Thursday, October 2, 2008

MT Market

I had heard a lot about the fabled MT Market, but had not visited until today. MT Market is a huge Asian grocery store in north Austin, which has "the largest selection of vegetarian items in central Texas". They definitely had a ton of meat analogs. Dried, canned, refrigerated and frozen; ground, in tubes, in pastes, shaped like animals, shaped like patties, and in balls, they carried multiple varieties and even multiples of the same variety by different manufacturers. For instance, at least 12 kinds of tube meats; four tube chickens, three tube ducks, and five tube hams. It was kind of overwhelming, and I'll talk about meat analogs in depth tomorrow.

Other than the sheer variety of meat analogs, the thing that was really exciting to me was the big selection of fresh produce. They carried a wide variety of fresh greens, fruits, melons, and inexpensive mushrooms. I was particularly impressed with their fruits. They have durian, usually fresh and frozen, fresh jackfruit, fresh dragonfruit, fresh jujubes, fresh and frozen longans, and their green papayas and mangoes were some of the most beautiful I'd ever seen. Usually green papayas are pitted or bruised, with spots of uneven ripening, but these were smooth, unblemished and bright green. I only have about a week left in Austin, so I didn't want to buy too much produce, and I didn't look very closely at the dried goods, like the spices or sauces, but I probably have way too many of those anyway.

Since today has been a long day, and I'm super tired, I'll leave you with a couple pictures of my haul. Some of the things I'm most excited about: super tiny heads of greens, Chinese broccoli (which does not have any kind of florets), lotus root, sorghum grains, yuba, bamboo shoots, black rice flour noodles, corn flour noodles, oat flour noodles, black wheat flour noodles, vegan pork belly, and "vegetarian intestine" (!?).

Fresh Vietnamese rice noodles, sorghum grains, super tiny heads of greens, amazingly inexpensive fresh shiitakes, dried bean curd sheets (yuba), agar bars, baby bok choy, fresh red and green shiso leaves, Chinese broccoli, fresh lotus root and vegetarian log.

Fresh Vietnamese rice noodles, "vegetarian log", lemongrass and chili fried tofu, beancurd laverfish, vegan crab balls, vegan salmon, vegan smoky pork belly, fresh bamboo shoots, "vegetarian intestine" and vegan "king prawn".


JD said...

Man... that's an awful lot of fake meat junkfood! I can't wait to eat it all up!

Bethany said...

I gotta hear how the fake salmon is. they have something similar looking at sidecar that I've been thinking about getting.

aTxVegn said...

MT is so close to my house and I was just telling someone I hadn't been in a couple of months. I don't remember ever seeing fresh jackfruit, so I'll go just for that! Next time you go, look in the refrigerator at the end of the produce section and get some dried tofu. Some is flavored, some plain, but it's like it's been frozen, thawed, and pressed for you - no other prep necessary. That faux meat in the freezer can be pretty wild!

funwithyourfood said...

Haha we bought the same kind of vegan fish from MT market. I haven't used mine yet, have you tried yours?? How was it??