105 - Korean Groceries Galore

By Mary Luz Mejia

Ever wondered where to buy your own jar of kimchi (spicy Korean pickled cabbage and vegetables) or gochuchang -- the peppery hot paste that spices up your favourite Korean dishes? You need wonder no more, thanks to the Korean mega-store known as the Galleria Supermarket in Thornhill.

Opened in 2003, this 48,000 square foot Asian food emporium houses 10 additional Korean-owned businesses including a bubble-tea shop, a pastry shop and a video store. Gateau, the in-house Korean bakery, whips up a few specialties including the very popular sweet treat -- patbingsoo. This frosty concoction starts with condensed milk, covered with shaved ice flakes, fresh and canned fruit pieces, gummy bears, corn flakes and then it's topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and red bean paste.

I know, this sounds like a kid's sugar-induced daydream, but in fact, this is a surprisingly tasty sensation fit for both the young and the young at heart. To get the full effect, you have to mix the whole lot together. While it sounds strange, it tastes much better than I imagined. And then there are the textures -- crunchy, soft, smooth and jagged. Oh, and a word to the wise -- a single serving more than fits the bill for two unless you want the mother of all brain freezes.

If sweets are not your thing, try the kimbap -- Korean sushi rolls but without the raw fish. Or sample from the variety of more than 20 Korean side dishes at the Panchan station. For calorie counters, the Galleria sells bags of yummy fresh rice cakes that fly out of a machine brought especially from Korea. And not to worry, if you can't make out the Korean writing on some of the products, English-speaking staff are on hand so you won't get lost in translation.

Galleria Supermarket
7171 Yonge Street
Thornhill, Ontario