Korean Market

December 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

Today was a glorious day.  I got to go to the Korean market. Alone.


Although the reasons for why this was a momentous event should be clear, I will detail the reasons for those who do not know me.

There are no Korean markets around where I live.  Coming from Los Angeles, the utopia of all things kyopo (Korean-American), I was forlorn to discover that the closest Korean market to Berkeley was a tiny little store in Oakland.  The store is cramped and disorganized but it has the essentials so I faithfully frequented it for a good five years.  After I moved, the closest market even remotely Asian is a 99 Ranch, twenty minutes away.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like 99 Ranch.  But their kimchi offerings are really weak.  Most Korean markets have a whole aisle of kimchi bottles from well known Korean vendors.  99 Ranch had two measly little jars that would only feed a real Korean for two meals, max.  The kimchi also had no Korean characters on it and looked like it was produced by non-Koreans.  I bought a jar last week but it only lasted me a few days.  I was quite the pitiful picture the other day.  I had made a pot of ramen and was sitting down to eat it but I had no kimchi or pickles to eat it with.  Ultimately I had to eat it with pickled ginger that was supposed to go with sushi.  It was not tasty.

The Korean market I went to (in Santa Clara) was pretty nice.  Santa Clara has about three so I had my pick of the bunch.  I think it was called Super Kyo-Po.  It had all the Korean foods and brands that I recognized from my childhood so I felt like a kid in a candy store.

So to finish the explanation,  in addition to being in a proper Korean market I was also grocery shopping alone.  On all other grocery runs, I am usually hindered by the incessant interjections of a certain someone either asking if the food in question is spicy or commenting on how expensive it is.  Today I was FREE!  Unfettered from the shackles of a non-Korean’s taste buds!

It was amazing.  I went a little crazy and I had to go back a few times and put back some items.  I went through every aisle twice and carefully inspected every food item to make sure that I didn’t need it.  I got all my favorite foods and I made sure to stock up on things that won’t go bad.  Koreans are so ingenious with their food presentation and everything is packaged so adorably.

I know rationally it didn’t make sense to buy so much since the Korean market is only about an hour away but realistically, I knew that there was very little probability that I or that unnamed someone would drive for two hours (round trip) just to get groceries any time soon.

Now that I discovered Santa Clara’s wealth of Korean markets I am going to have to invent new excuses to justify the drive.  🙂  It’s amazing how happy I can get from something I never thought twice about when I was younger.  Although I have always loved supermarkets (my solace in times of stress), today was especially great.



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