My Favorite Import Shop

Yesterday, we went to Itaewon so I could go to the import shop I like over there.  There are more shops than this one, but this is the one I always go to because they seem to have more than the others.  I used to go there every time we went to Itaewon just to visit with a friend who worked there from Bangladesh, and he would give us Coconut drinks or something else imported to enjoy why we shopped. However, he isn’t there anymore. He moved across Seoul. That doesn’t mean that the shop isn’t good, though, and from time to time, we go over there to shop still because this shop can make our lives much easier.  I’m going to show you some of the things we find in this shop.

I found canned pumpkin!
I found American tomato sauce!
These are huge packages of cheese.  They are about 5 or 6 times bigger than what we buy in the local store.  When I used to buy them because it was all I could find, I was always afraid we couldn’t use it up before it began to mold, but we were happy to get cheese like we were used to.

There are things from all over the world.  First, I will show you some of the American stuff we found yesterday. They may not be imported from America, but they are things Americans use.  This is the only place I can find corn meal. Since I have to buy it in an import shop, I rarely use it, and when I mentioned it yesterday, my Korean son in law didn’t even know what it was.  He was learning in the shop yesterday.  Usually, if I make something with pumpkin, I have to start with the pumpkin and actually cook the pumpkin before I can use it, but this shop has canned pumpkin.  We don’t always like the Korean pre-made spaghetti sauce we find in Emart or Home Plus, our stores like Wal-Mart. Sometimes, we are lucky and find some we like, and sometimes, we aren’t. Usually, when we don’t find it, I can find plain tomato sauce and put the onion, garlic, sugar, and basil in it myself, but lately, we have had trouble finding both the brand of spaghetti sauce we like and plain tomato sauce so I can make it in the local stores, so I picked up both when I was at the import shop.

We found pinto beans! I can use them to make Oklahoma food and Mexican food.
I was lucky enough to find corn meal, so I can make Oklahoma food, Mexican food, and Romanian food with it.
Cous cous comes from Morocco.  I can’t make it without a box mix, but I learned about it when I was a little girl in Morocco.  It is good, but I really don’t know what it is even though sometimes I get a box mix and make some.
I didn’t buy any semolina, but when my kids were small and we were traveling, I looked for this stuff because you use it to make Cream of Wheat and if you add cocoa, you can get cocoa wheat, and kits love that!
My daughter’s favorite that you can only get at an import shop in Korea.


When we had trouble finding American style cheeses here, we could always find them at the import shop in Itaewon, but we can get those in our local Emart now.  However, if you buy them in the import shop, you have to buy a huge package of cheddar or mozzarella, or whatever you buy.  When we couldn’t get tortillas in Emart or Homeplus, we could get them in this import shop. Even though we can get tortillas in the local stores now, I still bought corn tortillas yesterday because I can’t always get corn tortillas in the local stores and because they are different.  The corn tortillas I buy at the import shop are like the corn tortillas my mother used to use, and you can used those to make the nice homemade tortilla chips like you get at Mexican restaurants in America.

It is wonderful to have a choice of what kind of spaghetti sauce I want to use.

There are lots of things in the import shop. Many of the things, we don’t even know what they are.  We saw Japanese style ramen, in the second picture above.  We saw lots of food from different countries, and we couldn’t identify it all. We saw Carnation sweetened condensed milk  and A-1 Steak Sauce. We can’t get this kind of stuff anywhere else.  The third picture above is pistachios. Do you know what mung beans are? I have heard of them, but don’t know anything about them.  There were lots of different kinds of beans and peas in packages that I couldn’t recognize.  There were lots of different kinds of nuts and dried fruit.  Some of the things we saw, you can get in the local stores, but there were many things there that I don’t know where else we could buy them.  I used to go over there to buy Ranch Style salad dressing, but now we can buy it in the local EMart.

This is what the shop looks like if you want to go there.  If you plan to go, come out of exit 3 of the Itaewon subway station and go straight until the next corner where there is a Turkish restaurant. Turn right and walk up the street. There is a hill. The store is up there a little way on your left.

I am thankful there is a store like this in Korea. It may not have everything from America, but it does have some things we can’t get in the local Emart or Homeplus.  We don’t go over there often, but we are happy when we do because it means we can eat some things we haven’t had for a while or like with the pumpkin, put in a little less work.

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