Note from Audra: I don’t know about you but I love when Lauren surprises me with maps like these. Her artistic talent is AMAZING. I love the BuHi Farmer’s Market (see my 2013 article here) and so did Foodie Patty. If only we had Lauren’s map the first time we went together!
by Lauren Townsend for The Aha! Connection
I tend to get an eye roll when I admit to people that we cook most dinners at home. I get it; it can be daunting with a house full of kids, but it is a lot easier if you have a well stocked kitchen full of ingredients that make throwing a meal together easier. I stick to Publix or Target for all our lunchbox food, but everything else comes from Buford Highway Farmers Market. If you are used to a traditional grocery store, BHFM is insane. I still find new things every time I go. If you don’t go with a list or plan, you are doomed to wander the aisles aimlessly trying to decipher any number of foreign languages, so I doodled you another map.
Look for the yellow stars with numbers inside that correspond to the following legend.
- This is where you find ataulfo mangos or champagne mangos ‘cause they’re the champagne of mangos. They have a thin skin, buttery yellow flesh and so, so delicious. You can also find other random fruits that are less common like passion fruit or rambutan.
- Bulk spices and dried herbs: buy all your bulk spices and herbs from here. It’s the freshest and most inexpensive.
- The Hispanic deli, or right next to it, is where you can buy marinated meats and barbacoa perfect for making authentic tacos and such. Also, all the chicharrones.
- This butcher offers pretty much any cut of meat, halal meats and my favorite lamb kabobs. SO GOOD!
- Frozen meat case: Sukiyaki beef and chicken which is a staple of our freezer. It’s very thinly sliced meat that you often see at hot pot places. It can right into a soup or sauce from frozen and cooks instantly or you can thaw and wrap around green beans or asparagus.
- This is where you find pupusas (think of a Salvadorian pita bread), frozen tamales, pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese rolls and one of my kids favorites), and frozen fruit purees for making fun cocktails…or smoothies?
- It’s milk and eggs but offers a lot of local options.
- Surrounded by all the eastern European candy, snacks and ingredients, you’ll find a tiny middle eastern section that has rose water and orange blossom which is great for the baker or mixologist in your life. This is also where you can find like 20 different types of tahini.
- The European deli is where you go if you want a kick @** charcuterie board. All the best forced meats from all over Europe with terrifyingly intimidating names. Don’t ask what’s in it, just eat it.
- This cheese counter rivals most Whole Foods, with both local and international cheeses. Across the isle is a case filled with European style accoutrements like pickles…and other things that are pickled.
- This is my favorite aisle from front to back. One side is fancy oils, olive and other as well as a great variety of vinegar that combined, make simple salad dressings. Also on this side, smoked paprika, salt for curing, pre-made demi glaze to fix pretty much any meat dish, British cookies and chocolate (hello dark chocolate digestive cookies and flake bars) and Swedish pancake mix. The other side is pre-sliced charcuterie, duck fat, sometimes duck confit, perishable pesto and pastas, and European butters and truffle paste. Then bulk grains like Israeli couscous, bulgar and blue grits. Finally you hit the Italian sections with San Marzano tomatoes, paste, sauces and pastas.
- Japanese treats and snacks: This is where I bribe my kids to get to and then spend the rest of the trip threatening to take away their finds. Pockys, chocolate filled panda cookies, fruit gummies and gels, wasabi peas and crackers, you name it. On the way to this aisle, you’ll pass udon noodles in the refrigerator section. I feed my kids these like most people feed their kids mac & cheese. The nutritional value isn’t any better, but I feel better about it for some reason.
- This is another happy place for my whole family. First of all, there is pre-made fried rice to bring home and heat up. This is also where you find handmade dumplings and cooked Korean style short ribs, which my kids call “car meat” because my mom lets them eat them on the way home and one of the many reasons that my car will have no resale value. Also here is fresh sashimi and sashimi grade seafood like tuna, salmon and octopus as well as sushi. I will also buy precooked bulgogi beef from here or the marinated raw version from the meat section and stuff in steamed buns from the frozen section.
- I don’t have time to make my own ghee. I can feel the eye rolls here, but ghee is basically a clarified butter, meaning the milk solids have been removed. Ghee is one step further, like a super clarified butter with a slightly nutty flavor and a higher smoke point, meaning you saute with it.
- This is where i grab mochi ice cream and steamed bao buns. Also frozen steamed dumpling style buns that require both steaming and a quick pan fry, but worth it.
- Housewares section is awesome. Anything from woks to steam baskets to knives or peelers, which I replace monthly.
- The cafe has all kinds of treats and snacks but this is where you can find fresh made sweet or savory crepes.
Those are most my BuHiFM hot spots and secrets. It’s better to go in the morning than afternoon or evening. This is when all the fresh fish comes in and everything is calm and displayed beautifully. You’ll mostly be in the company of chefs or restaurant owners; the later you go, the crazier it gets. I also don’t buy any processed American food here like goldfish or milano cookies. BHFM offers outstanding prices on most everything but is not competitive on American snacks. That being said, they do sell a lot of locally made items that are great. I would encourage you to put together a loose dinner plan and list because otherwise you’ll end up buying an insane amount of produce and it will spoil and then you don’t save any money, speaking from experience. But go, keep an open mind and be prepared to try something new.