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fun finds at h mart
December 10th, 2012etc, MaryMary Desjean 14 Comments

I finally went to H Mart! Considering it’s pretty much around the corner from my house, I’m surprised it took me this long to finally visit. Laura and I had fun poking around in the store before we got some food to take back to my house to continue our Downton Abbey marathon (we only 2 episodes left! yay!).

The first thing I noticed is that the layout is pretty much the same as the old Ralphs, they didn’t change too much around there. But, one half of the store is “American” stuff and the other half is “Asian” stuff. Towards the entrance, there’s a hot food stand serving up various kinds of Korean food and a “to go” area with pre-packaged stuff.

In the large veggie area, I spotted these neat soup starters. They had everything you’d need to make a basic soup stock – including onions, carrots, leeks, herbs and more – all cut up and ready to drop into a pot. I haven’t seen anything like that before all packaged up for you, so I thought it was a cool idea.

There was a good variety of apples here along with other fruits, herbs and veggies that I have never seen before. I didn’t know what a lot of the stuff was even used for.

I also saw these: Grapples. I’ve heard of them before but haven’t seen this fruit that “crunches like an apple, tastes like a grape”.

I wasn’t feeling brave enough to get it – especially not a whole package of four. I’d rather just get one in case I thought it was gross. Because, honestly… it sounds kind of gross. Does it taste like a real grape, or grape flavor? Because “grape” flavored things never ever taste like grapes to me. They taste… purple.

Yeah, I don’t know what that means either.

I also saw purple yams!

Though, these aren’t quite like the purple sweet potatoes I used for that sweet potato pie since the outsides are white – but I did see one cracked open and it was indeed purple inside. I don’t think these would be quite as bright as my pie, but might be a fun substitute to try if you can’t find the bright purple ones.

We started wandering the aisles and came across the tea/honey aisle. I bought some tea for my reddit secret santa person and then stood in awe of the very large honey display behind me. All kinds of honey too – red ginseng honey, raw honey and “really raw” honey, honey powder, bee pollen… I mean, I’m sure somehow I knew this many kinds of honey stuff existed… I’d just never seen it all together before. Phew!

They also have fun Asian snacks – my favorite to browse through – from different countries, such as the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and China. My reddit secret santa person also maybe got a lot of Asian snacks… like Korean popcorn, and cracker nuts. Strange foods are always fun, if you ask me.

There’s also a Paris Bakery inside which I sadly didn’t get to try since they were pretty much out of everything by the time we got over there. I’ll save it for another day though and hope to get to try their bakery treats later.

 

'14 Responses to “fun finds at h mart”'
  1. Vicky says:

    hahaha I totally know what you mean about the grape thing.. you might run the risk of eating something that tastes vaguely like Dimetapp!! the last (and only) time I’ve gone into h mart, parking was HORRIBLE, but that was a few weeks ago.

    • mary says:

      Hi Vicky – Grape… you say “it’s grape flavored” to me, I say, “No, thanks”. It always tastes awful to me! Parking is a little better now but still not really fun… I’m hoping it dies down a bit more eventually.

  2. leanne says:

    I totally understand fake grape flavor tasting purple! I think I’ve tried a grapple before, but it didn’t really taste like a grape OR purple. It kind of just tasted… overly sweet?

    I’m happy H Mart opened up because it’s closer to us, but I so wish the parking was better!

    • mary says:

      Oh good, I’m glad someone else understands me heheh. “Overly sweet” doesn’t sound good, either. I think I’ll just skip it. The lot is pretty small here, I don’t think they anticipated that many people interested in going!

  3. one of these days, i’ll have to check out this new place, plus paris baguette.

    i like the pre-packaged vegetables. seafood city does something similar (and i think thuan phat as well). i’ve seen it done for veg. used in pinakbet (bittermelon, kabocha squash and long beans), and another dish that uses eggplant. i think that idea is pretty cool.

    • mary says:

      I love the idea for the pre-packaged veggies – sometimes you just want enough stuff to make 1 thing and not buy everything separately. Decent price, too! Paris Baguette is still in my sights!

  4. Sandy says:

    I finally made a visit on late Sunday afternoon, thinking it wouldn’t be too crowded. Wrong! I’m going to have to make another visit on a weekday when it’s hopefully not so hectic. I didn’t try to check out Paris Baguette because of the long lines.

    • mary says:

      Hi Sandy – Yeah, I think weekends are still bad. I was able to visit on a Sunday night but it was still pretty crowded. Weekdays might be a good bet.

  5. I just went today to pick up stuff to make soondubu. I really liked the produce selection, the seafood section, and the korean marinated meats section. I’m glad to have another place to get cheap produce. I’ve lived in SD for almost 10 years now and still balk at prices of green onion and cilantro in “American” stores (i.e. Ralphs, Vons, etc.). The big issue I do have with HMart from my first and only visit is that I felt like it was a bit of a clusterf***. I swear I was going up and down aisles and back up just to look for basic stuff. None of the employees are of any help in locating anything and checkout needs better training on how to bag items. It’s not that hard. I think i’m better off carrying a basket or just having The Dude park our cart somewhere while I go on a scavenger hunt. I need to try Paris Baguette next! The marinated meats by the way are DELICIOUS. Just cooked up bulgogi tonight and we couldn’t stop eating it.

    • mary says:

      Hi! They do have a large produce section and just so much stuff! Like lots of stuff I’ve never seen before, and it does seem a bit haphazard… I thought it was all organic stuff until we made our way to the “Asian” side of the store. Hopefully they’re still just “working out the kinks” of the store and things start running a little more smoothly. I’ll have to try out the marinated meats soon!

  6. Darlene says:

    Paris Baguette is wonderful. I’ve gone three times already and they seem to have a rotating pastry selection so if you’re going back to try that one thing again, you’ll be SOL. Best time to go is right when it opens but pastry selection may be still building up. As for the rest of the store, it’s HUGE. I love that everything is so clean and new.

    • mary says:

      Hi Darlene – Thanks for the information! When I stopped by the bakery I pretty much only saw names of things and didn’t see any actual pastries so my heart isn’t set on anything. But good to know it rotates, which could be good and bad. The produce is so cheap that I will have to keep it in mind and part of my shopping rotation.

  7. Seth Resler says:

    I visited a H Mart outside of Boston a few years ago. The produce section alone was eye-opening! We went on a day where they did a lot of sampling, which was great.

    Seth Resler
    Founder, Mystery Meet

  8. Mary,
    I haven’t heard of H Mart. And now I can’t wait to go. LOVE the idea of a soup starter, that’s bloody brilliant. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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