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Photograph from Jeremy Bautista on Flickr

Shopping at the Asian grocery chain H-Mart might be like a frenzied afternoon at Marshalls—piles of Fuyu persimmons, jars of kimchi, and stacks of slimy fish all compete for space—but the prices put Whole Foods to shame. Granted, you won't always know where your food came from (probably somewhere in Asia) but the products are diverse, inspiring, and recession-friendly.

That's why D.C.-area chefs like Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central are flocking to H Mart and Super H Mart, according to Melissa McCart in the Washington Post.

She notes that at a conventional grocery store, shoppers might find one or two brands of condiments, but at H-Mart, the variety is comparable "to the 10 to 15 pinot grigio offerings in an average wine shop."

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