Monday, April 27, 2009

eating "local"

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) 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?


Lynne said...

Kat, I'm glad you found some good prices on produce! It looked and sounded good!

K and S said...

Thank you Lynne! The prices seem to be coming down from a couple of months ago.

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

How exciting to find local produce on sale there. I try to eat as locally as possible, shopping the farmer's market and using my CSA box items. Everything you made looks delicious!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

That's interesting - I've never had a cashier (in Japan or any country I've been to) ask me if I want my celery cut! :)

All those dishes look really tasty.

2kamuela47 said...

I think that is so great to local items at great prices. That grilled zucchini look really ono!

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, I wish there were more farmer's markets nearby where we live!

It was kind of scary and funny, how she brought out the knife right then and there Abigail :)

Thanks Laura, you should try it :)

Take care everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you were able to do some good shopping. Good for you!

Happy shopping, happy eating,
Paz ;-)

K and S said...

Thank you Paz :)

Take care.

Jenster said...

The prices sound very expensive compared to what we're used to, but, on the bright side, I can see that you use everything with very little waste. You're a good role model for eating well on a careful budget, Kat.

We try to eat locally but during the winter we do eat some imported produce because the alternative is a lot of root veggie! Which we love, but not every single day.

Your zucchini roll-ups look delicious!

K and S said...

True Jenster, I think these prices are more expensive than the U.S. I hope you try the zucchini roll-ups :)

Take care.

manju said...

Wow, you put your veggie finds to great use. I love the zucchini rolls the best.

K and S said...

Thank you Manju, Satoshi really liked these too, I hope I can find zucchini this size again to make more :)

Take care.