My Surprise H Mart Fishing Trip

It was a lazy Saturday today, so after running a few errands around the neighborhood, I decided to go to H Mart. I have a few recipes I may try so I needed to pick up some ingredients. Now I live in a metropolitan area that has a large enough Asian population. We’re no Bay Area mind you, but we have plenty of representation. We have plenty of Korean representation as well. There are even a few pockets of Philadelphia and on the border of the city that could be considered pseudo-Koreatowns. Store signs are written in Korean, Korean restaurants abound, and there are a fair share of Korean food markets.

There used to be one big market in North Philadelphia and the rest were fairly smaller mom and pop shops. That’s until H Mart came into the picture. Some of you may know it as Han Ah Reum. Try figuring out how to pronounce that, my non-Korean friends. H Mart just rolls much more easily off the tongue. An H Mart moved into the neighborhood of that big market and has pretty much put it out of business. It also put out the businesses of most of the smaller mom and pop shops. There’s an H Mart in Upper Darby now, which lives where an old mom and pop shop used to be. While it is sad for the little guys, I can’t complain when the selection is better, the food is fresher, and the prices drastically cheaper.

The Upper Darby H Mart is where I visited today. It also happens to be the one Korean market that is patronized 50% by non-Koreans. Everyone has discovered the inexpensive and fresh produce there and the variety of international ingredients it carries. Now I’ve seen plenty at Asian markets, but I saw something there today that I never expected to see – a giant dead tuna staring at me in the eye. Yes, just sitting on a table. Next to it was a giant dead tuna fish head and packaged up containers of tuna. I suppose this was all to illustrate just how fresh the fish was. But seriously, if I was a little kid, I could have been seriously traumatized.

The last time I was this close to a giant tuna was on a deep-sea fishing trip off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I myself had caught a mahi-mahi, but we’d also caught our share of yellowfin tuna. Once we got back to the marina, they cleaned up the fish and bagged it up. We drove back to our rental, made fresh tuna ceviche, and ate it up. It was one of the freshest things I’d ever eaten in my life. Talk about melt in your mouth sushi. Good times…

Food – The Company Way

I used to work at a company that gave us free lunch every day. And by free I mean subsidized, so either free or nearly free, depending on how much you decided to eat. It was luxurious. Not because the food was particularly great, but because you never had to worry about packing a lunch, worrying about where to go out for lunch, or wondering if you should take your leftovers into work the next day. The caf was always there, enticing you with their salad bar, sandwich station, entree line, hot grill line, and soups. You could rely on it. Plus it saved you a ton of cash.

In the first few years they basically served typical american cafeteria fare. Towards the latter years, after they changed vendors, the food started getting a bit more interesting. Some days we had sushi or chinese. They even had indian and middle eastern! They were trying to introduce some pseudo-internationalized cuisine onto unsuspecting American suburbanite office drones. And I admired them for it.

My new company feeds us twice a week. On Wednesdays it varies from restaurant or caterer. on Fridays it’s pizza from Tony A’s. But a few common themes abound through our free lunches – vegetarians and dieters, you’re screwed. It’s not the healthiest in the world, and always meat-laden. Last summer on Fridays was my favorite day of the week because of Chef Donald. That’s right, we had a chef that came in on Fridays that grilled for us. It was unbelievable what that man could do with onions and garlic, his main staple ingredients, and whatever meat they brought in that day. I wish it was summer again, because damn, Chef Donald’s meals were the best.

Today was Tony A’s as usual. And I always eat the same pizza – Bacon Burger. Bacon Burger pizza you say? It has everything you love – bacon, ground beef, caramelized onions, and hot peppers. How can you go wrong? After all, everything tastes better with bacon. The onions on this pizza…. Man! I don’t know what kind of crack they sprinkle on it, but I could eat it straight from a bowl.

I didn’t eat the pizza today though. Last Sunday I had decided to make chili. It was a particularly cold day, and on cold days, there’s nothing better than pho or chili. I’d had pho on Saturday (more on that later), so I decided to make chili. I made a giant vat of it and ate the last bits of it today. Mmm, mmm, good.

No Pressure, But It’s Your Inaugural Blog Post…

I’m a live to eat girl. I eat what I want, when I want, as much as I want. I don’t read nutritional information, I don’t follow portion sizes, I don’t stop eating just because I feel full. I’ve lucked out in the gene and metabolism categories, so for now, I’ll continue to gorge.

I didn’t always start out that way. Apparently, when I was little, I would never eat my mother’s cooking. And since that was my main source of food, I didn’t eat much. Everyone was worried I would stay scrawny and not ever grow. But take me out to eat or to a meal prepared by anyone other than my mother, and I ate like a sumo wrestler. Go figure.

Since I come from a Korean family, and perhaps it is an Asian thing, I grew up with most things in life revolving around food and eating. When eating breakfast, we would talk about what lunch would be. And same with lunch and what dinner would be. Every gathering was all about food. I suppose I was raised to be way too into food.

I started this blog to just jot down my constant thoughts about food. I may talk about what I ate on a particular day. Or I may review a restaurant. I may try out a new food item/product/gadget and muse upon it. If I cook something and it turns out well, I’ll share a recipe. Who knows? Let’s just roll with it. I’ll try to post pics too, but I can’t promise that this blog will be photo-heavy. I’ll try my darndest. And don’t poo-poo me if I occasionally go off on a non-food related topic. We all fall off the wagon sometimes.

When I had to come up with a name for this blog, I came up with foodzings. Which if I spelled it “correctly” should be foodsings, but then some confused soul may think I was referring to singing vegetables. My musings about food. Or better yet, my muzings about food, my foodzings. LET’S GRUB!

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