When I lived in Paris, I used to spend entire afternoons in either one of the two amazing Chinatown areas within the city. The first (and oldest) is located in the 13th arrondissment, and the second can be found in the Belleville neighborhood. I would walk along the aisles, marveling at the sheer volume of products, things I had never seen or tasted before. There were rows of unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, stacks of noodles, hundreds of sauce and condiment choices! And the protein! My god, the protein! Species that seemed prehistoric, fermented eggs, and gigantic live lobsters swimming in enormous tanks!
They say that one of our biggest sense memories is that of smell, and believe me when I say that Chinatown in the City of Lights left me with a distinct olfactory impression. I was able to wax nostalgic today on my latest food quest. Scott loves Moo Shu Pork and made a dinner request for it this evening. As a lover of all things food, and fueled by the desire to make my darling happy, I gladly made my way to one of my favorite stores in all of Omaha – the Asian Market on 76th Street.
If you haven’t been, please go. Don’t let the foreign language and unfamiliar inventory scare you off! March right in, grab a basket, and start discovering! Personally, I love walking up and down each aisle, really looking at the items, getting a feel for the products, and familiarizing myself with the store. There are items I never thought existed, for instance, sweet bananas in a jar:
And instant jellyfish:
Clearly, Moo Shu Pork calls for neither of those ingredients, and I did not buy them, but knowing they are out there is all that matters. I was able to locate 90% of the necessary ingredients among the thousands (not kidding, here) of items available at the Asian Market. I even came home with a brand new bamboo steamer – something I’ve always wanted!
So, fellow epicureans, put your fears aside, close your eyes, take a deep breath and step through the doors of Omaha’s mini version of Chinatown. You will not be disappointed.
Asian Market is located at 321 North 76th Street, Omaha, NE 68114, (402) 391-2606, and they are open from 9am to 8pm daily!