Last month, a white man killed six women of Asian descent. This is just one of many accounts of hate crimes against the Asian-American community that has only been exacerbated with the onset of the pandemic last March. While donating to civil rights organizations and charities is incredibly important, you can show your support daily by choosing to buy from Asian-owned businesses. We buy food almost every day, so by educating ourselves about the people behind different companies, we can use our dollar to support AAPI-owned food companies rather than big-name corporations, which may actually be doing more harm than good for minority groups. Below are a few of my favorite AAPI-owned food companies:
- Noona’s Vegan Black Sesame Ice Cream
Created by a Korean-American ex-pastry chef, Noona’s came to be through a need for a greater variety of ice cream flavors in popular grocery stores. With a coconut cream base, sesame seeds are roasted and ground into a delicious paste that is slowly mixed into the creamy base. The flavor is so difficult for me to describe but the word “delicious” does it justice. It almost has a nutty, bitter, but also sweet and chocolatey taste. Their black sesame flavor, along with most of their other flavors are gluten, soy, nut and dairy-free. The most amazing part, however, is how driven Noona’s is to use a direct trade method to buy their ingredients and their mission to use a percentage of their profits to give back to their local community.
- Copper Cow Coffee
This is probably one of the most innovative coffee companies I have ever seen. Created by Vietnamese-American Debbie Wei Mullin, Copper Cow has created one-time use Vietmenaese pour-over coffee. As a gigantic pour-over fan, this has been one of the coolest companies I have come by. You simply tear the packaging, hang it over your cup, pour hot water in, squeeze the creamer in and enjoy! This women-owned, sustainably sourced and California-based company is a must-try!
- Mother-in-Law’s Vegan Kimchi
As kimchi and other probiotic-rich food become trendy in the health world, consider trying Mother-in-Law’s Vegan Kimchi. And, no not all kimchi is vegan, many incorporate fish sauce! Regardless, founder Lauryn Chun recreated this kimchi that used to be a staple in her mother’s restaurant, a name that translates to “Mother-in-Law.” Like any kimchi, this product contains live cultures that will diversify your gut microbiome. The kimchi itself contains a plethora of different flavors, all of which are intense in flavor.
- Malai Ice Cream
This ice cream is not only unique because of its diverse flavors of southern Asia, but the base of this ice cream is also created without eggs and is slowly churned with little air to make it the creamiest ice cream I have ever tried. Founder and CEO Pooja Bavishi used her south Asian roots to curate not only her ice cream, but the design of the packaging as well, which is so beautiful, you won’t want to throw it out when you are done!
- Emshika’s Thai Iced Tea and Coffee
Founder Emshika Alberini is a Thailand-born chef who has turned her favorite childhood flavor into a portable drink. This Thai iced tea organic Aassam tea imported from northern Thailand, so it carries all the delicious ethnic flavors f Thai Iced Tea, but it has a modern twist: it is turned into a nitro form. All of their products are dairy and sugar-free and 100% natural ingredients. Therefore, it is a healthy alternative to a delectable treat!
These Asian American entrepreneurs have curated the most amazing and unique food products, all of which are worth a try. It is so important to support small businesses instead of large corporations and these companies above are a great place to start if you want to support the AAPI community in a different way!