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Market Index

Farmers India Market isn’t your average supermarket. A store flyer makes the claim, “Largest Indian, Pakistani & Bangladeshi Store in Connecticut,” but the store’s products hail from far beyond India or even Asia. Opened last summer in a former Staples store in Orange, the market is an alphabet soup of products from around the world.

Under A, B and C are ancho chiles, bags (and bags) of basmati rice and frozen chappati, an Indian flatbread.

Dates come dried, ground into paste or rolled into pastries.

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“Exotic ice cream” is offered in flavors like mango, malai kulfi, chikoo and tutti frutti.

Fruit cake from the British Isles shares the shelves with ghee (a clarified butter) in jars large and small, Himalayan salt, idli rice (sold in bags up to 20 pounds), jerk seasoning and frozen kumbilappam jaggery, a steamed rice dessert with molasses.

Leaves—curry, oregano, thyme, rosemary—are sealed in flat plastic packets in the produce section.

Masala mix and Nutella (in classic and dark-and-white-striped flavors) take up a little bit of space, while oils are spread down half an aisle in every imaginable incarnation: sunflower, groundnut, avocado, grapeseed, flaxseed, almond, coconut, sesame and more.

Parathas layered with cauliflower are found in the freezer, several kinds of queso in the dairy case and russet potatoes in produce.

Samosas come in spinach paneer and potato pea flavors. Tea is served in bags and loose-leafed from China, Britain and India.

There are Udupi brand foods named for the city in India, vermicelli noodles and whipping cream—the powdered kind.

Xtra (okay, extra) virgin olive is one of those many varieties of oil.

The produce section is full of Ys: yellow plantains, yuca, Yukon potatoes.

Zwan brand from the Netherlands brings shoppers chicken and beef luncheon loafs, and Mexican brand Zote offers pretty pink soap.

In addition to eight aisles of food (one and a half of them frozen), a large produce section, a dairy case and a meat case, one rear corner of the store carries housewares needed for cooking. There’s also a halal meat and poultry butcher shop in the rear. (Avert your eyes if you’d rather not see skinned goat carcasses hanging by their hooves.)

I wasn’t able to decipher just how some of the products are organized. It isn’t, of course, alphabetically. Regardless of their origin, similar food items are sometimes together—all of the teas and coffees, for example, take up nearly an entire side of one aisle—but sometimes not, as in rices and grains, which appear in different places. The resulting need to wander, however, isn’t a problem. You might find something you weren’t even looking for.

I made a purchase of my own: tamriya, or date rolls. A later online search identified tamriya as a traditional Palestinian dessert. I picked them up because they reminded me of Jewish rugelach—a diplomatic connection thanks to an international grocery trip.

Farmers India Market
100 Boston Post Rd, Orange (map)
Daily 9am-9pm
(203) 577-5438 |

Written and photographed by Kathy Leonard Czepiel.

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