Last Monday, after my dentist appointment, I went into Hanshin department store to pick up something for lunch.
I also needed some celery so I went to their produce area. Now, I don't usually shop for produce at the department stores because they tend to be on the pricey side.
Surprisingly, they were having a sale and everything was rather reasonable and an even bigger bonus was that the items on sale were grown in Japan.
I found a bunch of celery for 298 yen (about US$2.98). Usually when I buy celery, they have 1 stalk packaged and it is usually 158 yen (about US$1.58)...so I was excited to pick up 3 stalks for the 298 yen.
The zucchini was of good size too and were 2 for 298 yen (about US$2.98). Usually when I buy zucchini, they are scrawny and cost 298 yen for 1.
Lastly, the asparagus were unbelievably cheap also...189 yen (about US$1.89) for 11 stalks. Usually they only have 3 woody local stalks for ranging between 158 yen and 198 yen (about US$1.58-$1.98).
When I went to pay for them, the cashier said to me, "how shall I cut it?", pointing to the celery. I told, "just cut it in half." She immediately pulled out a produce knife and cut it in half, this actually surprised me.
The good/bad thing about shopping at the department store was that they wrapped everything in this brown paper, though I guess it was better than a plastic bag.
I've already used some of the celery and one of the zucchini for 3 bean salad and vegetable soup.
And I've used the asparagus with some eringi and shimeji mushrooms for a stir-fry with a little butter and tarragon. We've also eaten the leftovers for breakfast with a sunny-side up egg on top and toast.
I also tried Ellie Krieger's "Grilled Zucchini Roll-ups with Herbs and Cheese". This was delicious, only problem I had was getting the zucchini slices thin.
Though we aren't truly eating local, we are eating more items from Japan. Have you been eating local and/or more items from your country?