A shopper looks over the items in the bakery section at DeCicco’s Family Market in New City. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud.
We’ve all got that special product for which we will take a special trip to a specific store.
I took to Facebook and asked for yours. Turns out, lots of people have a food fetish.
Unsurprisingly, a few of the better-known gourmet chains carry some favorites. Trader Joe’s, long known for their excellent house brand, stocks several cult products: readers and staff go there for almonds (dried, roasted, unsalted or adorned with chocolate and sea salt), pretzel rolls, creamy Toscano cheese, Sun Butter, coconut strips, lemongrass chicken sticks, mini chocolate ice cream cones and dairy-free coconut ice cream.
Fairway Market is a favorite for salsa, frozen pizza from Italy and Magic Pop Chips. According to readers, Stew Leonard’s is the place to go for fresh fish — especially lobster chunks (perfect for lobster rolls) and shrimp — as well as chicken pot pie from The American Pie Company.
Whole Foods is the go-to place for sweet dried mango and fresh salmon (though maybe not together). DeCicco’s has a lot to offer, but it’s especially great for beer.
While it may seem like one major chain is much the same as another, some chains — and even specific locations — carry certain products others don’t. One reader makes special trips to Stop & Shop in Nanuet for Folger’s Stomach Friendly Blend coffee and to ShopRite in Pearl River for The Baker bread. Another swears by C-Town in Tarrytown for basa stuffed with crabmeat and stuffed grape leaves.
It’s not just the big stores: plenty of people visit smaller, specialty stores for specific items. H-Mart is the spot for Korean marinated meats and marinades. Old World Food Market in Nyack carries a dizzying array of fine cheeses. Mountain Olive Oil in Tarrytown has a chocolate balsamic vinegar that’s apparently “incredible on vanilla ice cream.” Harvest Field Market has a great selection of produce and bags of roasted, shelled chestnuts.
Not every favorite product is consistently available. One person will grab bags and bags of Herrs Cheese Puffs wherever she can find them — “perfect with a glass (or bottle) of Chardonnay!” (she sometimes finds them at ShopRite in Orangeburg). Another reader wishes she could find Old Chatham Sheepherding Co.’s Black Sheep Yogurt, especially the ginger variety, more easily. She’ll sometimes find it at Organica in Northvale, N.J. but will otherwise pick some up at Murray’s Cheese in Grand Central Market on her way to work. Another reader — himself a fan of Big Island Pineapple from online retailer NatureBox — recalls fetching a dozen bags of chips from a grocery store in Pennsylvania for a friend. A local Texas native fills her carry-on with a specific brand of smoked sausage on every visit home.
Of course, sometimes the store itself is the fetish property. Lohud’s own Betsy Lombardi says, “I’d drive to Wegmans for the Wegmans at Wegmans. Ahhh, Wegmans!” (Rocklanders: there’s one opening soon in nearby Montvale, N.J.)