Korean grocery shopping directory, United States

Seoul Oriental Food Store

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Located just across the state line from Clarksville, TN, just outside of Gate 6 of the Ft. Campbell, KY army base. The store is large, neat, clean, and not cluttered as many Asian grocery stores are. The aisles are wide enough for people to pass without turning sideways. By far the nicest Oriental market I’ve been in.

As the name implies, this is a primarily Korean market, with I suppose nearly everything that the Korean immigrant to America could ask for…there are literally thousands of items, dry, refrigerated, and frozen. The packaging on most items is in Korean, with the occasional English name somewhere on the package. Many of the brands of products that I have seen Maangchi use in the videos are here.

There was very little fresh produce in the store. As this is a military town, I assume that many of their customers are able to use the base commissary. Also I saw a number of other Asian markets within a few miles of this one, including two with signs in Korean, and as I was only on one long street of a decent sized city, there could have been any number of others, so I kind of assumed that their clientele did not need them to carry produce.

There was a fair amount of non-food items here. I was very interested in two different bulgogi grills designed to be used with portable gas cookers, which they also sold.

The owners were very busy working so I did not want to bother them with asking them a lot of dumb questions, though each asked me more than once if they could help me. Finally the son saw that I spent quite a lot of time at the soy sauce section and asked me if I was studying something in particular, and he and his mother helped me pick out a soy sauce that she liked. When I checked out I asked if the red pepper powder I chose was suitable for gim chee and she immediately said no and retrieved the very same one that Maangchi used in one of the videos.

As far as pricing, I had no real idea what stuff cost, so I really didn’t know if the prices were low, high, or just right. A 500g jar of gochujang was $4.99 and a 500g plastic container was $3.99. (a 500g jar was $5.99 at the commissary and the same sized plastic container is $11.49 on Amazon, so I assume the prices were pretty good)

They also sell some prepared food, though I was there late on a Saturday evening and all that was left was some rolls of gimbap. I did not inquire about the hours they are open, but I walked in at 5pm on a Saturday, and they were not about to close.

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