6/22 - T&T Delicacy

 T&T Supermarket, a Canada's largest Asian supermarket chain headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, is one of my favorite spots. The company’s home page said that to many Canadians the store is the embodiment of the taste of Asia, because it differs from other supermarkets by featuring many uniquely Asian food products not available in other retail outlets. It also says that T&T enriches the lifestyle of Asian families in Canada by offering them choice food and household items in a comfortable shopping environment and introduces the colourful Asian food culture to the Canadian multicultural society. In fact, T&T functions as a “Mecca” of Canadian Asian food where you can encounter various kinds of exotic ingredients in its Sea World-sized fish tanks, colorfully wrapped rice snacks and rainbow of tropical produce. Most T & T stores also have an in-house bakery, an Asian deli, a sushi and a Chinese barbecue department. With rapid expansion, T & T is now Canada's largest Asian supermarket chain. There are 8 stores in Greater Vancouver, 3 in Alberta and 5in the Greater Toronto Area.

A favorite stop among manyshoppers at T & T is probably the seafood department where fresh fish, shrimp and crab swim in large holding tanks waiting for an honorable moment to be chosen by discerning customers. You can honor these live snappers, crabs orlobsters in the seafood section by appointing them to transform into the bestfood. An employee picks up one of the fortunate (unfortunate) creatures and honors him or her with a glorious butcher knife in their sacred chopping board. If you peep into the counter behind the fish tank, you will see that a huge king crab was cut apart from the middle, but still squirming it’s legs. They washed away the internal organs with water. It’s too bad that they wasted my most favorite part. I grew up in a culture where the crab’s internal organs (particularly ovary and liver) were considered to the best part. But the people who own the store don’t care for those part. It also amazes me that T&T’s mighty fish handler rips large crab apart with his mighty fingers without aknife. Reminiscent of young David tearing the great lion apart with his bare hands in the Old Testament (I Samuel 17:34-36). Other exciting finds include the giant elephant clam (Geoduck) with its long trunk, Iseebi or Asian Spiny Lobster (lobster without claws butspiny back) and Alaskan king crab, all gleaming and delectable.

They also sell soft-shellturtles in T & T. In Osaka Store in Richmond, they sell dead and gutted turtles.They said they are fresh. But when I looked at them carefully, they looked kindof old. On the other hand, Metrotown store sells frozen ones. I think frozen ones are better. For soft-shell turtles, live ones are best, but frozen ones are second best. I bought a frozen turtle quite long time ago and it was just 14.16$. (It was quite good price for this kind of food). It’s still in my freezer and will continue tostay there until I find a brave person who dares to eat my soft-shell turtle dish. (Please look at the picture of my "freezer friend" underneath). 


T&T’s Asian deli andsushi are very handy and economical though they do not enjoy the best quality. Asian delis are mostly Chinese and very exotic which include seafood, Chinese vegetables and meat. They often include very exotic ingredients like various kinds of animal organs, tofu-like products made of animal blood. On the other hand, their sushi is very ordinary and boring. (Nothing is like live fish or shrimps squirming on your plate). But the price is very good, and if you spend10$ for sushi, you have more than enough for one meal unless you are a professional wrestler.

Yesterday was a farewell party for a friend of mine who is moving to Toronto. We are eating food I bought in T&T in Metrotown. We ate fried prawns, where the hostess coveted to herself, a dish with small fish, and another dish with shellfish called conch. Pictures at the bottom include food that we ate last night before sending off my friend.


Last updated Jun. 24th, 2008 by Isao Ebihara