One of the best things about traveling is that even the simplest things are challenging. There are no mundane tasks here, especially since I speak about as much Korean as the average baby. So grocery shopping was far more exciting than I thought it would be.
There were some recognizable items, mostly in the “foreign” section. After spending time in Argentina, I’ve learned to avoid those sections like the plague, as the “foreign” food is typically awful impressions of American food. (Never try Argentinian peanut butter…)
But there were other known foods as well, including an old nemesis. Spam.
I have had a hatred of Spam since I was a child. My mother’s family is from Hawaii, and Spam on rice with ketchup was a fairly common meal for my cousins. As a spoiled little haole, I was not a fan. Even so, it was begrudgingly nice to see a familiar face.
There were other familiar things too, like the little boy emphatically yell-singing “Let it Go” throughout the market. His mom caught my eye and we both started laughing.
The best part of the market was the veggies. A coworker informed me that this market was the best place for organic, but still cheap produce and she was spot on. And the enormous radishes are just fun to look at, I have no clue how I would actually cook them.
Even in my tiny neighborhood market, the fish take center stage. People like their fish FRESH, preferably still moving, although there are packages shown below.
My favorite “strange looking” food had to be the canned silkworm pupae. (I put strange looking in quotes, because it’s only strange looking to me. I’m the strange one in that market). The only other time I’ve seen silkworm pupae for human consumption was at the Tangun festival, where it was being sold by street vendors.
All in, it was a successful market trip. It had it all- “Let it Go”, old enemies, new friends, and vegetables. The usual.
I even made a pretty good looking dinner! And I’ve gotten a lot better at cooking on the range stove.