Supermarkets and super markets

It seems right that my first proper post is about food.  My first expedition was to the local supermarket, where I spent at least an hour carefully turning everything over and looking for ingredients written in English.  Even the smiley cartoon characters plastered over everything didn’t really help – it was hard to discern what species they belong to, let alone whether they were actually part of the product.

This is what I ended up with … a weird mix of noodles and pasta, cheese and milk from New Zealand, “oil onion” biscuits (two of my fave ingredients in any food), coffee (thankfully) and the international standard Pocky.

I was disappointed to find that every piece of fruit and veg came wrapped, in small quantities, in plastic and styrofoam.  Even more disappointing was this…

The only tofu I could find (that I was certain was tofu), teamed with the twin promise of salt and chilli.  Within a second of getting home, I excitedly opened the jar and bogged in, only to discover the this … thing … was possibly what is (officially) called “stinky tofu” and (unofficially) one of the most reviled foods in Shanghai.

As luck would have it, my food fortunes changed the following day, when DragonBoy (work friend from Sydney and now Shanghai) took me to the wet market up the street from work.  Comparatively, a culinary Shangri-la … with bountiful fruit and veg (unpackaged and sold per kilo for a few coins), more varieties of egg than I can imagine different producers of said eggs, the most outrageous pickles, animals at all stages of existence (living, being killed, dead and filleted) but also … a whole section devoted to my one and only beancurd.

I will be back.

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4 Responses to Supermarkets and super markets

  1. Sarah says:

    mmm – fermented tofu is good. Try a little with rice porridge, or to flavour a stir fry! (eg, kangkong and salty beancurd from #2…)

  2. Katharine says:

    even kylie kwong couldn’t bring herself to eat ‘stinky tofu’ on her “my china” show !!! How funny that it was the first thing you tried 🙂
    The markets look amazing though, great find. At least you won’t starve now!

  3. have sorted the stinky tofu scenario – v good as a base for stirfry and soup. will let kylie k know.

  4. luKe says:

    Shanghai has a fantastic range dumplings and some excellent beers to accompany them. Try ’em all.

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