International Rochester: Ethnic stores - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

International Rochester: Ethnic stores

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)--  Rochester has a huge population of people from all over the world,  many with a strong sense of their native cultural practices. How do you preserve these different cultures in the middle of modern America?

Driving around Rochester you can't help notice all the ethnic food stores and you might be surprised to learn how important these little stores really are!

For more than ten years SeSey Lam and her family have been running a successful grocery store.

SeSey Lam of Saigon Far East Oriental Market says, "I heard from a lot of customers- oh I'm so happy you have this, I'm so happy you have that and I feel like back home when I have this."

If you take a walk through Saigon Oriental Market you're bound to find new things.

Lam explains, "Friday and Saturday and Sunday are so packed a lot of customer because we bring in a lot of produce." Aisles packed with what some say is the freshest produce in town. Lam brings in new produce every three days.

The variety of foods are the tastes and comforts of home to many, but sometimes these foods are matters not only of the stomach, but of the spirit.

Kamal Benlunaa is from Morocco and he shops at Broadway International Grocery and says, "For example like dates and stuff like that... we use it in our Ramadan with the soup we eat in the evening at sunset when we break the fast."

For believers of Islam the meat must also be prepared according to a religious ritual. Some international markets give the assurance that certain rituals have been practiced -- and that means foods that are safe to eat.

Benlunna explains, "Traditional things that we may have in our countries that we use basically every day that can't be found in the corporate chains or other regular stores."


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