New Hampshire’s Ethnic Food Markets: Aneka Market

The Lilac City’s Far East Connection

Jane Albertina, president of Angela Market in Rochester, provides a wide selection of Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Thai food items for her customers.

As New Hampshire’s diversity grows with an influx of new residents from all over the world, ethnic food markets located in different parts of the state are meeting the demand to give them a taste of home and an open invitation for everyone to discover new dishes.

Four of these markets located in Manchester, Concord, Rochester and Keene provide daily sustenance to their shoppers by offering ingredients they cannot find anywhere else.

“Aneka means lots of varieties,” says Jane Albertina, president of Aneka Market in Rochester.

Its name rings true. Aneka Market offers Indonesian and Asian beverages, canned fruit, instant seasonings and meals, savory and sweet snacks, condiments and noodles, as well as Japanese, Korean and Thai food — all big sellers, Albertina says.

“We also love to introduce Indonesian food/grocery to the community. People love the adventure of trying new items from different countries,” she says.

In 2006, she and her husband settled in Rochester from Bandung, West Java, so that he could be the church’s minister. Since its inception in March 2021, the market, owned by the New England City Blessing Church, has been a center for the large Indonesian community around the city and a place to host cultural events.

Albertina seeks to further connect her Indonesian upbringing with her American surroundings by incorporating local, ethnic food sources into her offerings, like fresh tempeh (fermented soybeans) manufactured buy BOStempeh in Somersworth.

“Tempeh is one of the main protein sources that Indonesians eat daily together with tofu. BOStempeh provides ‘taste like home” tempeh,” she says.

Her culinary history, flavored by her mom’s home-cooking, represents a deeper cross-section of Indonesian food.

“Even though food vendors are everywhere in Bandung, my mom loved to cook,” Albertina says. She remembers devouring Manadonese food like Bubur Manado (vegetable porridge) and Ayam Woku, a spicy chicken dish.

Albertina’s other hometown favorites include fried chicken, fried rice, mie goreng (fried noodle) — nasi timbel (steamed rice wrapped with banana leaves), sayur asam (vegetable soup with tamarind), and cucumber with basil and sambal terasi (chili sauce with fermented shrimp).

During celebrations, Indonesians might enjoy Nasi Kuning (yellow rice), fried chicken, fried noodle, beef floss, sliced fried egg, kerupuk (crackers), and kentang balado (seasoned, fried cubed potatoes).

Aneka Market

It’s easy to see how Indonesian cuisine varies regionally. Padang or Minang food in West Sumatra uses coconut milk and spicy chili while people in Yogyakarta and Central Java have more of a sweet tooth. One popular main course is Gudeg — jackfruit stewed with palm sugar, coconut milk, candlenut, shallot, and spices like garlic, coriander seed, galangal, bay leaves and teak leaves.

The most famous is beef rendang — seasoned meat braised in coconut milk until it’s caramelized. The lemon grass increases the flavor and aroma. While Albertina’s recipe calls for instant Bamboe Rendang seasoning, which is available at the market, other brands can be used. Canned coconut milk instead of grated coconut is OK to use.

This article is featured in the fall 2023 issue of 603 Diversity.603 Diversity Fall 2023

603 Diversity’s mission is to educate readers of all backgrounds about the exciting accomplishments and cultural contributions of the state’s diverse communities, as well as the challenges faced and support needed by those communities to continue to grow and thrive in the Granite State.

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Categories: 603 Diversity, Food & Drink