A walk to the super market.

June 26, 2010

The need to stock, refrigerator and empty stomachs, gives us a good excuse to wander in the isles of the local super market. A mundane task in every other country that i lived in the past here suddenly transforms into an adventure. First there is the language barrier, a labyrinth of packaging with labels in Mandarin, sure you can understand some of the products by common patterns, fish is a fish and melon is melon but then you come to the egg department were you start seeing black eggs and the world falls apart.

There are 2 main approaches the one is try to find stuff you usually buy (let’s say milk) and the other is to try everything else that seems, weird, new and exciting, of course a hybrid of these 2 processes is the best way and even then you won’t avoid trial and error. Super markets here are a little closer to life cycle of food as opposed to the west were we only see packaged pieces of the animal but never the whole puzzle not to mention alive. The fish department is full of water tanks with live fishes, eels (which sometimes you fish them your self), crabs, turtles, frogs etc. Fruit and vegetable is less hardcore but equaly interesting in terms of shapes, colours and textures. The spiky fruit on the photos below is called durian and has a nasty reputation due to it’s strong smell, so strong that it is banned from hotel rooms in Singapore. The crisps on the bottom of the photo pile had the weirdest flavoring combination until i saw a package with cucumber flavor today… If you forget your western addictions and focus on local products you can manage to spend only a few RMB per trip, fortunately for my taste bulbs but unfortunately for my wallet getting a bottle of virgin olive oil is costing 1/20 of my monthly salary. So if anybody manages to visit me here do bring a bottle or two.


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