As part of our curriculum, we learn about practices around the world. Celebrations, rituals, religions, cultural norms. When possible, we try our hand a celebrating them ourselves out of respect for the diversity the world has within it. On this day, we headed to the Detroit Metro area to learn more about places around the world, what they eat there and talk to people whose culture it is.
HMart: We started at one of the largest Asian grocery stores in Michigan, HMart in Troy. They carry food from Korea, Japan, China and other Asian countries as well. We were armed with a list of things we needed to find:
- An item that looked sweet
- An item that looked spicy
- Something we couldn’t figure out what it was!
- An item that surprised us (the SQUID – it was GIANT!)
- A food product that had great/cute graphics
- Several items we wanted to sample
- A fresh fruit or veg that we hadn’t seen before.
Check out our photos below for an overview of what we found. We took home a banana flower, a lotus root, some crackers and ‘sweet’ potato crisps to try.
Pande Grocers: After leaving HMart, we went to nearby Pande Grocers, in Sterling Heights. What an amazing place! Isle after isle of spices and beans stacked as high as we could reach! We spent a bit of time talking to a lovely Indian woman who told us about her culture and family. She showed us some of the items she uses for one of the biggest holidays in India – Diwali (see our earlier post where we celebrated it). We bought a wonderful ceramic oil lamp for use on our next celebration.
New Delhi indian Cuisine: We followed that up with a tour of an Indian restaurant. A tour, given by the owner explained how a tandoori oven works and we now have a new appreciation of how HOT that can get!! We enjoyed a strawberry lassi to drink and a samosa (potato/vegetable filled pastry) with Naan (traditional bread cooked in said oven. The food was spectacular, we look forward to returning for a full sit down meal!!
Farhart Sweets: Following up that event, we tried a sampling of Middle Eastern pastries and sweets. All different, all delicious!
Variety Silks, Sterling Heights: As our final stop for the day, we were treated to a tour of an Indian bridal store. Words cannot explain how exquisite these clothes are. The colors. The beading. The detail. The store owner walked us through their wedding traditions and how they are different within parts of India and from how we celebrate in America. She explained the work that goes into each saree & lehenga. (the outfits for men and women). It was amazing and inspiring. Olive even decided to try one on :0)
La Pita, Dearborn: The last part of our day was having a full blown Middle Eastern meal, delicious and full, we were EXHAUSTED and DELIGHTED by our experiences. Along with seeing and learning so much it was very clear how gracious and willing people are to explain their traditions and culture to people who want to know. That might well have been the biggest take away. :0)