I found a local grocery store nearby many months ago where I now usually buy my vegetable and fruits from. This store is not the flashy supermarket stores but run by some eldery ladies (or ajummas). The prices are a lot cheaper than the supermarket and the produce is always so fresh. At the front of this store, there is a big tent walking in with fruits lined on each side.
I find that vegetables go off more quickly here than back home and wonder if it’s the lack of pesticides used or weather conditions. In the summer, I had to cook my mushrooms asap or they started growing white mould on them quickly.
Back home, sometimes I would just buy 3 apples or 3 bananas so that I could get more of a variety of fruit and be able to select smaller amounts if I was doing a top up shop. However here, a lot of the times, you have to buy a pack of 5 large apples or a bunch of bananas containing 7 bananas. It took some getting use to but at least it made me more conscious of making sure I finished my fruits.
I have recently become obsessed with pickled radish. I can’t say I have actively gone out to buy radish back home but here, I carried one of these beautiful radishes back home (1 for 1,500won!). Pickled radish is a common side dish here and something that will be served if you eat fried chicken. There’s something about this crunchy, vinegary side dish that cuts through oil that feels so good. I followed this Maangchi recipe to make my pickled radish.
One vegetable that I do miss is red onion (of all things) but I haven’t seen in Korea at all. I’ve had to change the way I cook as I don’t have an oven in my apartment and I realised that I use to bake so much back home. My fridge is also a mini bar sized fridge so I cannot do huge shops. I now just try to buy my fruit and vegetables here. I order my meats online so they are delivered to me which I then divide up and freeze some portions. I love seafood but I need to go to a supermarket to get some. There is an abundance of fish (a lot of mackerel, some salmon and other fish which I have no idea), octopus, sometimes crabs, abalone, clams, mussels and scallops. All at very reasonable prices.
4 thoughts on “The Local Grocery Store”
Grocery shopping in another country is truly a novel experience. From finding produce you wouldn’t otherwise find back home to the difference in quality, there’s so much to learn from a simple, universal, and everyday shore as shopping, which is insightful when it comes to immersing yourself there!
It has been a great personal cooking adventure too. I already bought and cooked an unidentified vegetable-turns out it was kohlrabi and tried my hands at cooking small crabs and scallops.
I love grocery shopping in another country! It’s sometimes really interesting to see which vegetables are super common back home but somehow can be found in certain countries! It’s great that you found this local grocery store, it seems like the kind of place that you wouldn’t necessarily be drawn to but where you can find the best and freshest produce!
Yes and every time I’m elsewhere I always think that this place would’ve been better and cheaper.