Thursday, July 30, 2015

Supermarket / Japan 2

The seafood section in the Kushiro supermarket is overwhelming, as you might expect in a Japanese fishing village.  Some of it was already packaged, some was just sitting there on ice waiting for you to grab it.  The counters went on and on, as much space devoted to seafood as my neighborhood grocery gives to fish, meat and poultry combined.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Supermarket / Japan 1

I've just returned from a trip to Japan and Russia, and perhaps surprisingly, the highlights of the trip included visits to food markets.  To my amazement, the supermarket in Kushiro, a small Japanese town on the remote northern island of Hokkaido was so well stocked that I could imagine myself happily subsisting there.  Can't always say that about small towns in remote areas of the U.S.

I'll have a bunch of posts in subsequent days so I can show you everything I discovered.

Today: the produce section (don't you love the "vegetable" sign in English?)

In Japan food is always displayed artistically.

Melons with an elegant bit of stem still attached, protected in plastic foam nets, packed into beautiful cardboard boxes with a little brochure.

Green vegetables standing upright in perfect little bundles.

Blueberries from Oregon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hygiene overkill

I'm all for food service practices that keep things clean, but sometimes it can go too far.

At the hotel breakfast bar:

I have never been too concerned that my paper cup is going to become contaminated before use.  I'm sure the baristas at the fancy coffee shop grab paper cups from an unprotected stack, just as the deli man grabs a plastic container for your coleslaw from an unprotected stack.  I don't see the point to this one.

At the same breakfast bar, the woman in front of me unwrapped her cup, filled it with coffee, and reached for a plastic top off the (unprotected!!!!!) stack.  She inadvertently picked two from the stack.  Did she put one back?  No, she threw it away.

This offended my sensibilities.  Fortunately she did a bad job of throwing it away; it only made it as far as the countertop.  I picked it up and used it on my cup.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pastries on parade

At the Prague Patchwork Exhibit this spring I was surprised to find this pastry cart sitting on the sidewalk outside the convention hall, behind the kitchen.  The pastries looked beautiful.  Apparently the baker was not worried about birds flying over and expressing their disdain, nor that show visitors might grab a snack on their way to their workshops.

Monday, July 13, 2015

By the sea...

Home from a trip to the Carolina beach -- yes, just a mile or so from where two people got sharkbit a couple of weeks ago.  Not only did we avoid being sharkbit ourselves, we got to eat some great fresh local seafood.




but no shark

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Imported from South Carolina

Our travels last week took us to South Carolina and to the fruit stand just down the road from my sister-in-law.  And summer is in full swing -- a whole wagonload of watermelons (including some with seeds!)

We bought a melon, some tomatoes and a big bag of peaches.  My SIL used to have a fruit farm business with 1,000 peach trees and knows what she's talking about: she likes the white peaches better than the yellow (she had only one left at home, and it was indeed fabulous) but there were no white ones when we stopped by the stand.

Fortunately, the yellow ones are fabulous, too.

If you find yourself near Eutawville, which is possible if unlikely, you could do a lot worse than stop in at St. Julien Plantation.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Best college dining hall food ever

Our trip to England this spring included almost a week at Oxford University, hearing lectures on World War 1 from a bunch of academics.  We stayed in a dorm that has been (barely) repurposed for adult learning conferences, and ate in the college dining hall.

Remember your college dining hall experiences?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how was the food?

I am happy to report that ours came in somewhere between 9 and 10.  Don't believe it?  Look at some of these beautiful plates (and the food tasted as good as it looked).