Story originally appeared on FoodCary.
Cary, NC – While the accessibility of the Internet and social media has led to an increased focus on “eating local,” it has also allowed many to see what kinds of foods and flavors exist globally. And for anyone curious to try out foods they have only heard of, the A&S Harmony International Market in Cary is here to help.
Food You Can’t Find Just Anywhere
Located on Cary Towne Boulevard, the A&S Harmony International Market has been in Cary for 12 years, selling foods and cooking materials from the Mediterranean and all across Europe. Shelves are lined with products from multiple countries. For example, just with olive oil, customers have an option of Italian, Turkish or Lebanese oil, among others.
Walking in the door, customers are greeted with two different cases for international sausages; one for Mediterranean sausages such as Turkish dried beef and one for European sausages such as spicy Italian.
“Mediterranean sausage uses different herbs and spices from the area,” said Sam Houssimi, the store’s owner.
The entire market has food that hard (or impossible) to find at the usual supermarket. On one shelf, there is mild and spicy Serbian ajvar, a condiment made from peppers. Next to it, Ukranian eggplant relish for spreading on bread and mixing with food to give it a boost of flavor.
Anyone looking to improve on their cooking ability and expand their repertoire would do well to stop by Harmony. For example, they carry Turkish kadayif, which has tripped up more than a few competitors on Chopped.
Treats From Around the Globe
Even if you aren’t a chef looking to try new dishes, the market has lots of candies and snacks that anyone can easily enjoy. Several shelves are devoted to Turkish and German coffee as well as English and Sri Lankan tea, among others.
“It’s a much better quality than it is here,” Houssimi said. “The coffee has a different flavor and the tea uses different herbs. It’s not plain like it is here.”
Quality is something Houssimi said he strives for in his products, pointing out how Harmony only carries fine caviar from Russia and Alaska.
But when it comes to quality and treats, it is impossible to leave out the vast variety of candy and cookies the market carries. Europeans have been working with chocolate for far longer than Americans and it shows.
Beyond just chocolate, there are many other kinds of confections. Houssimi even pointed out one of his favorites: the classic Turkish Delight. Anyone could go in and find a new favorite candy, such as the popular Croatian Bananko, which has a chewy, banana-flavored inside covered in soft chocolate.
What’s in a Name
A&S Market goes by several names, including A&S Euro Mediterranean Market, A&S International Market, A&S Harmony Market and a few other variations.
Where to Find It
A&S Harmony International Market
663 Cary Towne Boulevard
Cary, NC 27511
Story and photos by Michael Papich.