Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday shopping trip

Last Saturday, I finally had a chance to drop by the local branch of Marukai, the grocery store I had discovered on my J-town shopping trip a while back, and after having a browse around the store, I decided to go ahead and sign up for membership - $10 per year. I got a spiffy card with my name on it, but it's now yet another card I have to carry around. I wish instead they had one of those things I can put on my keychain - I collect those it seems.

When we were in J-town, my friend had introduced me to a line of drinks that she liked which she had discovered on a trip to Japan last year. She's a huge Hello Kitty fan, so I think that's what drew her attention to the bottle in the first place, but she said they were also pretty tasty. I noticed they had a lychee-flavored one, so I had decided to try that at the time.

It was a little sugary, but it had a really nice lychee flavor and was definitely much less alcoholic than my best friend, so I rather liked it. I decided to get one again this time for the drive home. They have a mango flavor one as well that I might try sometime later.

There was a new kind of boxed tofu that got my attention. It comes in a few different varieties, depending on the firmness of the tofu. Here's some more information about that as well as nutritional information. And here's information about the cool new packaging for the tofu. The tofu box itself says the following:

Each Mori-Nu box is a litle tofu 'factory'. A blend of wholesome soybeans, water, and natural coagulant is poured into each Mori-Nu package. Once hermetically sealed, the rich soymilk is transformed into creamy, silken tofu right inside the box. This award-winning package protects our tofu from the effects of light, air and harmful bacteria, and keeps Mori-Nu first day fresh until opened. No preservatives.

Regular tofu spoils within a couple of days, so I thought this was a really good idea, kind of like the soy milk that comes in a similar kind of container so that it keeps for much longer until you open the container.

I wasn't sure if I would like the firm or the extra firm, so I bought one of each to try. Soft is too soft for me for regular eating. And I don't generally like to cook with tofu much - I actually prefer it cold, just putting a little seasoning on it, maybe some seaweed and/or preserved vegetable to give it a little extra flavor. We'll see how I like the taste of this tofu.

I also picked up two jars of kimchee (one was cabbage and one was radish) and a package of Chinese sausages. No, I'm not going to eat them together.

The main reason for the shopping trip had been to pick up some more Crystal Noodle. That was another thing that my friend had introduced me to on our J-town excursion. I had tried two of the flavors and ended up really loving them.

I generally try to keep some food items at work in case I miss lunch or stay late or just get hungry sometimes. That way, I'm not reliant on the little shop downstairs or the vending machines on our floor. Usually, it's cup-a-noodle type stuff, something substantial enough for a meal but easy to keep on hand and make. Part of why I really liked these was because instead of using ramen noodles, they use glass noodles, which I really like. These are thinner than regular glass noodles, so they cook easily just by putting boiling water in the container. I have always been amazed that glass noodles are made from beans, not wheat or what noodles are normally made from, but that's probably also a good thing for anyone allergic to gluten, which I'm presuming beans don't have, but I could be totally wrong on that. Anyway, here's a good description of what glass noodles are.

I had originally tried the 6 kinds of mushrooms and spicy tofu flavors (both had really good flavoring), so I bought some more of those. I also got a couple of the vegetables and eggs to try. They had a fourth flavor, spicy sesame paste, but that didn't sound as good so I didn't get any, but I might get one in the future to try just for the heck of it.

They did have little boxes of joy, but they didn't have very many varieties and none of my favorites. The selection at the J-town store was better in that they at least had one of the sets I'm really interested in.

I picked up my first box in this collection and specifically got this one.

This is the one I really want.

I also got a first box in a new line from a new company called Megahouse which has this division of mini stuff and this set in particular.

This is the one I got today.

I like these ok, but I want to fill out my favorite sets first, so I have to find another place that carries those.

Another good thing about the store is that it's a good place to pick up a free monthly copy of Sushi&Sake.

It was fun browsing around the store. Their produce looked really good, and they had a huge case where they had a ton of different fish and other items you could get to make your own sushi, as well as pre-made sushi platters. I would normally not buy sushi from a supermarket, but in this case, I think it would be ok to make an exception.

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