Food Bazaar Supermarket - NJ and NY (Multiple Locations)

Food Bazaar Supermarket, Fariview, NJ
The typical American supermarket: rows and rows of the same boring fruits, vegetables and assorted grocery items. A small fish/meat counter with the familiar cuts of sad looking salmon, chicken and beef. Familiar breads, cereals, maybe a natural aisle if you are lucky. Same old, same old. Imagine if your weekly grocery shopping was a global adventure packed into one store, with novel, well priced products at every turn. Food Bazaar, located in Fairview, NJ (among other locations) gives you this experience and so much more. If you are chef, a foodie, an immigrant looking for a taste of home or all three - this store will win you over. If he were still with us, I would like to think this would be Anthony Bourdain's dream supermarket.

At its inception, founder Francis An "discovered that the needs of the minorities and immigrants were largely being ignored by most mainstream businesses in New York, especially supermarkets," leading to a multicultural store that serves the needs of the communities surrounding it. You will find products here that span all of Asian, from Korea to India and every place in-between. In this particular location, there is also a heavy Hispanic and Caribbean influence throughout the aisles.

The number one rule of this supermarket is to bring a light jacket, even in the middle of summer. The meat and fish counters are so massive that they cool the whole store down. Now that we've got that point out of the way - let's start with the veggies and fruit: If you are looking for a rare ingredient, this section will most likely have it. Of course, the typical apples, potatoes and lettuce are all in stock. Upon wider exploration, you will find about 20 different types of yams from around the world, peppers from every corner of the universe, and fruits that you typically see on far-flung tropical vacations. There is Chinese ginger the size of a forearm and the sweet smell of Culantro wafts from the produce wall.

Meats: This isn't your typical supermarket butcher counter. All the meat is cut in house, making the products ultra fresh with rock bottom prices. They have the basic chicken, pork and beef cuts along with every cut of offal, hoof, leg and tail you could possibly want to cook. What you should be buying are the delicious homemade sausages ( Argentinian, Colombian), house-marinated Korean meats, dry aged steak, chicken gizzards and cows tongue. Move onto the frozen meat section where you will find rare treats like rabbit, guinea pig (Cuy), pre-cut shabu-shabu meat and even quail.

Fish: Picture the docks of the best seaside port's in the world from Montauk to Japan. Now bring that inside and place it in Food Bazaar. They have every type of seafood imaginable, from fresh Monk-fish to snails, octopus, salmon heads, catfish and croaker with roe. They even have sushi and fish eggs in the refrigerated sections. The fish counter also offers a full cleaning service and will prep the fish of your choosing any way you like.

Refrigerated/Frozen: Moving your cart on, you will notice an army of Korean ladies hawking samples of dumplings, soups, crackers and candy. Let's be honest, who doesn't love free food? Try them all. Buy them all. Then check out the frozen section with a myriad of dumplings, Korean pancakes, noodles and fish cake. The refrigerated section is where you will find the Central/South American products such as frozen chilies/peppers.

Dry Good/Condiments: Want to make the perfect bowl of rice? Here you will find every type of rice under the sun, from Thai varieties to organic Japanese sushi rice. Need to kick your dishes up a notch? Food Bazaar has global variety of spices, from Vietnamese cinnamon to dried Peruvian chilies. Their condiments come from every last corner of the globe - I could buy another fish sauce, soy sauce or vinegar on every trip and still never try them all.

Vegan: On my last note, this store is making an effort to expand their vegan product selection. They often have Gardein brand items on sale and have an excellent choice of non-dairy cheeses, milks and coffee creamers. They also have a curiously large selection of kombucha which is a great alternative to yogurt if you are looking for a source of probiotics!

The take-away: This store is a under the radar choice for experienced foodies as well as those looking to expand their culinary palate.

Reviewed by: Amanda Z. for the New Jersey Foodhound

Food Bazaar Supermarket
425 Anderson Ave,
Fairview, NJ

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