23 January 2011

Supermarket Specials 1

I decided to blog about some quirky stuff I found at the Chinese supermarket, Kamman, "near" [har har! Not say how near] my house. I've never noticed it before, but they sell umami seasoning. I suppose after writing that paper about umami. All of a sudden, umami seasoning popped onto the shelves at Kamman! I honestly don't recall ever seeing it before, when I combed the store all those times. Well, it's quite interesting to see cute shakers of this stuff, just as described in those articles I read for my Writing Seminar class.
They even come in economy size! By the pound! One note of irony, I suppose, is that the brand name is meant to be Japanese, yet it quite clearly states that it is a "PRODUCT OF U.S.A." In addition, there is a French translation ["glutamate monosodique", "produit des etats-unis d'amerique" - pardon my lack of accents]. Now, this is notable because the stereotype is that French cuisine is flavourful, gourmet, fresh - whatever you like - yet the translation happens to be in French. The French are not known to use MSG. Yet, the package, in an Asian supermarket, has a French translation [not even a Chinese translation, which would be expected since the [false] stigma is that all the Chinese use MSG by the bucket]. Perhaps this is saying something about the way the world is heading; after all, MSG makes stuff taste good without having to cook stocks for 17 hours. I would be pretty upset if all soups tasted umami though. What about the hint of celery, or hint of broccoli?
MSG is much cheaper to buy and use than cooking a stock for 17 hours. The gas/electricity price of cooking stock costs more than a pinch of MSG crystals, I'm guessing.
So, another thing I saw, this time at Target, during the Winter sale, was garlic. Sure, Target now has a whole section selling fresh food, but this was found in the sale section, among the wrapper paper, holiday cards and chocolate. It was a box of garlic.
I have never seen garlic packaged in a cardboard box, wrapped in plastic before. This is completely novel to me. Of course, it begs the question: why did a company decided to sell garlic in a box during the holiday season? [Especially when vampires are loved, in this Twilight era...?]
I suppose since I was happy to get a pie pan for my Holiday present, maybe some people enjoy getting 57 g of garlic.
Then again, I would really love 57 g of garlic if I didn't have much money, or if I hadn't eaten garlic in months/years.
So perhaps it IS rational to package garlic that way, for easy wrapping and giving during the holiday season.
The last thing I will talk about, which I actually bought, is the canned coconut milk. I plan to use this when I go back home for Spring break, but I definitely will not be throwing away the cans that hold the two coconut milks! If you can't figure out why I think the cans are funny, it's ok; I suppose it's not that funny except for immature teenagers/young adults like me.

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