The boring fact is that I do most of my shopping at the local Giant, in part because of the convenience, in part because my Giant card ends up saving me a lot of money on gas. But, since I'm in Falls Church, I have a lot of Asian grocery stores I spend a fair amount of time in as well: Grand Mart, H Mart and Great Wall. That's partly becuase I cook a lot of Vietnamese (and some Chinese) dishes, partly because that's pretty much all my husband cooks these days. Either way, when it comes to Asian foods, it doesn't get much more authentic than those stores.
So news that two managers at the Great Wall had been arrested on felony charges for selling live fish at the fish counter came as a rotten surprise. Short version: a "concerned" citizen (where to even start?) files a complaint and the state of Virginia launches a big sting operation aimed at proving what everyone already knew: you can buy live fish, eels, turtles and a number of other things at the fish counter. The charges are under the state's wildlife protection laws; the store points out that the fish are farm-raised.
For Americans, particularly white Americans, who've become accustomed to their food being dead for days before coming anywhere near a supermarket, the live fare at the Great Wall fish counter can be disconcerting. Hell, even my first time there made me feel like I was Anthony Bourdain in a backstreet Shanghai market. But the "weirdness" of food is a matter of perspective. My experience with my immigrant in-laws is that they can be as incredulous about the weird shit you eat as you are about theirs.
So, barring any revelations that Great Wall is serving up fresh komodo dragon, I say leave our Asian grocery stores alone.