You can take the Japanese out of Japan, but you can't take Japan out of the Japanese. Jennifer and I made an excursion up to Mitsu-Wa, the biggest Japanese supermarket outside of Asia this past weekend to satisfy a long burning desire to get some cool Japanese stuff again. The place is in Edgewater NJ, right across the Hudson from NY city. It is the most gorgeously situated supermarket I've ever been to, with picturesque views of the Upper West Side and bazillion dollar condos. We restrained ourselves pretty well, but I have to say, it was hard. I had to constantly remind myself that I didn't really like all Japanese foods, but the excitement at seeing things that I only remember from Nippon was sometimes too much. I ended up caving in and buying natto, something that I didn't really like in Japan, but that I wanted to eat again for some reason. Natto is the fermented, snotty soybeans that japanese people love to love and love that foreigners don't like. It's kind of like eating compost-flavored boogers with soy sauce on top. I don't know how it ever passed for food initially, but apparently it's very healthy.
I also scored some good sake for cheap and accidentally bought about 10 shiitake mushrooms for about $10. I was looking at the wrong price tag on the shelf, but once they scanned, I wasn't going to take them off the bill. They'd better be good, that's all I can say. We also got some fish broth, so I can imagine myself whipping up some of my favorite tako-yaki sometime soon. Nothing satisfies a guy after a hard, cold winter's day like battered octopus balls.