June 23, 2021

Crying In H Mart

Crying In H Mart
Michelle Zauner


(June 23, 2021)

A memoir of a young woman who has lost her Korean-American mother and who is estranged from her Irish-American father, told primarily in terms of food. The food doesn’t really sing the way Bourdain’s did, or Mandy Lee’s does, but it's an intriguing story.

Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart. For those of you who don’t know, H Mart is a supermarket chain that specializes in Asian food. The “H” stands for han ah reum, a Korean phrase that roughly translates to “one arm full of groceries.” H Mart is where parachute kids go to get the exact brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home. It’s where Korean families buy rice cakes to make tteokguk, a beef soup that brings in the new year. It’s the only place where you can find a giant vat of peeled garlic, because it’s the only place that truly understands how much garlic you’ll need for the kind of food your people eat.