So for the most part I have been able to get everything I need to complete this project at “regular” grocery stores like Walmart, Extra Foods, Safeway or Co-op. Before this project I had never been in an Asian food store. When I was in Lloydminster with my cousin Tanya making Spring Rolls she took me to a Filipino store. It was a cute little store. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, but it was still quite an experience. The shelves were lined with every packaged Asian food I could think of, and then some. Most of them came from the Philippines and didn’t have a lick of English on the packaging. They had a couple of coolers with Asian refrigerator items, and then about 4 deep freezes. One had a stockpile of the spring roll pastry wrappers. The others had different kinds of frozen meat, including seafood and a variety of sausages. There were a huge assortment of vermicelli noodles. We bought a clear variety for our spring rolls. What I mean is that they look clear before and after they have been cooked. Some vermicelli noodles may look clear or off-white before they are cooked, but then become pure white after they are cooked. Tanya said she prefers the clear variety in spring rolls so that it blends in with the rest of the filling and doesn’t stand out as a “filler.” The brand we chose was called Manila’s Best and it is a bean thread noodles.
It was really interesting to see all of the snacks. All of them were in bright packaging, and the ones that didn’t have any English on them also looked really animated in their appearance. It was pretty cool. I bought a few things from the store in addition to the spring roll pastry wraps. Below are some of the udon noodles that I really liked, a couple of sauce packets – sweet and sour (this will be my secret weapon if I decide to try the sweet and sour chicken again!) and chop suey, Pocky (looks like a chocolate covered cooking in a stick format) and a box of Stik-O Crunchee. My little cousin Lincoln sure liked this one! It is basically a rice crispy bar dipped in chocolate, but it has a hollow centre all the way through the bar.
It was really neat to get to experience shopping at an Asian food market. I think the store owner was quite shocked when she saw us buy an armful of spring roll wrappers!