This will be the strangest update ever. You ready?
This episode is about a really cheap supermarket. It’s not quite Costco but it has its own quirks.
I’ve went to the supermarkets in Japan, so get ready for long stories.
There are small supermarkets that you find in the metro areas, but there are also the big supermarkets that are comparable to the US ones. And for some reason I like going to supermarkets, maybe because I’m so enamored with food culture.
Last year for New Year’s, I was hanging out with my cousin and we were out late on New Year’s Eve. The following morning we woke up at around 1pm-ish (because of an earthquake, no less) and not knowing the neighborhood we were in, decided to set out to find some eats and just look for fun. We ate at a family restaurant and then while walking we also spotted a department store way down the distance so we decided to walk there.
We also passed an unattended 24-hour rice stand where they sold rice in these stalls.
We got to the department store and it was huge, and we started wandering the supermarket section. For the most part it looks like a supermarket that we’re familiar with in the US; meat sections, dairy sections, refrigerated sections with drink, aisles with dry products. Arguably US supermarkets are arranged better, but that’s because there is a ton of research done regarding psychology in that area. Ever noticed how you always seem to start on the right side and make your way counter-clockwise through the store?
My cousin and I made our way to the back, where they had prepared foods. The apartment we were staying had a refrigerator and we didn’t want to eat convenience store food all the time, so we thought that we could pick some other stuff here for variety. We settled upon this platter that just had meat on it cooked in different ways. There was probably some shrimp too, and I think it was only 1000 yen. It seemed like a pretty good deal. I think just for fun I bought a hot dog wrapped with a waffle too.
We also bought some other things, I bought my huge 2 liter bottles of iced green tea like usual, and we may have bought some fresh fruit too. That’s actually a big deal because fruit is really expensive in Japan.
We got home and ate that meat platter and it was awful. Of all the things I’ve eaten in Japan that was probably the worst thing I’ve ever had. We still ate it and it did take us about 3 days to get through it, but it was really nasty tasting. Like slightly worse than what I would expect from an American supermarket in the prepared foods section. I don’t think anything disappointed me more than that meat platter.
Watching this episode, that was all I could think about. I don’t care how cheap your 6 piece takoyaki was (100 yen) because all I could imagine was it tasting like that meat platter.
I probably would want to try that pizza though, it seemed pretty good for 50 cents. I’m not sure I believe that whole speech about not having a lot of products. That does look like a lot of toppings on the pizza.
Also when they were cooking the (frozen) croquettes, they dumped 25 into the fryer. It’s already bad enough that they’re frozen, but if you don’t manage the temperature of the croqeuttes (or any fried food for that matter) it tends to get really oily and soggy.
Well, you do get what you pay for. And I have to admit, sometimes, I am craving the oily and soggy croquettes along with the light hit to my wallet…