Some of you have ask if I can get many of the comforts of home here. Most of the time I can. Our commissary (grocery store or supermaket for you civilians) stocks it's shelves from California. All produce, milk, meat, eggs and everything else comes from California. Our milk is ultra pasturized so it will have a longer shelf life, but it is still organic. The main problem here is if you are not at the commissary when they stock the shelves you many not get the item. I had a friend tell me she bought cherries one morning, I went late afternoon, and they were all gone. Bummer....I really wanted the cherries. The same is true with most fruits, you must hit the commissary right after they stock it, or they are gone. The good news is there are tons of little grocery stores in Seoul that have a wonderful fruit selection, they are quite a bit more expensive, but you can still get what you want if you are willing to pay more. I love going to the Korean grocery stores, you never know what you are going to find. For example, the picture above. I have NO IDEA what kind of fish that is or what you would use it for, but it makes a great picture. I am sure the other people in the market think I am nuts, I am always taking pictures of their food. The other problem I have run into with shopping at the Korean grocery store is that sometimes it is a guessing game. The kids and I love to buy Korean candy which is very interesting - some of it is great, when some of it is downright disgusting. I am getting better at it though, I am learning to read the language and have a few words under my belt, so it is getting easier. The other thing I have found very helpful, is when I am looking for something in particular at the Korean grocery store, I ask a Korean friend to write it down in Korean so I can find it or ask for it in the store.
The other thing I can do, which I have not done yet, but I am making a list, is I can go into the commissary and ask the store manager to special order items for me. If our supplier in California has it then they will order it for me. I have a list of things going that I cannot find here: Weight Control Oatmeal, (thanks to Staci for sending some to us), RAO's Pasta Sauce, soy milk boxes, Chef Paul Purdhommes's Poultry Magic, & vanilla paste. I am sure I will add to the list over time, but as you can see, the only things I cannot get are more specialty items than regular items.
Another note about food here, all our chicken and eggs are from CALIFORNIA. We don't have to worry about eating bad chicken or eggs, and none of us are eating either one while in Seoul. You ask - why are you telling us this? Well, if have been following the news, the bird flu is here. Robert would be having a cow. They have pretty much contained it, but I will not eat chicken or eggs in Seoul for quite some time.
If you have any questions for us, please feel free to email or leave a comment with your question & I will try to answer it. Have a great day!