Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fresh World supermarket--a fresh concept (aka eatin' good in the 'hood)?

Fresh World market exterior It's still a relatively new store, this Fresh World market. A friend said a mutual friend comes here weekly to get stuff; I said I heard about it from someone else, which brought on a trip to this market on Marlboro Pike (in a former Giant supermarket), a spacious experiment of a store. Experiment because I don't know of any other international food store of this size in Prince George's County, and certainly not inside the Beltway, and not providing such a variety of foods, at reasonable, often less expensive than elsewhere. Which is saying something, considering there's an Aldi's in the next parking lot!

One (gawking) trip turned into another, and another. When you hear that Asians tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than Americans, you get visual confirmation merely from stalking the produce section, with its array of both exotic and familiar edibles, often at nice prices:

packs of fresh spinach
varieties of fresh coconut
lettuce The produce sale prices here are cheaper than Shopper's--and the regular prices, too!

fresh herbsMore fresh herbs for the same price as other grocery stores (even if the herb's name is sometimes misspelled).

Asian greens such as yu choy Some of the wide variety of Asian vegetables, especially greens such as yu choy.

Korean cabbageKorean cabbage, large and flat, next to "regular" cabbage, both at a great price. There's also lots of packaged tofu at inexpensive prices.

On the left is lemongrass, and on the right is fresh turmeric--how often do you find that? (Of course, I had to get some turmeric.)

frozen durianEven frozen durian--which is not for the faint of heart! (Not that I've personally tried fresh or frozen durian, but made the mistake of buying (but not trying) durian-flavored wafer cookies; couldn't eat them because of the stench that flew out when I cracked open the wrapping. And this was a dried, processed durian product!) No way I'd try a fresh or frozen durian, as it would make me faint outright from the smell.

And that's just the produce section! Don't get me started on my favorite section, the tea area (and its reasonable prices for good-quality ordinary green tea):

green tea There is also a wide variety of Thai tea, as well as more tea and coffee than you can shake a stick at. Oh, and there are aisles of Jamaican/Indian food, as well as Latin American/Peruvian food, Japanese and Korean noodles, Asian snacks and desserts, as well as American breakfast cereal, sundries, Mexican cheeses and beverages, seafood (which was larger than the meat section), and the wonders of the frozen food aisles. There's also a pasta section, which even includes whole grain pastas, as well as pizza and spaghetti sauce, as well as breads (with a focus on Latin American breads and pastries), with a smattering of Filipino breads. Hey, where'd the yummy Filipino purple yam bread go?

frozen Asian dessert pops Not sure if they're pictured here, but I enjoyed the black sesame frozen pops--tempted to try varieties like the taro and jackfruit flavors shown above.

Now, you hear complaints about some international stores about the smell, especially from the seafood. There are occasional problems with that here, but as the store is fairly large (and relatively neat), you only notice it when you get close to the seafood section. Even Mom mentioned that other grocery stores had this problem at times, if the seafood's not also kept on ice.

With its wide variety of foodstuffs, and the diversity of clientele, as well as neighborhood people shopping, this store has potential to be an asset to its community. It's in a fitting locale, in the same shopping center as a large (and also reasonably priced) gym, the Capital Sports Complex, the former Run 'n' Shoot. Speaking of the nearby fitness center, seems that many of the fitness minded flock to this market. Hope that many more join them.