International students delve into Buffalo’s best international markets
Every year international students travel from all across the world and land in Buffalo – a snowy, suburban city that they temporarily call home. Sixteen percent of the undergraduate student body at UB is composed of international students.
Like every other student, the thousand of international students that attend UB have to eat. Many, like the domestic students who live on campus, invest in meal plans. For those who don’t, it can be tricky to shop for food when living in a foreign country.
For Mallikarjun Siddappa, a sophomore industrial engineering major, the answer to his foreign food needs is Super Bazaar, an Indian food store located at 3218 Sheridan Drive near Walmart.
According to Siddappa, Super Bazaar is a great place to shop for Indian cuisine because it has foods and spices that would normally be unavailable in America and ingredients that he would normally use when he's cooking at home in India.
In addition to meal ingredients, the market also has Indian snack foods, such as plantain chips, canolis and mangoes.
When Sidappa shops at Super Bazaar, he buys things like rice, wheat, vegetables and seeds, which help him make meals he’s accustomed to.
They also have prepared meals there for those who are too lazy to cook but miss the tastes of home.
Indian cuisine is not the only foreign food that can be found around Buffalo – there are many Asian markets, such as An Chau Asian Market, Niagara Asian Market and Sung’s Oriental Grocery and Gift.
Xinze Liu, a senior business major, shops at T&T Asian market, located on Elmwood Avenue near South Campus.
“The store sells a lot of Asian foods that you can’t find at another grocery store,” Liu said.
Liu explained it is easier for him to shop at the Asian market because he can find food he likes more and that he is more familiar with.
Though many seek out ingredients to make recipes from home, not every international student looks for cuisine that is customary to the place where they grew up.
Paul Stenger, a junior industrial engineering major, shops at Tops on Main Street. He chooses not to buy food that is customary to the country he grew up in – Germany.
Stenger said that he buys groceries there because it’s the closest grocery store near his home on South Campus, valuing convenience over tradition.
For those not on South, there is also a Tops located on Maple Road near North Campus.
“Most of the time, we just buy noodles and some meat – nothing too fancy,” Stenger said.
Stenger explained that trying to make the dishes that he eats in Germany would be too expensive to do here in America. The prices of the ingredients he would use, even the simple ones such as fruits and vegetables, are much steeper here compared to Germany.
Regardless of what store they shop at, international students have a plethora of places to choose from when they go grocery shopping in buffalo—it's just a matter of what type of food they want and how much they're willing to pay for it.
John Jacobs is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.