Eat globally, buy locally

This is the year of quinoa, by decree of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The ancient grain is prominent in the cookery of many Central and South American countries.

Every time a new ethnic-cooking ingredient comes on the scene, the inevitable question follows: "Where do I find it?"

Today's annual Orlando Sentinel Ethnic Grocery Guide helps answer the question by showcasing the diversity of Central Florida's larder. (Hint for quinoa: Try the "Spanish, South & Central American" section.)

Whether you are shopping for basmati rice, pu erh (smoky fermented Chinese tea), nam pla (a very salty Thai sauce used like soy) or a British Stilton cheese, you can find it in one of the many of the small, mostly family-owned markets found throughout Central Florida.

Often, these stores are tucked into strip malls or scattered along busy streets. Sometimes the owners speak only a little English. Each store is a culinary education in spices, aromas, flavors and scents from around the world. These shops are examples of the vibrancy of Central Florida's grocery-shopping scene. Indian, Moroccan, Russian, German, Latin, Italian and British markets now are thriving, along with Asian stores and others.

The annual Ethnic Grocery Guide, first published in 1995, grew out of comments from readers who missed the ethnic enclaves they knew in South Florida, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other metro areas. As more newcomers moved into Central Florida, we discovered a fascinating patchwork of diverse foods coming to the table.

Central Florida's pantry has swelled with a wealth of ingredients most newcomers never would expect to find in the heart of the state. We have the world on our plate, and we are a better place for it.

We celebrate our unique smorgasbord with the publication of the 19th Ethnic Grocery Guide, which is available all year at

Grab a seat — there's plenty of room for everyone.


Asian Food Market: 5205 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; 407-299-7698

Asian Grocery: 97 E. Merritt Ave., Merritt Island; 321-453-3725

Asian Market: 12066 Collegiate Way, Orlando; 407-823-9033

Beverly's Oriental Food Market: 829 Deltona Blvd, Deltona; 386-860-0016

DeGuzman Philippine Market: 8433 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-282-7772

DeGuzman Oriental Food Mart II: 3838 S. Orlando Ave., Sanford; 407-330-9885

Dong-A Co.: 816 N. Mills Ave., Orlando; 407-898-9227

Downtown Oriental Grocery: 135 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach; 386-257-5793

Eastside Asian Market: 12950 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-615-8881;

1st Oriental Supermarket: 5132 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-292-3668