This past weekend I went on a grocery shopping trip with my sister to our local asian foods specialty store. We went to Midwest Oriental Foods in Omaha, NE, one of my favorites because of how quintessentially Korean it feels. The Korean family that owns the store is incredibly nice and sometimes has their grandchildren around the store. It's a flashback to my childhood playing in the back of my own grandparent's wig store. I would eat delicious Korean food and learn my alphabet with my 할머니(grandmother) while my 할아버지 (grandfather) manned the front of the store. While the store was not the fanciest or nicest looking of all stores, it was a second home to me. But I digress. Midwest Oriental Foods is exactly like that. It doesn't look the nicest, but the people are nice, the foods delicious, with a good variety of goods.
We went shopping with the intention of just buying whatever we liked. There was no grocery list to limit us. It should go without saying that it was a expensive trip. We first looked at the produce section. They carried more common produce such as onions and carrots. But they also carried produce that is more exotic, more typical to Korea.
We moved toward the back of the store where there are more of the pre-made or packaged items. And my god did they have a lot of kimchi! There were probably 20 different varieties in three different sizes ranging from radish top kimchi to green onion kimchi. In all honestly, I've never had store-bought kimchi since my grandmother makes an abundance of it. However, seeing all of the varieties definitely piqued my interest to buy in the future.
In addition to the vast amount of kimchi, there seemed to be a ridiculous variety of brands of gochujang (korean hot pepper paste). There were two shelves of it, which just goes to show what a staple in Korean cooking it is. I already had both kimchi and gochujang at home, but I did not have some delicious rice cakes! The rice cakes here pictured are used in new years soup which is just delicious.
Finally, my sister and I ended out trip by buying some junk food! We bought ourselfs Ramune japanese sodas which are a lot of fun to open! I highly suggest you buy one if only for the sheer fun of opening them. We also grabbed shrimp flavoured chips (a favorite among my family members) and some green tea flavoured candies (a personal favorite).