Monday, February 9, 2015

Comparing sale prices at the H Marts in Englewood and Little Ferry

I picked up more than 2 pounds of mustard greens, above, and a Kabocha squash, both on sale for 88 cents a pound, at the H Mart in Englewood, but the same store was selling a 15-pound bag of Kokuho Yellow Label White Rice for $2 more than the H Mart in Little Ferry.
This breakfast includes organic brown eggs, organic quinoa and organic fresh salsa, all from Costco Wholesale. Why can't I find a mostly organic breakfast at my local diner?

Editor's note: I continue to be puzzled by varying sale prices at H Marts in Bergen County, and wonder whether I have to start to bring organic food and other items I like to restaurants that don't offer them.


On the way home from an errand in Cresskill on Saturday, it only made sense to stop at the H Mart in Englewood for fresh greens, produce and a few free food samples.

This Korean supermarket is part of the Hanahreum Group, but you wouldn't know it when you compare it to the larger H Mart in Little Ferry. 

For example, you might find a 5-pound box of Bagu Clementines from Spain on sale for $5.99 at both stores.

Yet, the Englewood H Mart will claim you saved $3 while the Little Ferry store puts your discount at $2.

A 15-pound bag of Kokuho Yellow Label, a white rice grown in California, was on sale for $14.88 in Englewood on Saturday and for $12.88 in Little Ferry on Sunday.

The parking lot at the Little Ferry H Mart on Sunday.

Spinach, red snapper

The Little Ferry store is much larger, but shabbier and sorely in need of a makeover, and employees keep their coats on in the seemingly unheated space.

On Sunday, I saw a few large potholes in the parking lot and a large, frozen pond that blocked access to half of the lot.

The Englewood store, which was renovated a couple of years ago, has a food counter where you can have lunch or buy prepared Korean food to take home.

Little Ferry had a dingy lunchroom, but it is now closed.

Still, Little Ferry offers more free food samples on weekends, and on Sunday, I sampled sushi made with cooked snow crab, broiled eel, seafood dumplings, fresh fruit and sauteed mushrooms.

In addition to the bag of Kokuho rice for $12.88 and clementines for $5.99, I bought two bushels of fresh spinach, on sale for 99 cents instead of $1.49 each.

At the fish counter in Little Ferry, I bought two large, wild-caught red snappers nestled in ice, and had them cut into steaks, including the head and tail ($6.99 a pound).

For dinner, I stir-fried the spinach and prepared the fish with organic diced tomatoes, red wine and fresh lime juice.

Web site: H Mart

Natural sugar oozing from large sweet potatoes I bought at Costco Wholesale and baked at home.

Plenty of restaurants offer baked potatoes, but finding sweet potatoes on the menu is rare.

Even rarer at diners and restaurants are mashed sweet potatoes with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and other seasoning, including curry powder and cinnamon. Here, I boiled 3 pounds of small sweet potatoes from ShopRite ($2.99) and about a pound of peeled California cloves from Costco.
I've switched to organic whole-wheat pasta instead of the conventional type, and buy imported whole-wheat linguine, spaghetti, capellini, spirals and other shapes from ShopRite, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's for $1.49 a pound or less. But the only whole-wheat pasta I've been able to find at restaurants is penne. Do I have to bring my own? Above, organic whole-wheat linguine with sardines and anchovies in a cream-free vodka sauce.

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