Orient Yourself to New Flavors
This Market Carries Everyday and Exotic Foods
BY MARIJO VIK
The Asian and American Market is a fascinating place, especially if you are a foodie.
The family-owned store is located at 1015 Main Avenue, Fargo, in a strip mall with other Asian shops and services, including: a beauty shop, a restaurant, and an alterations business.
This store has been in Fargo since 2004 and attracts many first-time customers and plenty of regulars. You could spend hours just looking at all the goods being offered.
It’s also a place to meet friends and neighbors.
The shelves are loaded with foods from Vietnam, China, Korea, Thailand, Japan, India, Africa, Greece, and Turkey. If you need something special for a recipe, you’ll probably find it here.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are available, as well as every kind of meat, fish, and poultry imaginable. Refrigerated and frozen foods are plentiful.
If you don’t see what you need, just ask. Employees and the owners are knowledgeable about the products and where to find them in the store.
The majority of reviews on Yelp’s website gave the store a four or five in their five-star rating system.
There is store-front parking but the entrance and exit are one way, so it’s important that you enter the driveway coming from the east.
Sok Phaul (Paul) and John are brothers-in-law and two of the owners of the A & A Market. Paul is married to John’s sister.
John’s father had worked for the Americans during the Vietnam War, and when the United States withdrew from the country, the Communist government sent him to prison for seven years. Once he was released, he took his two youngest children and escaped across the border into Cambodia where he lived for six years trying to get his wife, his daughter and John out of the country to join him.
He finally walked through the jungle and crossed into Thailand where he contacted the American consulate asking for asylum in America, which was granted. His father eventually became a U.S. citizen.
In the meantime, his wife (John’s mother) had died, and at 13 years of age, John became the only source of support for himself and his younger sister.
With help from Lutheran Social Services, John traveled from Vietnam when he was 21 years old and was settled in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.
John did not speak English and his sponsor approached the school board and asked if John could attend classes full-time to help him learn. At the age of 26, John graduated from high school while working full time at the West Central Turkey plant.
“It all ended pretty good,” John said.
Hours of Operation:
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
NOTE: If you pay with cash, you get a five percent discount on your purchase price.
(Marijo Vik is a 71-year-old senior in her senior year as a multi-media journalism student at MSUM. She has been a reporter for the Twin Valley Times, Twin Valley, Minn., since 2009 and will use her education to be a better reporter and editor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org)