Who doesn’t love visiting the supermarket when they’re travelling overseas? An opportunity to check out the local produce, smile at amusing names that are lost in translation and maybe a chance to buy some mystery items that weren’t what you were expecting.
A few weeks ago I was able to go on one of these supermarket excursions without leaving Brisbane (though pro rata, the crippling public transport fares are nearly enough to fly business class – $3.85 for a 6km journey. Are you kidding?!) In our very own heartland is the curious novelty that is the Japanese store Daiso, where every item is $2.80. Every novelty toothbrush, baking tray, pair of false eyelashes, permanent tea light, wrapping paper and cutlery tray. It’s all $2.80 or, 1Yen. Daiso is the Crazy Clark’s of Japan.
The range extends to a wide assortment of Japanese candies, snacks and condiments. Who’d have though there were so many flavoured salt combos in the world? I couldn’t resist buying a few of these delightfully packaged items and giving them a try. I’ve been a couple of times and each visit the food products are different so if you see something that piques your interest, grab it while you can. Here’s what I learned:
Product: Salt Candy
Package: Shiny foil with a faintly sinister, smiling dragon surrounded by hibiscus
Looks Like: Ice Mints
Tastes Like: Werther’s Butterscotch
Product: Caramel Corn
Product: Kelp Candy
Package: Pale green plastic with water bubbles and wavy fronds of inviting kelp
Looks Like: A Black Cat
Tastes Like: Flavourless gummy
So what I really learned was that you can have a lot of fun for $8.40.
Various locations in Australia – more coming!