By Sean Cruz
In its annual publication titled “Devour 2011, a Hungry Shopper’s Guide” the Williamette Week recently identified 39 “world” or ethnic groceries in Portland, inadvertently exposing a huge gap in the diversity department.
None of these targeted markets feature American Indian foods, even though these foods sustained communities here for millennia and Portland is home to the ninth largest Native American population in the nation.
The WW article states: “There are those who say Portland lacks diversity, that it is little more than a playground for overeducated, underemployed white people, and that the city will never, for all the mayor’s talk of internationalism and manufactured weirdness, outgrow its white-bread personality…. Those people really need to spend more time shopping, because if it is all fair to judge a city’s diversity by its grocery stores (and it is!), Portland is far more cosmopolitan than a walk down SE Hawthorne Boulevard might lead you to believe. In the course of writing this guide, we sampled goods from every continent, amid shoppers speaking dozens of languages, and unfailingly discovered foods we’d never encountered before. The cultural riches of this city are boundless (italics added).”
The city is a long, long way from ever outgrowing its white bread personality, but that is another topic.
The WW researchers “sampled goods from every continent, amid shoppers speaking dozens of languages, and unfailingly discovered foods we’d never encountered before. The cultural riches of this city are boundless (italics added again).”
Yet, there is no Native American market…hmmm….
The sampling of goods…hmmm.
Shoppers speaking dozens of languages…hmmm….
Foods never encountered before…hmmm…..
“The cultural riches of this city are boundless”…hmmm….
That last one is something of a stretch, but there is a plan forming to create a Native American grocery in Portland, with the assistance of the Portland Development Commission, under its “Grocery Store Initiative”, and here’s an opportunity to find out how boundless the cultural riches of this city are…and to fill that gap in the diversity aisle.
Stay tuned on this one….
Here’s the Devour 2011 list, categorized as published:
Dutch American Market
East Africa Market
East Indian, Fijian
Merkato Ethiopian Music and Food
Foti’s Greek Deli
Indian (East Indian, like from Asia)
India Sweets and Spices
Marinotti’s Café and Deli
Dashen International Groceries (Central American)
International Food Supply
Barbur World Foods
Bazaar International Market
Fruteria el Campesino
Mercado Don Pancho
Su Casa Imports
Tienda Santa Cruz
Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon
Pars International Market
Roman Russian Market
Oriental Food Value
Hong Phat Vietnamese Market
Nam Phuong Market
Thanh Son Tofu
Vietnamese, East Asian
Thanh Thao Market
Link to Devour 2011: