Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

The Foreign Food Mart 2

It's been almost 2 years since I first blogged about one of my favorite grocery-shopping spots in Seoul, the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon. Since then, they've done a big renovation of the store and have expanded their inventory tremendously, so I thought it was time I did an updated post about them.

Even though it's not that close to where I live, I frequent the FFM about two or three times every month, to stock up on essentials like dried lentils and chick peas. You can also find other veggie staples such as flax seeds, nuts, tortilla wraps, pumpkin puree, black salt, tahini paste, organic cane sugar, and all kinds of spices and seasonings. Sometimes I go there just to browse the isles and find new, bizzare ingredients that I have no idea how to use. I'm telling you, it's my kind of store. Here are some things I get there:

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Tahini for hummus and black salt for vegan omelets.

Lentils, white poppy seeds, and chick peas.

brot

German brot

Vegan Pho

Random spices (pictured here: cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise)

Thai Curry

Ingredients for Thai curry (curry paste, cilantro, lemon grass and galangal, and coconut milk)

And then here are some newer items I've found at the Foreign Food Mart during recent shopping trips.

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Liquid Smoke to give your 'tofu bacon' strips that ever-so-important smokey flavor! It's the 'Wright's All Natural Hickory Seasoning Liquid Smoke,' to be exact. They only have this in-stock on random occasions, so if you see it there, grab it cuz it might not be available on your next visit.

Foreign Food Mart

Cooking coconut oil, 4,000 won. However, you should know that this Minola coconut oil is "bleached, refined, and deodorized." Not 100% pure coconut oil. Bah.

Foreign Food Mart

Veggie Straws! Three different flavors, all vegan.

My only gripe about the FFM (ok, I have more than one), is that they're not good about putting price tags on a lot of the stuff. I always have to ask one of the workers for prices, which gets annoying after a while! I think they're assuming that us expats and gyopos are so desperate for pop tarts and flamin' hot cheetos that we don't care how much they cost. Also, they don't take cards (cash only!), or give receipts, and the lines are always rather disorganized. Let's hope one of their workers reads this blog post and does something about it. hehe.

Some things I'd like to see them carry: quinoa, Earth Balance butter (how awesome would that be!) and tofutti cream cheese. Hey, you never know, it could happen! :) Between the FFM, Korean supermarkets, and iHerb.com, I can get practically all the foods needed to live an un-deprived vegan life and cover all the important nutrient bases. Happy shopping!

Directions to the Foreign Food Mart:
Itaewon Station, Exit 3. Walk straight for a block and turn right after Dunkin Donuts and Mr. Kebab. Walk up the hill and you will see it on your left.