Monday, April 27, 2009

Japanese Supermarket Experience Part 1: Veggie Section

Hopefully one day I'll be able to write fluently about the weird and wonderful foods that you find in a Japanese supermarket, explain what they are, how they should be prepared and cooked and what they taste like. But as a newbie to Japan I know none of these things so am buying blind & testing things out at home. One thing you'll notice straight away is the cost of everything. Some things just astound me. They're growing rice right outside my front door but charge about £23 for a 10KG bag, is it just me or is that just expensive!

So I'll start with the first section of the supermarket, veggies (same as Morrisons at home, weird). Some veggies are obvious, or so I thought. Cucumber here is smaller and thinner than a courgette, in fact about the same size as a teaspoon so beware if you think you're stocking up on veggies.

Melons are also expensive here, about a tenner each. Now I was told this by our Japanese teacher during our intro course in Bristol. Yubari melons, those ones with the veins on the outside can fetch up to 15,000-100,000 Yen (up to £1000 each)

Anyway, here are the £10 variety., I'm sure they're about £2 in England? Maybe I've got that totally wrong.

And these bad boys, I'm going to have to check with Karen what these are. Turnips? They looked impressive anyway and were huge. I'll get back to you on that one.

Then there are the ominous looking pre-packaged vegetables, these ones below i have just found out are bamboo shoots or takenoko (see my post about takenoko picking), a real spring vegetable so in season. I added to a stir fry the other day and found it really crunchy, maybe it was only par cooked?!

Next comes this jellified liquid in packs. I'm still not sure what this is so will have to report back!

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