Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wandering about the Great Wall (supermarket, that is)

Since I had to go to Merrifield anyway, I decided to stop at the Great Wall Supermarket one recent afternoon, to stock up on inexpensive, yet good quality green tea (especially decaf).

The packed parking lot should have been my first clue that the store would be full, which it was. However, folks were civil, which made it fun. Naturally, there were many different types of exotic produce, such as different varieties of bok choy (didn't know there was more than one type), baseball bat-sized giant radishes, and the most frightening produce of all, the only spiked fruit that I've heard of (the hairy rambutan doesn't count):

bin of durian fruit at Great Wall supermarket in Merrifield Yes, the feared durian was there in abundance. Thankfully, no samples were provided (they probably would have had to clear the store and call the hazmat unit if that were the case).

Oh, but there were other oddities, which I might give a try another time, especially those in the frozen dessert section, such as:
durian ice cream bars in display case at Great WallYes, durian again, but this time in a safer form, a frozen dessert I might be tempted to try. After a couple of sakes.

I know that adzuki bean desserts are popular in Japan, but apparently the yen for legume-based desserts is popular in other parts of Asia, as these sweet treats were spied in the same section:

mung bean ice cream bars at Great Wall

red bean ice cream bars at Great WallThat's right--popsicles featuring mung beans and red beans, as well as taro. I might have to try one of those sometime, especially the taro. (Just noticed that some of the popsicle boxes actually say "green bean"--don't think I'll be trying those!)

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Oh, I did find the green tea, of course, and herbal tea (especially an instant ginger drink) at much cheaper prices than the local health food store, and the quality is good, especially the jasmine tea. Good stuff. At good prices. The (Chinese) American way.

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Earth Month rant: How about Fairfax County making Merrifield truly pedestrian friendly by cleaning up the gravel pit known as Gallows Road (and adjoining streets, such as Strawberry Lane)? I've NEVER seen so many sidewalks full of small rocks and gravel in my life--a true hazard to area residents and commuters.

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