Tuesday, October 2, 2007

ode to korean supermarkets

I go shopping with my host mom every week or so, but the phenomenon that is Korean supermarkets still hasn’t worn off on me. I love them. Some highlights from a recent trip to Lotte Mart:

-Seafood. I’m pretty sure the seafood section where I live has more kinds of sea life than the average aquarium. Giant eels, swordfish, mussels bigger than my hand, shellfish I have never seen. The assortment is wide, impressive, and still shocks me a little. Want a whole octopus? No problem! Twenty whole fish strung on a rope? Sure! How about some cut-up fish with their heads together?

-Prepared food. If shopping is making you hungry, park your cart for a second, stroll up to the ready-to-eat food section, and slurp down a bowl of noodles at the counter. During this trip my host mom and I split a skewer of fish cake in broth and a bowl of cold noodles, similar to Japaneseudon. I think I scored major points with my host mom when I told her that I liked these noodles better than udon because they tasted more like kimchi.

-Fruit. Jeju Island is known for tangerines, and there is inevitably a large tangerine section in the supermarkets here. If you’re lucky (as we were), the sample man might slip you a whole tangerine or two as you go by.

-Staple food. In America, I bought the small bags of rice, usually on a lower shelf, underneath the sugar in the baking supplies section. In Korea, rice comes in 20 kg bags in its own--large--section right before checkout.


Mom said...

Weirdly enough, the fish-on-a-string make me think of some strange Disney movie - like they should start dancing or something, along with the fishheads, who could start singing! Safeway looks boring compared to this.

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

Mom, that is probably because an over-riding theme in The Little Mermaid is sea creatures being eaten by people.
Sebastian claims, "Nobody beat us, fry us and eat us
in fricassee!"
But the Chef dude retorts,
"Then I stuff you with bread!
It don't hurt, cuz you're dead!
And you're certainly lucky you are,
Cuz it's gonna be hot in that big silver pot!
Toodle-oo, little crab, au revoir!" (or in this case perhaps, "Annyong-hi kashipshio!")

Elizabeth, these are great photos! Is it strange that I think an octo would make a good hat?

Elizabeth said...

yes, you can wear it for a hat. it will probably smell, but the little suction things will help it stay on.

did you know the little mermaid lyrics off the top of your head?

Lynnea said...

Interesting to know.