If you’re relying on the single international foods aisle in a conventional supermarket or big box store for East and Southeast Asian grocery products, you’re missing a lot. It’s easy to make a case for shopping at an Asian market for many reasons – and your family will enjoy tasting every one of them. Asian grocers are about much more than ramen and Chinese teas. Today you’ll find a broad product assortment and many items that cater to dietary preferences and needs, including organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, reduced sodium, and dairy-free. The products you’ll find will expand your home cooking options hugely.

If you often cook at home and take pride in what you make, umami is probably already on your radar – and if not, it’s a fun online search to find out more. Asian supermarkets have many umami-rich ingredients that will add a savory flavor to all the things you cook. Adding a savory flavor naturally is the cooking ideal of many chefs today, and there’s no reason you can’t do it in home cooking. Today, most grocers also have online stores that you can browse before visiting in person or placing an online order for home delivery. Most shoppers agree it’s easier to find new products online than on store shelves.

Asian food producers are also keeping up with the trend to offer healthier alternatives for many popular products. One of the most notable is a soy sauce substitute that’s good for people with dietary restrictions because it has 75-percent less salt than traditional soy sauce. It’s also organic, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor. There is a slight difference in taste, and some people prefer its favor over the real thing. The proprietary recipe includes aged coconut sap and mineral-rich sea salt. It’s pretty remarkable and has 17 amino acids, which are the basis for umami flavor in our foods.

You’ll also find more organic products than ever before, and one of the prime spots will be in the tea aisle. Nearly everyone is familiar with Chinese black tea, which is often organically produced, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a tea lover and enjoy trying new things, keep an eye out for corn and barley tea. They’re a complete switch from what most western tea drinkers are accustomed to, and it’s fun to see if you like them. Stocking your pantry with Asian groceries is a sure way to expand your cooking repertoire at home. If you’ve been stuck in a rut lately, it’s time to try something new.