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Expand Your Korean Horizons At H&Y

If you’ve wondered what Korean food tastes like, a visit to H&Y Marketplace in Hicksville is in order. The store features samplings of at least eight different dishes every Saturday and Sunday. On a recent visit I enjoyed leek and meat filled mini dumplings, udon noodles, seaweed salad, their special Gold Ratio Multigrain rice and bulgogi (marinated sliced ribeye). After tasting their seafood pancakes, I took home a batch of fresh batter to cook later in the week. It was good.

It’s a smart move to provide these tastes because although Long Islanders are familiar with other Asian cuisines such as Chinese and Thai, Korean food is a relative newcomer here.

“We want people to experience our 5,000 year old culture and cuisine,” says Robert Han, vice president of H&Y, the second generation in the family business. Han’s parents arrived in the U.S. in 1985, opening up a vegetable store. There are now four H&Y markets in the metropolitan area, with the store in Hicksville having opened in 2007.

H&Y stands for Han Yang, an ancient name for Seoul, which is commonly used to represent the traditional values of health and youth. “Healthy eating and well being are an important part of the Asian diet,” says Han.

Korean food, relying heavily on natural ingredients, is hearty and the flavors are bold, especially in kimchi, the spicy cabbage slaw that is served with every meal. I love their array of fiery orange/red kimchi and asked Han how to choose. Each brand is different, depending upon the fermentation process — how long, how much salt, what kind of salt. With 10 different ingredients, including napa cabbage, ginger, garlic and soy sauce, there is infinite variety. He recommended the Hansol brand for a first taste of kimchi and then explained the store’s policy: if you try it and don’t like it you can return it. “We want customers to explore their taste buds,” he says.

And if the return policy isn’t enough, Han says the staff is very willing to help customers make their choices of any products in the store. Often people will come in with cookbooks, asking for help to get the right ingredients for the recipes they want to try out. Han says they’re planning to run cooking classes in the spring.

Everything in the produce department looked fresh and enticing. I was impressed with the mushroom choices — that included king oysters, oyster mushrooms and enoki mushrooms in addition to the usual button and Portobello — and the fresh lime leaves, ginseng and lotus root. In the refrigerator section, the containers of the vividly colored fish roe — green, gold, red, black and orange — made me want to start making sushi. As would be expected in a cuisine that savors tabletop barbecuing there are lots of meats, sliced and prepared and ready for BBQ and some that are marinated and ready for grilling. The fish department is outstanding with lots of choices and live fish that, on a recent visit, included fluke, eel, black fish and lobster.    

About half the products in the store are Asian, says Han, and sometimes the variety of products can be daunting. There are at least 20 different kinds of soy sauces and within those variations are multiple manufacturers with their own distinctive tastes; 30 feet of store space is dedicated to soy sauces alone. Han urged, “Try something new.” I purchased a bottle of a ponzu sauce with citrus, keeping in mind H&Y’s we’ll-take-it-back-if-you-don’t-like-it policy. It was delicious and not as salty as some and is now at home on my condiment shelf.

H&Y Marketplace is located at 478 Plainview Road in Hicksville. For more information call 516-935-4041 or visit www.hy1004.com

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com