Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How far would you drive for $1.99 clementines?

House in the IronboundImage via Wikipedia
Newark's Ironbound section got the name from the surrounding railroad tracks.

I blinked a couple of times and made sure the $1.99 sign was for the 5 pounds of clementines from Spain piled up this afternoon at the entrance to the produce department of A. Seabra Foods, a Portuguese supermarket in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood.

The lowest price I've seen previously was $4.99. I grabbed two of the small crates and went looking for other bargains.

I found Jona Gold apples at 89 cents a pound and collard greens for $1.29 a pound. Mineola tangelos were four for $1.99 or about $1 a pound, compared to $2.49 a pound at Whole Foods Market (those may have been organic).

I looked over the fresh, wild-caught fish -- from sardines to Chilean sea bass -- and was tugged by the strong smell from all the dried codfish piled up in a corner.

When I drew near, I also could smell the blood sausage piled high on the meat counter. 

I bought four codfish fritters in the prepared-food section, as well as two shrimp fritters, at 99 cents each. (After tasting them, I'd stick with the cod fritters next time.)

Clementines citrus are very sweet, easy to pee...Image via Wikipedia

The store carries other Spanish products, including small wheels of goat-milk's cheese called Rocinante from Toledo at $11.99 a pound. 

I was in Newark for a court hearing today, and couldn't leave without visiting the Ironbound, the busy Spanish-Portuguese-Brazilian neighborhood filled with restaurants and markets.

A. Seabra Foods is one of the few stores with its own parking lot, a good thing because street parking was impossible to find before noon, when alternate-side rules were lifted.   

It's also the first supermarket I've seen with small shopping carts for children and small plastic shopping baskets with long handles that you pull behind you like luggage.

A. Seabra Foods, 260 Lafayette St., Newark; 973-589-8606.

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