Thursday, February 3, 2011

Veggie Delight

The fresh produce here can be slightly baffling. They have some of the same vegetables that I know, as well as some that I wouldn't begin to be able to identify or know how to use. The carrots are huge, not so much long but fat. However, unlike at home where large carrots can tend to be bitter, these are so sweet, like real baby carrots and the skin is really thin, they don't need to be peeled. Cucumbers are different too. Long and skinny, about the width of a pickling cucumber, but longer and the skin also isn't bitter, similar to an English cucumber. There are lots of different mushrooms, as well as the standards that we usually find at home. I've seen purple sweet potatoes and even saw purple sweet potato ice cream when we were out once. 

Most things are reasonably priced, everything is a little more expensive. However some things I don't quite understand why they cost so much. You can't buy a whole bunch of celery, I've only seen it sold by single stalks, and the the cheapest I've seen is 98 yen for one. That's over a dollar for one stalk of celery, and it doesn't even look that good. Also the fresh garlic is a little more than I was willing to pay. Apples are pretty expensive as well. The first time I bought some I thought the price was per pound, 98 yen. Turns out it was per apple. Luckily I only picked up two. There is a small market down the road that sells bags of apples, not quite as good as the single apples, but last time I got six apples for 380 yen. Strawberries must be a real treat, because the lowest price I've seen is 385 yen for 12 strawberries. That's over 4 dollars. They look like they would be amazing, so I might break down and buy Evan some for his birthday. 

The most important thing about the produce here is that it is all amazing. I bought a tomato yesterday and it was so good, I just cut it up and ate it. It wasn't even the most expensive tomato I could have bought and it was great. The best tomato I've had in a while. I've also been buying avocados and I haven't had a bad one yet. Which I don't really understand because they appear to be coming from Mexico, just like home, but the quality is so much better. I've already mentioned the carrots, but I love them too. Usually I can't just eat a raw  carrot, they tend to be bitter, but these are so good, I love eating them all by themselves. It's like they're garden fresh in the middle of winter. I don't really get it and I don't care, just going to continue to enjoy them while we are here. 

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