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Archive for the ‘Drinking vinegars’ Category

Oh, the promise of snacktime

Oh, the promise of snacktime

We were in NJ on Saturday en route to visiting family, so we stopped at the giant Wal-Mart-ish Korean food shopping complex in Ridgefield, NJ, called Hmart. A smaller outpost is right smack in the middle of 32nd Street, but this sprawling market is no joke. You want a trip back to your motherland down some food aisles? You’ll take it and you’ll like it.

Above are stacks of Choco Pies, which are treats comprised of two chocolate-covered cake discs smooshing some chewy marshmallow in the middle. I could once hoover up boxes of them, and deservingly, I was quite the tubby child as a result.

Or Oh No, depending on your diet

Or Oh No, depending on your diet

I’ve had Oh Yeses before, but I don’t remember them clearly. On the Haitai website, it’s positioned as a direct competitor to Choco Pies, which is made by Orion: “Unlike The Dry and Hard Choco Pie, The Soft Cake and Chocolate Cream Softly Melts in Your Mouth.” Sounds titillating.

There are lots of little stations set up with workers hawking items for tasting: fish of the week, snacks, and drinks. Below are some pomegranate drinking vinegars (the two bottles on the left), and a persimmon vinegar (on the right) I picked up for the rhubarb pickle recipe. Generally speaking, Koreans form a big market for interesting health remedies, so I think the drinking vinegars are pitched as some sort of detoxifying tonic or a weight-loss aid, but it is also pretty tasty, health claims aside (but not exactly healthy; the label lists high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient, albeit close to the end). Mix some of the drinking vinegar with some seltzer, and you have an imitation kombucha sans the lactobacilli.

vinegars

The most exciting and heart-stopping part was when we came upon this machine below, which makes slightly-sweet puffed rice discs. The metal device spins out the rice puff, and when it does, it makes an explosive (!!!) pop, literally like a gunshot, and the rice disc hits the plexiglass and chills out until it gets packaged and finds a home in a happy tummy.  I regret not taking a video to amuse you readers—total blog fail! Next time.

This machine will scare any hiccups right out

This machine will scare any hiccups right out

Hmart is located on 321 Broad Ave, Ridgefield, NJ; 201-943-9600. In K-town, it’s at 25 w. 32nd Street; 212-695-3283. And of course(!) there’s one in Flushing: 29-02 Union St.; 718-445-5656.

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