Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Long for Dead Fish in Plastic Wrappers ...

Here's a snack. Yum. Not.
I went recently to one of the Korean markets in town, and of the 14 long aisles in the store, 1 has food with recognizable labels. Some food with recognizable labels. Most of the labels have no image to help one figure out what's in the can, and the lettering is entirely written in Korean.

In an aisle containing peanut butter, no Skippy Super Chunk, no Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter, no Skippy anything could be found. No Peter Pan or Jiff. Off brands ruled. I was devastated. I bought some honey, but it might be thickened gluey pee, I don't know. I'm GUESSING it is honey. There was no Half 'n Half, no cream, no yogurt. There WAS milk, but none of it was 1%, 2%, or skim. It was milk. Period.
Unidentifiable Korean beverage. I'd like a diet Dr. Pepper please.
There were aisles containing barrels of what could have been fish. These fish didn't have tails, scales, or even eyes in some cases. So scarey. And the barrels were not covered--the fish just resided within. I rushed off those aisles, fearing a fish might jump out at me.
Fish, I thnk. Maybe.

 Of possibly 200 people in the supermarket, I was one of three Americans. When we three saw each other, we ran toward each other with open arms, and spoke with great warmth, though we were strangers. I wanted to hug this unknown couple right there in aisle 3 and invite them to dinner. They told me they didn't recognize any of the foods and felt lost and alone. I appeared as an oasis in a vast dry desert. From my inner being, I felt truly loved and I loved these people in return.
More fish, possibly.

In all, I bought honey, unidentifiable milk, a possible can of tuna fish (won't know for certain until I open it), peanut butter (surely not Skippy), Splenda and Special K (they sell Splenda and Special K, go figure). I did not buy fresh "fish" from the barrels. Or meat, at $16.49/lb.

Oh how I long for the former days of identifiable food products. I long for English lettering on food cans. I long for 2% milk and Skippy peanut butter. I long for beef at $3.49/lb. I long for food that I recognize. I long for dead fish in plastic wrappers. Where is my dead fish in plastic wrappers?


Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

These are hard times with new rules. Adapt and survive. Some of this, might be helpful.

Mar 6, 2011, 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

It shouldn't be this difficult to buy tuna fish.

But, OK, I'll adapt and start studying immediately on your say-so (say-so almost sounds Korean, doesn't it?). This is going to help my diet tremendously. I should weigh 80 lbs in no time. :)

Are you eating this sort of food at home these days sir? Bet not.

Mar 6, 2011, 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

I have to admit that we have not yet been overtaken by Korean supermarkets. We have more German supermarkets, but the labelling is in English. I do empathize, and I apologize if my comment seemed uncaring.

Mar 8, 2011, 6:02:00 AM  
Blogger Zed said...

I could live with German food--yum--at least I know what I'm eating.

No offense taken whatsoever, Sans. No worries. Well, worry about your funny-looking feet, but other than that ... :)

Mar 8, 2011, 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous teri said...

why are you shopping at a Korean market??

Mar 8, 2011, 4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

All the American markets have closed in my area, except one, which is about to close.

I've been shopping at Target (yes, Target), but it doesn't have much variety (it's good for staples). Soooo, hello Korean markets (two brand-new ones just opened). They are taking over. Times they are a'changing.

Mar 9, 2011, 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

I'll bet you a large sum they do have dried fish in plastic wrappers... the above is dried cuttle fish (a small squid like creature, they use it's beak to make cuttlebones for birds) I dig dried cuttlefish, it is delicious, but it's murder on the breath... definitely not something I eat before I go out with superwoman... unless I plan on taking a bath in scope beforehand.

Mar 9, 2011, 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

I'll have to check that out, Sushiboy, and thanks for the breath advice.

Don't tell anyone, but I was at the market again yesterday and checked out the fish aisles once more. I didn't see cuttlefish, but saw a lot of creatures in shells, brown things that looked like olives but were fish, and small slimy things that looked like worms. See, this sort of atuff does not entice me. Give me salmon, tuna, cod--I'm happy. But I didn't see those fish.

The best marketing gimmick the folks at the Korean market can devise is to hold some sort of courses or tours to let us poor Americans/non-Koreans know what the products are that they sell. Of course, that is if they even want us in their markets. So far, it doesn't feel that way.

Mar 10, 2011, 11:12:00 AM  

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