Friday, September 2, 2016

Free Range Friday ~ Mitsuwa Marketplace, NJ

How many of your friends do you see not frequently enough? I count Patty and Serge in that group. Now, how many of your friends that you don't see frequently enough do you find a Japanese market with a food court where you spend close to four hours shopping and eating (mostly shopping)? We four raise our hands. 

If you love Asian food and aren't Asian, in fact, if you are typically American and monolingual like I embarrassingly am damn you, Dad, for not making me learn 5 languages, this is all your fault!, you've probably been in a shop where you don't know a thing about what you are looking at, even when it looks like something you think you know about. Go with Patty and Serge, problem solved. 

After some catching up chit chat at Ann's we became a movable feast, heading in the direction of Mitsuwa Marketplace. While very much Japanese, it also caters to non-Asian language readers by labeling the name of the product and its ingredients in English. Of course, sometimes you'd rather not know what is in something, but there it is. Lots of artificial colors. And other stuff I can't spell. Most times I don't want that thing anyway but sometimes...I do. 

Face masks. Really. You wet them
and put them on your face and zip zap, you're a cat.
Need something read in French? No worries. Need to know what the best brand of something is when there are 20 to choose from and all in Chinese or Japanese or Korean? No worries, they've tried lots of them and 'this one' is the one to go with. How fun is that in a Japanese market? Let me tell you. Real fun.

There was a whole cooler section filled with all types of miso.

Patty says these are to wrap sushi in. SO green!

I don't care, I know this is NOT a watermelon

Fresh tofu and noodles

I'm always thinking about happy tea time.

Like so.

Up one aisle, down another. Repeat. Ask questions, get advice. Buy that thing! Smoked soy sauce? Must have that! Nori crackers? Kewpie mayonnaise? Wasabi udon? Sushi rice because it's in a beautiful package? Oh yes! There is stuff on my receipt that I have no idea about. Poppo mame kazoku? Inarzushi moto? Kaneku wasabiko? I need a cheat sheet. Or a phone number to call a friend.

Black garlic. You only need a little
and at over 100.00 a pound, that's a good thing.

Ann and Patty using food in weird ways.
To their credit, it was weird food.
No one even glances at things like this.

I think he's made a decision.
(psssst, not really but I can't break the surprise ball)
You like sake? You think you know about sake? I don't know anything about it, obviously. Not when there are a few dozen kinds.

Including the Goldschlager of sakes.
 This is octopus art. 

Pre-made sushi and sashimi. I was drooling almost literally by now.

We were going to eat soon.
I was leaving in the morning.
Ann's not a sushi fan so I left this jewel right there.
What an idiot I am!

Finally it was time to choose what to eat. There were a number of food stalls. We got tempura and dumplings and soup. And there was sake. What a surprise.

Each place had its version of this. Sometimes it looked good.
And sometimes, not so much.

This guy was ordering this and recommended it.
"It's there! Come look at it!" We did.
Yep, that's going to be an order.

As Patty poured Ann was saying
"You can take the girls out of Culebra..."
 After we ate, we took a walk to the waterside to see this magnificent church building and Grant's Tomb. Grant's buried there, rumor has it.

And it's a wrap! With crazy connections this has taken all train day, but it's still Friday! Not going to edit as I think we'll be out of range soon.

Have a fling it out there Friday! Do something for fair trade. Fondly.

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