I'd heard about the new (ish) Asian supermarket on Central Ave, and I've driven by it countless times on my travels to Wolf Road, Northway Mall and the like. But between a busy schedule and being admittedly a creature of habit on the weekends I hadn't actually ventured in until this weekend. A friend (Thanks, M!) had told me that it was very good -- that, combined with the fact that it was spring break so I had no grad school homework, made it a good week to stop in and check things out.
I was impressed. And I will be returning regularly.
Let's just talk about flours. Typically, we go to natural food stores like Paradise Natural Foods and Green Grocer to stock up on gluten free goodies, and while we're there I'll load up the cart with flours to use at home. Partial to Authentic Foods (for their finely ground rice flours), I'd pay more than $10 for each 3 lb. bag. (Somewhere in the ballpark of $12-$14 depending on the type of flour). That's $3-4+ per pound for specialty flour! We sucked it up and spent the money figuring that it was part of being gluten free.
Let me tell you -- the Asian supermarket has bulk rice flour and tapioca starch/flour for 79 cents a pound. Less than one dollar! Their potato starch was $1.69/pound (Price Chopper sells a pound of Bob's Red Mill potato starch for upwards of $4/pound) and their sweet rice flour was also very expensive. We stocked up on those flours, and added a couple of other impulse buys like jasmine tea, rice pasta shells, rice paper wrappers, and Japanese bubble gum, all for under $20. We typically drop $50+ each time we stock up on flours at the natural food stores, so that was a huge plus for our wallet!
The only thing that I did NOT see at the Asian supermarket was brown rice flour. Unless I find a better price at a co-op I may still be paying a premium for it (but I like it just to add some fiber to things like pizza dough).
I'll be cracking open the bulk flours this weekend -- hopefully my baked goods will taste even better knowing they were a bargain. ;-)