As an Asian woman who lives in Germany for more than 3 decades, I was and still is happy that there is an Asian shop nearby where I could buy my favorite vegetables and other Asian products like lumpia or spring roll wrappers. In the early 80´s, my hubby and I had to go to Arnheim in the Netherlands just to buy food that I was craving for. Arnheim was around an hour drive from where we lived before. We used to live near the border of Holland, the other name of Netherlands. It was just a small Indonesian shop but at least we were able to buy rice that came from Thailand or Indonesia. Sometimes, there were fresh vegetables like eggplants, bitter melon and some fresh fruits like mangoes. It was always heaven for me shopping there. Around 1985, there was already a small Asian shop near Oberhausen Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Then that small shop became bigger and bigger and then transferred to another bigger place. This is the Tain Kim Heng supermarket in Oberhausen. I am not sure though if it is the same owner.
Tain Kim Heng supermarket is the most visited Asian shop I know of in Northrhine Westphalia (NRW). Every time I was there I was amazed of a huge selections of Asian rice, noodles, teas, sauces, spices, preserved and canned fruits and vegetables, coconut drinks and coconut milk, fish, dried mushrooms, rice cracker snacks and desserts. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also there. The products come from different countries in Asia like Japan, Thailand, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, HongKong, Singapore, Taiwan and of course from my home country Philippines.
We shop in Tain Kim Heng once in 3 months and do stockpiling at home. Although this shop is good, I am still careful what to buy as plenty of products are already out of date. Once I have seen that they still sold bitter gourd which were already yellow and begun to rot. Once I have bought a Lego canned fish and when I used it for my Misua soup, the content was sizzling blue in the frying pan. I threw the food that I cooked because I had a bad feeling. Maybe if we had eaten what I cooked, we were already poisoned. So be careful what to buy.
Do you have any Asian shop in your country? Well, I ask this to those who are not living in Asia. What do you buy when you shop there?
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