Saturday, November 19, 2011


I made another trip to Manhattan's Chinatown yesterday. My favorite place to start an afternoon's shopping is the stand on the SW corner of Grand and Chrystie Streets. The people at that stand are helpful and volunteer explanations of and uses for various greens identified only by signs with Chinese characters. Prices are somewhere between excellent and unbelievable, at least compared to uptown chain supermarkets.

A few doors further west of Chrystie is another stand with many greens that I like. Skipping the numerous fresh fish and dried fish purveyors, you will find a large fruit stand on the NW corner of Grand Street and the Bowery.

Further along Grand, continue to Mott Street and make a left there, staying on the west side of the street as you head in a downtown direction. You will come to two fruit and vegetable stands with a variety of fruit displays in sidewalk bins, but the bulk of the stock is inside those shops, so don't miss the opportunity to buy fresh ginger at $1 per pound, red bell peppers for $1.29 per pound and Chinese eggplants, oyster mushrooms, spinach, Chinese cabbage, daikon radish and cilantro at equally inexpensive prices.

If you are not familiar with a certain vegetable, I've found that asking is almost always worth it, and very often met with enthusiasm and cooking tips, too! I learn something every time I head down to Chinatown, and the trip is always good for my grocery budget.

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