Tom Hanchett, July 2012
As today’s New South draws newcomers from around the world, food traditions are meeting and mingling. Just take a look at the little bakery selling Oriental steamed buns at Charlotte’s Super G Mart.
Super G Mart itself is a marvelous mixture. Opened in a former Bi-Lo two years ago by a Korean entrepreneur from Greensboro, it includes Latino, American and even Russian aisles in addition to Asian specialties.
This spring, Taiwan natives Wen Lee and husband Chung Huang launched Honey Buns, a counter selling bao, the white fluffy buns originated in China. Wen serves the bao from a row of bamboo baskets topped with woven lids, recalling street stalls in China.
“We make just like at home, very fresh,” she says. Chung carefully mixes American flours to achieve a Chinese taste and texture, then arrives two hours before opening every day to begin making dough and scooping in the fillings.
Most of the fillings are Chinese traditions. There are savory ones: Hong Kong style barbeque; Chinese pork; tofu and mushroom. And there are sweet ones: egg custard; red bean paste; purple taro jam.
But there’s also a Vietnamese bun with sausage, radish and hardboiled egg. That’s smart marketing in Charlotte where Vietnamese are the second largest Asian group after immigrants from India.
And there’s a Korean bun with pork, onion, tofu and rice-based “glass” noodles. Plus a kimchi bun, featuring a mild edition of Korea’s favorite pickled cabbage. Why Korean? Again, Charlotte has more Korean immigrants than Chinese. And they are especially drawn to Korean-run Super G.
Back in China these flavors might never come together. But here in Charlotte, they do.
Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Inside Super G Mart
7323 E Independence Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28227
704-737-4836 or 704-458-9643
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico meets Greece – holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam @ Lyly’s
El Rinconcito — El Salvador
Arepas Grill — Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Laurita Tamaleria — Mexican tamales
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Taste Nigeria in east Charlotte
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews
Peruvian comfort food
Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Greek pastry at Central Coffee
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Grits & cornmeal
Laos in Kings Mountain