Sunrise International Supermarket: Knoxville Grocery Scene I

Last night, I got home around 8 PM, and as much as I am dedicated to this project, I figured I’d better plan one day of a break from Pearl Project cooking per week.  Thus, Jordan and I supped at Tomato Head.  The 2.95 side salad is the only house side salad from a restaurant that I have ever craved.  I recommend mushroom sesame dressing.

Even though I did not cook last night, I still have a post I’d like to share with you.  In preparation for the Pearl Project, I’ve been expanding my horizons as far as grocery shopping is concerned.  Last week marks the second time I visited the Sunrise International Supermarket in west Knoxville (8905 Kingston Pike).

At this point, I’ve visited twice.  Honestly, the first time I shopped at this market, I felt thrilled and overwhelmed at the same time.  I was in the market for probably half and hour and only purchased rice starch and millet. Before you begin to judge, I want you to see that there is an entire aisle of soy sauce:

There’s also an entire aisle of candy, cookies, and crackers that I’ve never seen before.  (Aside from Pocky sticks which I am very familiar with thanks to my older sister–hey, Shannon!)

And naturally, there were noodles.  Soooo many noodles.  I was intrigued by the variations.

I found some pretty tapioca noodles that I need to find an excuse to buy:

The market also has large seafood and produce sections.  In fact, the seafood section seems to hit your nose as soon as you enter the market.  But it doesn’t take long before you’re forgetting the smell while searching for frozen banana leaves.  The produce has a number of items I cannot even tell you about.  And others I wouldn’t ordinarily think to use in my cooking.  Think aloe and fragrant pears.

One item I know I will never purchase, but was for some unknown reason still curious/intrigued to see was balut.  Not sure what it is?  Here’s a balut (egg) Wikipedia article for you.  Eewww.

Cannot say for sure if 12.99 is a good price for balut or not.

When I left after my first visit, I was overwhelmed, yes.  Still, I was excited to have been in a place that felt so bewildering.  Like doing a bit over travel without leaving Knox County.

The second time I visited, I had a more focused grocery list and was able to navigate around a bit better.  Like every grocery store, it takes a little while to find your way around efficiently.  Unlike every grocery store, you will be told “Happy New Year!” weeks after January 1st.  Truly got me in the spirit for the Pearl Project kick-off and the Year of the Dragon.

¡Voy a volver mañana con la comida de Costa Rica!

Categories: Food, Grocery Stores | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Sunrise International Supermarket: Knoxville Grocery Scene I

  1. Patty

    I have been really enjoying your blog, but I think I could have gone my whole life without knowing what balut is. Ewww is right!

    • Cassandra

      No doubt! I hear that it’s only eaten in the dark so that people don’t have to see it. But this couldn’t be verified as no one had seen someone else eating it–it’s dark after all!

  2. Jordan

    I passed on an opportunity to taste balut while in a hot, crowded, and dim-lit metro station in Manila. I just couldn’t bring myself to try it, despite the encouragement of a Filipino friend who described it as delicious!

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