Oh! Market International Food opened on November 20. With a purported 60+ countries of origin supplying the food at the Manassas market, it sounded almost too good to be true. But the worldly store is no joke. It’s also just warming up. The food court, which will include Korean, Japanese and Mexican vendors, is still under construction. There are empty freezers, too. But if you’re eager for a culinary staycation (or could just use a new favorite snack), there’s no reason to wait to make your first visit. Yes, you can find many of these items at smaller specialty markets–what’s so special about Oh! Market is that it’s all in one place. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
If you’re tuned in to Asian trends, you already know about Haitai’s Honey Butter Chips. They’ve been a hot commodity since they debuted in 2014. I developed a taste for them in my former home and was sad that I struggled to find them in NoVA. Now I’ve got a source.
Mexican mineral water
Another product that’s plentiful in other places but not easy to score here: Topo Chico. Even in Texas, though, the stunningly delicious Taste of Grapefruit flavor of the mineral water can be scarce. They’ve got extra-large plastic bottles of it here.
OK, Milka is now manufactured by Mondelez International (formerly Kraft foods), but the brand was originally Swiss and the varied bars taste that way. From hazelnut to strawberry to Oreo, there’s a flavor for everyone.
There are no Indonesian restaurants in Northern Virginia, but these mixes will help you make your own rijsttafel at home. Just head to the meat section to pick up reasonably priced beef for rendang or chicken for opor ayam and you’re set!
Two sauces come with these halal chicken dumplings. Dip the Nepali specialty in sesame sauce or chile sauce for a meal that’s either placid or fiery hot.
Peruvian pepper paste
Love pollo a la brasa? Then you’ve already tasted sauces crafted from the country’s peppers. You can make your own with these canned pepper pastes. Just imagine, your very own yellow sauce, made from real aji amarillo.
Jamaican fruits and veggies
The importation of raw ackee, a fruit related to longan, has been illegal since 1973. It can cause hypoglycemia when uncooked, but it’s a tasty treat with saltfish when you eat it properly prepared. You can get cans of that, as well as spinach-like green callaloo, for a Jamaican feast at home.
West African fufu
Starchy, dough-like fufu is a handheld side in Ghanaian, Nigerian and other West African cuisines. Make your own and tear off pieces to eat with a comforting bowl of peanut stew.
I went to Xinjiang partly for the fragrant pears. They’re a marvel, with the texture of a juicy watermelon and a flavor that lies somewhere between that and a particularly sweet pear. Another plus, these are individually wrapped, so they’re not a recipe for fruit-flavored germaphobia.
Love the dips at Ambar? Get a big ol’ can of everyone’s favorite roasted red pepper condiment, and go nuts at home. Snacking doesn’t get much better. // 7412 Stream Walk Ln., Manassas
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