A visit to Penn Dutch is a celebration of Broward County's distinctive polyglot of humanity. The pathway to the cash register is blocked by a Haitian woman. The dairy case is momentarily inaccessible while a French-Canadian couple holds a culinary conference. Before one can grab a hot loaf of freshly baked Cuban bread, one must wait for an African-American family, shopping cart larded with shrink-wrapped rib eyes, pork loins, cold cuts, multiple packages of hog jowls, and several loaves of French bread poking out of the cart like strange cacti, to move. Mondays and Wednesdays are the slow days, according to an employee. But slow is a relative term at Penn Dutch. It's a madhouse on other days, she says. For the seafood consumer, that's exactly the point. Busy is good for seafood. Busy means the product moves. Busy means fresh. Penn Dutch must replenish daily. Plus, buying the quantity it sells, its prices are cheaper than most other markets. In the early spring, for instance, salmon steaks were $3.49 a pound, grouper filets cost $8.99 a pound, and yellowtail tuna filets were $7.99 a pound. At those prices, eating healthy won't give you an ulcer.
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