The cashier looked at me calmly but quizzically when I put all the fish sauce bottles on the conveyor belt. The customer behind me studied my choices and leaned in to ask, “Sister, you like these brands?”
I was at one of my favorite Vietnamese markets in Orange County’s Little Saigon, Green Farm Market on Magnolia off the 405 freeway. It’s a medium-size market that my sister Linh turned me on to. I like the market for its selection of condiments. Green Farm Market seems to get slightly off-beat nuoc mam fish sauce brands that are not (yet) widely distributed. Their prices are also amazing.
I told my husband that I was on a quest to find Son Fish Sauce, an artisanal fish sauce that I’d received from a scion of the family that’s been making the nuoc mam since 1951. Danny Tran told me that he and his family were working to expand distribution, but I hadn’t seen their product in many Asian markets in Northern California where I live.