Thursday, June 26, 2008

affordable healthy eating

Today I went to Russo's with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. This place has now became our favorite store! After introducing it to my father-in-law, he now goes once a week.

Russo's is not like any other grocery store that I have seen, especially on the East Coast. It's produce is fresh and inexpensive. And more important, they have a great variety of fruits and vegetables, including a whole lot of Southeast Asian stuff like sadao (a bitter leafy vegetable), banana blossoms, guava fruits, and green papaya. It also has an awesome selection of cheeses and breads, and the pre-made dishes look yummy, but we haven't tried them because every time we go, we get excited to go home and cook!

Oh, and the Asian produce is not in some separate special "exotic" section like Stop & Shop does "Food of the World." At the mainstream supermarkets, you see people go into the ethnic section and get like a mango and ignore everything else. Those store don't know anything about tropical fruits, I change the prices on Asian fruits like cherimoya to be cheaper since I know the cashier won't know what the heck it is. At Russo's, the Asian produce is just all throughout the store, it's weaved into every section.

Another thing I like about them is that they are a family-owned business, and their staff is very diverse. There are a lot of people of color working there, especially Asian and Latino immigrants, and they are not just stocking the shelves, but they are in management positions too. They are pretty helpful and friendly, and if that's the case, they are probably treated well. At the big supermarkets, staff don't care if you die in the aisle.

There's also a lot of locally grown produce, and that's good for freshness and not using too much gas to transport them. But it also must mean they have good relationships with a lot of local Asian farmers who are growing all these Asian vegetables!

It's good to see that good food is affordable. Lately I feel like only the rich have a right to be healthy. Tv and magazines show a lot of products you can buy to stay healthy, but they all cost so much money, that nobody can really afford them. But the people who shop at Russo's aren't just hipsters, but include immigrants of all colors, mothers with their babies, old Asian ladies, really all people.


questinfinite said...

is russo's in watertown?? i always thought it was super bougie. but it's affordable?? good to know. sophea's been looking for banana blossoms. will go and check it out.

(glad your posting more often, hurray!!!)

Tanya said...

Damn...I wish we had something like that down here. Shoot...I'd like to just have an Asian supermarket that does not take an hour (or more) to get to. I'd be there all the time!!! Too bad you don't have an H-mart nearby...Korean grocery store with mad cheap produce.

hsindy said...

This is exciting news! V and I will have to take a trip sometime this summer (post-bar probably).

I like 88 in Allston for their nicely priced selection of Asian vegetables, buckets of tofu, shrimp (with the head on), and the goodies in the frozen good aisle. However, I always stay clear of the meat section...

emperor of sultans said...

actually tan, they are opening a hmart in burlington, about 25 mins from here.

hsindy, i think the nice thing about meat at 88 is it has more selection than the other stores, because you have a better selection of tendon, tongue, and tripe.

but russos is still my favorite. costco is second.

pheak-pheak said...

H and T, you should definitely check out Russo's. We could even take a field trip there sometimes...the boys can come too! I guarantee that you'll love it!!

tanya..I love H-mart. The first time I was there was in New Jersey..I didn't know it was a chain.

hsindy said...

Emperor of Sultans (Giles?)-
I really love tripe, especially dim sum style, but I have the hardest time getting the texture down when making it from home. Do you guys have a good recipe?

I was actually going to suggest taking a group trip together to Russo's!! You can introduce me to all the SE Asian fruits and veges.

Tsukemonoki said...

I've never been to Russo's ever. Even when I lived in Brighton. My roommate raved about it. Watertown is so far! I'd definitely love to go more often. A group trip sounds like a plan.

H-MART in Burlington!? I'm so there.