Reader question: Canadian mailorder sources for Japanese food?

I'm still not officially back :) but a reader from Canada had a question in the comments here, which I cannot answer. So, I ask any Canadian residents out there. Do you know of any Canadian sources (or places that will ship food items to Canada) for Japanese food, specifically umeboshi?

I am going to try to compile a worldwide Japanese shopping source list soon, since this type of question does come up all the time.

(For umeboshi specifically, if you can't find it locally at an Asian or Japanese grocery, I'd also try health stores since umeboshi is a highly revered food amongst the macrobiotic set.)

OK, let me shuffle back to the inert/letting the antibiotics do their job state now....

Comments

I posted this comment to the original onigiri post as well, but here it is:

There are many stores that sell umeboshi. The only store I know of dedicated to Japanese food is Miyamoto (http://www.sushilinks.com/miyamoto/index.html) in Westmount. They also do mail order, I believe. There are many Asian groceries that have a lot of japanese food. Fruits du Parc, in Galeries du Parc at the corner of Parc and Prince Arthur is a good one. There's a decent Japanese/Korean place in NDG on Sherbrooke, I think near Grand Blvd. There are several in Cote des Neiges I think, though I don't know that area so well. and of course, Chinatown will have some stuff, though there isn't a huge Japanese presence there. There's also a Japanese Cultural Center (http://www.geocities.jp/jcccmcanada/ though the web site seems to be down just now).

My wife pointed out that I wrote the previous comment (the first reply to this post) without mentioning that I'm in Montreal. I could have sworn I put that in! Hope I didn't confuse anyone!

I live in Canada, and, to be honest, I have yet to discover a good mail order service. Most of the ones I have encountered are in the UK and will not ship certain foods to North America, or in the United States and will not ship to Canada or take Canadian orders in general (even if you live close enough to the border to have a US shipping address available, like I do).

JList.com sells tea, instant foods, snacks and sweets, and ships internationally. But I'm sure that's well known. There is a link to their store right here on Just Hungry. The only ones I can think of besides that, I have never tried.

http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/ for example, only ships within the United States, but I have not asked if they will take my order and ship to my US address.

http://www.japancentre.com/ will ship to Canada, but will not send food items, sadly. I believe that Maki has even mentioned this website before.

The last I can think of is http://www.mountfuji.co.uk/ which says it will not ship to the United States, but says nothing about Canada. But I have never tried an order from there and I expect that the shipping will be quite expensive because it is coming from the UK. Certain food items may be excluded as well, although pickles items like umeboshi should be alright. But I've never tried it, as I said.

All I can is that the best bet is to search far and wide for local grocery stores, health food stores, and asian grocery stores that sell the items you're looking for. Even if you do not have a local asian grocery (like me), sometimes a regular grocery store will have an imported food section. I found a large, italian grocery store in a town 25 minutes away that sells food from all over the world, including Japanese foods like bonito flakes, umeboshi, kombu, dried shiitake mushrooms, miso and more! It's been a wonderful resource. It also turned out that my local regular grocery stores has a small section of Japanese foods, including Kewpie mayo, curry roux, Pocky, and Pretz. I'm so happy to have found that little corner. If you REALLY look hard, you're bound to find something.

I have 2 additional oriental grocery stores: one on Sherbrooke st W across from Marche Akhavan 6170 sherbrooke st w AND south of Decarie Blvd (not expressway) beside the Play It Again Sports that also has a parking lot....these are authentic and carried Shao Xing Wine, when i couldn't find it anywhere

I was reading about the postings. That were going up for a Canadian mail order service. My question is this why don;t you ask friends that may live in an area that have a larger Asian influence and have them send it to you. Or have them send it to you by C.O.D. for the items.

I live in London, Ontario, and travel to Toronto, Ontario all the time. It's about a 2 hour drive one way for me. There times I can't find something here (London, ON) What I do is call my friend up, have him send it to me by C.O.D or I send him the money to buy it for me. Then he sends it to me by Canada Post.

Just a thought....

G

If you live in Vancouver, there are quite a few Asian supermarkets that do carry umeboshi as well as a huge selection of Japanese ingredients.
Konbiniya- on Robson
they have a great selection of sauces, rice, things like mirin, rice vinegar, natto, and pretty much everything you need to make a Japanese meal
Fujiya
T&T Supermarkets: various locations inthe lower mainland.
H-Mart (the same supermarket as Han ah Reum): Korean supermarkets that do carry a lot of Japanese goods

If you live in Vancouver, there are quite a few Asian supermarkets that do carry umeboshi as well as a huge selection of Japanese ingredients.
Konbiniya- on Robson
they have a great selection of sauces, rice, things like mirin, rice vinegar, natto, and pretty much everything you need to make a Japanese meal
Fujiya
T&T Supermarkets: various locations inthe lower mainland.
H-Mart (the same supermarket as Han ah Reum): Korean supermarkets that do carry a lot of Japanese goods

Besides the suggestions made regarding Montreal, you can always try the Kaedeya shop in Ottawa. Their website doesn't state that they ship, but it never hurts to ask! Or, have them set some umeboshi aside for you and you could go pick it up - no having to search or ask questions.

http://www.japaninottawa.ca/kaedeya/index.html

Heisei mart is in Toronto - as with Kaedeya they don't state that they ship, but again, you can always ask. They're liable to have a better selection as well.

http://www.japantown.ca/heisei/e.html

Sanko is in downtown Toronto - same deal with shipping but I know for a fact that the owners are Japanese and are in fact quite nice, if a bit quirky. They might be willing to put something together for you.

http://www.toronto-sanko.com/en/

Thanks everyone!

I think it really depends on where you live in Canada. I don't really know of any mail-order services, and I'm INCREDIBLY hesitant to order anything online (something about typing my credit card info into those little order pages gives me the wig).

However, if you live in any city with an Asian population you should be able to scrounge up ingredients. I live in Edmonton, a city of just about a million people, with MAYBE 2,000 Japanese residents. We have a couple large, good Chinese supermarkets/grocers (which usually have a Japanese aisle), a huge T&T supermarket (which is REALLY overpriced), and a tiny, little Japanese/Korean grocer way on the south side of the city.

There is also Eden Foods http://www.edenfoods.com that carries a traditional Japanese food section (with umeboshi) and will ship to Canada. I've tried it and will order again from them. although I find there could me a little bit more articles. Hope this helps! Also there is http://www.kgrocer.com, who appears to ship to Canada, but am not sure.

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