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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

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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