesame seeds, mouse control etc, one asian place smells like fish that was turned away by the local canned catfish company, use your nose
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,177
    ill buy lamb from the halal shop down the street, and whatever in a nearby korean shop, any thing canned, any of the pastas and dried peppers, dried mushrooms, pretty comfortable with a lebanese place nearby as ive been in the back and seen their operation with pitta breads, sesame seeds, mouse control etc, one asian place smells like fish that was turned away by the local canned catfish company, use your nose
    We have one like that but the fresh fish is good. The one I go to has a separate double door area to the fish room and it's really good. Some of the stuff they have in the buckets beside it are pretty ripe.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,239
    There are several in my area. The one I go to most often is primarily Vietnamese, but they carry a broad spectrum of foods from all over Asia. They have a small section of Caribbean and, somewhat surprisingly, African.

    When they started out, it was really down home. A couple of days a week, there would be bins full of squid and shrimp and other sea food. They have grown steadily. The fresh seafood now sits in a chiller. Really good prices on pork belly. A couple times a year, they get large quantities of frozen seafood, tho' they are a little slow in removing stuff that sits too long. A few frozen mackerel I bought were probably several months older than was good. Everything else I've had was fine.

    The variety of items is really amazing. The proprietors are very friendly, and know that when a Midwesterner like me tries to buy duck balut, they discourage the purchase. But they are not cooks, and when I ask them how to prepare certain things, the best they can do is supply a name of what it is. They carry things their clientele asks them for, which often things they know little or nothing about.

    They have a really good spice and seasoning aisle. The only place that beats them in spices is an Indian place. Not much fresh there, but the bulk spices, legumes, & grains have lots of variety, and the prices wipe out the "American" markets.

    Having shopped frequently at the Vietnamese place, I would suppose that there are several reasons for the very affordable prices. They have a steady clientele, because there is not other place in town that offers most of the goods. But, while the customer base is reliable, it doesn't have a lot of money, and most of what they are buying are considered staples, not exotic specialties.  It is a family owned business, and they don't have the overhead of paying a portion of the profits to investors.


  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 1,456
    edited October 2013
    http://www.junglejims.com/

    This place is just a couple miles up the street from my house.  I frequent this place way too often.  Great store.
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    "Ain't nobody gonna find ya, unless you get yourself lost."
  • When we lived on the East Coast most of the ducks sold were from Long Island NY.   The White Peking ducks were sold as both fresh and frozen at the grocery store in Eldersburg.  I believe one of the farms does mail order.  
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,309
    We're lucky to have all kinds of ethnic/international markets here in Houston. I usually buy goat quarters from an Indian or Pakistani shop. Tried a pork belly from one of the bigger Asian markets and liked it. SWMBO likes to buy fruit and certain produce from that same Asian market. My latest goal is to explore the meat section at some of the Hispanic markets. I hear they sell cow lips, and want to try them.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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