Diversify your pantry with YXE’s ethnic food shops

By in Culture

Saskatoon is home to a variety of stores dedicated to providing foods and products from various countries and cultures that are often under-represented in larger, commercial grocery stores.

While grocery stores such as Sobeys and the like offer convenience in that one can generally get everything they need at one stop, there is a world of cuisine being missed out on by doing so. This is where ethnic food stores shine by allowing customers to get a taste of food from another culture — or to help international students find something from home that they simply can’t get anywhere else.

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Super Fresh Asian Market is one place close to campus where students can find a variety of food.

For those looking to try something new, or simply eat anything other than ramen, these stores will offer a variety for your day-to-day meals. Throughout the stores found in Saskatoon, there is the option to either purchase ingredients to make meals at home or to buy food ready for you on the go.

Found at 1301 Idylwyld Drive North, SMAK is a Ukrainian food store that offers several aspects of Ukrainian cuisine, including perogies, Ukrainian style sausage, smoked fish, marinated tomatoes, rye bread and other products specific to that nationality.

In addition to food, SMAK also offers items from Ukraine such as seasonal candies and giftware, as well as some cookware. This shop is only closed on Sundays, with hours running from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

For Asian foods at a location near the University of Saskatchewan, the Super Fresh Asian Market provides food items from a wide range of countries such as Japan, China and the Philippines. Found at 516 Clarence Avenue South, their products include a wide variety of fresh vegetables, preservatives and packaged foods, and food prepared in-house and made ready to eat.

The Swadesh Supermarket & Halal Meat Grocery offers customers tastes from Southern Asia, including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. With two locations, one at 2102 22nd Street West and one at 1902 8th Street East, this store offers a large selection of canned foods, sweets, spices and more.

Open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and opening at 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays, this store offers hand butchered meats kept fresh in store as well as the option to grab a meal during a visit. They offer items such as pakoras, samosas and a variety of desserts at the counter for customers to take on their way out — and trust me, they’re delicious and worth it.

For those looking to get British-influenced foods, Churchill’s British Imports provides a variety of snack foods including dessert items such as Jaffa Cakes and other typical British sweets. Most of the foods found in Churchill’s British Imports are packaged foods, with other collectible, non-food items from Britain also to be found on their shelves.

Churchill’s British Imports can be found at 3130 8th Street East and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Petra Market, on 227 Pinehouse Drive, brings Mediterranean cuisine to Saskatoon. They offer foods from Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran such as smoked fish, specialty olives and everything needed to prepare a traditional Mediterranean meal.

While these stores paint a vibrant cultural landscape of foods, there are many more to be found in Saskatoon. With cultural diversity being an important part of Canadian society, these stores allow some to find a little bit of home, while also allowing others to get a taste of different cultures.

Jack Thompson / Staff Writer

Photo: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor