On my way home from the movie theatre today, I decided to stop at Yue Wah which is the only Asian grocery store I know of in this city. I’d been dreaming about Yue Wah since I moved here two years ago but it’s on the south side of town, where I seldom find myself*, so I hadn’t made it over there before today.
Back in Florida, I did probably 60-70% of my grocery shopping at Asian groceries and I’ve been missing them. They are a great source for bulk rice, cheap tofu, and delicious spices, sauces, and vegetarian delicacies (such as vegan fish balls which are AMAZING). As a result, I’ve spent the past two years building up Yue Wah to be some kind of heaven with a neon sign.
Well, it does have a neon sign but I was otherwise pretty disappointed. First of all, Yue Wah seems to focus mostly on Japanese food which really surprised me. This means that a good third of the store was devoted to Cephalopods and vegetarian options were scarce.
My second surprise at Yue Wah is that everything was amazingly expensive. I have never before uttered the words “expensive” and “Asian grocery” in the same sentence unless there was a “not” somewhere between them. The food wasn’t just expensive for an Asian grocery store, it was expensive period. A tiny bowl of cooked rice was almost $3, I saw a bag (albeit a fairly large bag) of frozen vegetable dumplings for $10, and a small package of mushrooms was almost $5.
I ended up leaving with just a single serving walnut ice cream bar ($1) but my was it ever delicious.
The company who makes that ice cream bar, by the way, has very interesting slogans for its products. For example, the slogan for the walnut ice cream bar is “Enjoy the rich taste of walnuts. Any time, any place.” If I wanted to enjoy the rich taste of walnuts, wouldn’t I just eat walnuts? I would argue that walnuts are actually much easier to enjoy “any time, any place” than an ice cream bar.
Then I saw this quote in their Company Overview section and suddenly it all made sense:
Bravo Cone, which was first launched in 1970, has become a leading ice cream brand through the commercial music song “Let’s meet at 12. Bravo Cone!”
Ok, I just youtubed that commercial and Bravo Cone is THE MOST MELODRAMATIC ICE CREAM EVER.
It’s also interesting to me that Bravo Cone, which was introduced in 1970, is in the Korean Guinness Book of Records as the oldest ice cream product in Korea. That seems really recent to me and I assume it’s related to the predominance of lactose intolerance in Asia.
I couldn’t find any information in the online Guinness World Records database about the oldest ice cream product in the United States but Answers.com tells me that it’s Breyers who apparently began making ice cream in 1866. That’s before the invention of the telephone, folks.
Well, I’m glad we’ve got our priorities straight anyway.
* When I say that Yue Wah is on the “south side” of town, I should clarify that it is less than five miles from my house. I have somehow adopted the bizarre spatial perceptions of this city’s inhabitants.