I am of the rare camp that actually likes going grocery shopping, so going to a supermarket in Seoul is loads of fun for me. Look at this array of yogurt drinks. It totally reminds me of when I was little and would visit my grandparents' place in Seoul and we'd hear the echo of the yogurt lady as she went floor by floor of the apartment building. My cousins and I would rush to the door whenever we heard her and request bottles of bottles of yakult (야쿠르트). Anywhoo, clearly the selection has definitely increased since then.
Since they started importing or making yakult in the states, it no longer holds the same fascination. So now I've directed that energy into consuming lots and lots of yogurts and flavored milks whenever I'm in Korea. They have so many different kinds and they are all so yummy. My cousins buy a bunch of the mochachino milk drinks to take back to the states whenever they leave. I rarely drink milk in the states, but I guzzle so much milk and dairy products in Korea I'm surprised I haven't turn into a baby cow.
Here's their selection of canned tuna and Spam. What would Koreans do without Spam?
Here's a Spam wannabe. "Curry Pam" and "Spicy Pam." Clearly Koreans love their Spam and Pam products.
Boxed individual servings of soju ... as if they really needed to give people more reason to carry around juice boxes of soju.
You better believe Jung bought a whole bunch of these to take back to the states, along with probably 30 liters of makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and other liquor that he claims he can't get in the states. Soju by the way is really cheap here. Like $1 a bottle at the market, which is the price of my banana milk. No wonder people drink so much booze here. Soju is supposed to be distilled from fermented grain, but most brands use highly distilled ethanol, dilute it with water and add some sugar or aspartame. The real stuff, as Jung claims, comes from the city of Andong. We unfortunately discovered this fact after he left and I had no such luck finding Andong soju at our neighborhood market to bring back for him. Here's a peek of different makgeollis at the market, it's really popular in Korea these days. They have all sorts of different flavors too, ranging from sweet potato to pine nuts to even root vegetables. FYI - the root vegetable one is weird.
Fruits and vegetables at the supermarket are packaged super fancy because they are quite expensive if you purchase them at the supermarket and even more so if you're at the department store's supermarket.
Look at the melons and pineapples craddled like delicate eggs. The price of one melon with a ribbon on top. $20. I kid you not.
One mango imported from Thailand was 10,000 won, which is about $8. Craziness.
Korean department stores are pretty over the top in general, if you couldn't tell already. I am a lover of the H2O but even I wouldn't go to a water bar.