Next up on our exploration of Twin Cities ethnic markets? Dragon Star Oriental Foods in St. Paul! I'm not a big shopper at Asian grocery stores (again, mostly because I just shop at my co-op), but also because I get pretty snobby about things like MSG, preservatives and having super clear ingredient lists. And we're keeping the soy to minimum right now. But I was able to find plenty of impressive foods at Dragon Star.
And it seems like everyone else in St. Paul was there that day! The store was SUPER packed with shopping families. I felt a little guilty for slowly ambling down the aisles when people were clearly trying to power shop. But I can't help going slow when there are so many new and fascinating products!!! Sorry shoppers!
I was most impressed by their produce department- I've never seen sprouts look so fresh (unless I grew them myself). And the variety of greens they had was out of this world. I was really excited to find the most adorable tiny okra pods! I've been hunting all around to find good quality okra that isn't overgrown and woody. I found some at the farmer's market over the summer, but I've already eaten a good number of my jars of pickled okra...time for some more!
The happy finds here include: some yummy wheat-tastic udon noodles for me (perfect for a late night spicy soup!), two types of vegan curry paste recommended by Sarah, the freshest mung bean sprouts ever, lovely little okra pods, crazy cheap tapioca starch (great for gluten free baking) and jackfruit canned in brine.
I'm most excited to try out that curry paste- I'll let you know how I like it!
Be sure to check out Catherine's experiences at Food Snob. And look for the next store tomorrow!