That was a very serious question for me when I arrived from my native Germany to go to school in South Dakota so many years ago. The closest World Market was in Denver, Colorado, and international food, especially groceries, hadn’t found its way yet to the middle of the American continent. Many, many care packages made their way across the ocean and my fellow international students and I would anxiously await the smells and tastes of home. I never knew which delicacies my mother would include in her package but I could be sure of one thing – there was always chocolate. Ritter Sport, to be exact, the queen of chocolate. Life couldn’t get any better than having a heavenly square of German chocolate melt in my mouth.
Fast forward a few years to 2016. Ritter Sport is still my absolute favorite chocolate but it now is only a short drive away. Sioux Falls has become home to thousands of immigrants and refugees who brought with them their cultures, their traditions and, of course, their food. World Market has come to Sioux Falls, along with a store that I grew up with, the ALDI grocery store. The city has adjusted well to the ever growing, multicultural taste buds. Almost every grocery store in Sioux Falls today carries a wide variety of foods and other items from all around the world.
You can also find many culture specific stores. What once was a place to buy musical instruments now houses a Somali store. Tucked neatly in the middle of a residential neighborhood is another African store. A small building right next to a huge parking lot is home to an Asian store. Several multicultural businesses can be found at one particular intersection. When a new store opens, it doesn’t stay new for long. Through word of mouth the clientele arrives at yet another place where they can find a home away from home. And every single one of these stores carries chocolate!
Below are just a few examples of the large variety of ethnic stores in Sioux Falls, just to get you started. Be on the lookout when you drive around the city and you will make your own list.
10th and Blauvelt
Asian Food Market
10th and Blauvelt, 2 doors down from Mogadishu
Dar Es Salaam
Minnesota Ave and Brookings Street
Cultural Grocery Store
At the intersection of West, 6th and Burnside, next to laundromat
West and Burnside
Than Mai Market
Rice Street, close to John Morrell
Written by Silke Hansen, ESL Instructor