03 October 2007
If you are occasionally indecisive like I am, then buying milk in Korea may not be easy for you either. There are just so many varieties to choose from!
For example, how about "Denmark" low fat milk, bundled with a free pack of yogurt?
Korean supermarkets often bundle their goods with a second package of the featured item or some other complimentary item as a free bonus. In fact, you can often see a store employee with her tape gun, manually bundling various products together. The freebies may serve as an incentive to purchase the particular item, but I suspect that they're mostly a means for markets to get rid of their soon-to-expire perishables. More on that later...
How about "Einstein" milk? Breakfast of geniuses.
Don't forget Einstein Baby milk for the kids!
ESL milk? Do you think the milk's more beneficial for ESL students or teachers?
How about some milk that helps you digest?
No? Maybe this MBP, "Milk Based Peptide" would be more to your liking?
How about cappuccino or banana flavored milk?
Coffee flavored milk served in a plastic bag?
Black bean milk? That sounds pretty healthy.
How about veggie milk? You can't go wrong with a milk that covers two food groups.
Hate milk? What about a coffee milk drink featuring the intense gaze of Wentworth Miller, the hit star of Fox's Prison Break?
You see what I mean? There are so many options. In America, essentially, all we have to choose from is whole milk or milk with less or no fat (2%, 1%, skim milk, low fat, or non-fat). Chocolate and strawberry are probably the most common types of flavored milk. You definitely don't see any black bean or veggie milk. Also, based on what I've seen of the Korean milk market, the dairy farmers of America need to branch out on their marketing and branding. Einstein may not be as big of a draw in the States, but what about Shaq inspired milk or even better, Oprah's Organic Milk?
Though American milk shelves may lack variety and free stuff!, at least I don't have to worry about the ever rapid expiration of my milk. Is it just me or do dairy products not last as long in Korea as they do in the States? I've yet to purchase a carton of milk with an expiration date over ten days. Am I just buying the milk at the wrong time? In general, I've noticed that Korean perishable products: deli meats, bacon, dairy products, tofu, etc., just don't last as long as they do back home. Do they add more preservatives back home? Or, maybe Americans are just a little more lax when it comes to our notion of "fresh."
Speaking of wacky Americans versus Koreans, I also realized that Americans consume a whole lot of milk. We were always buying large jugs of milk back home, but I have yet to see a two gallon jug of milk in any of the Korean markets. Typically, Korean milk comes in a 980 ml carton. The larger size appears to be a 2 liters at most. In any case, even if the 2 gallon jug was an option here, I would not buy it. I eat quite a bit of cereal, but there's no way that I could finish all that milk in under ten days.
Since you just read through my whole scintillating discourse on Korean milk, perhaps you'd like to extend the lesson and learn a little more about Korean eggs! First of all, I don't recall seeing any white eggs in Korea. I don't know anything about what produces a brown egg versus a white egg, but all the eggs that I've seen here have definitely had a brown shell.
Hyeyoung has heard me mention a number of times that Korean chickens are way smaller than American chickens, but here's further proof! Even the eggs are smaller. In America, you can purchase a carton of large or extra large/jumbo size eggs. Eggs only come in one size here-- puny. 농담이야. They're equivalent to the large-sized eggs in the States.
Another curious difference about eggs in Korea is that they're not sold in a dozen. They may come in a carton of 10, 15, 18, or 30 eggs, but not in a pack of twelve. A dozen eggs is standard in America. It's a bit weird to buy ten eggs, but if that's "how they do" in the Motherland, I have no objections.
Similar to the milk, eggs also come in a variety of options. Creative marketing is obviously key in this Asian market. Check it out....
This is the brand I buy, but I buy them because they're the least expensive, not because they're "clean" and from Jeju island.
Green Tea Nutrition Eggs.
I'm assuming that the chickens on this farm get to sip a nice, warm cup of green tea on a regular basis.
Eggs from young chickens.
Frankly, I like my eggs to come from chickens with more experience and wisdom. You know, chickens who've lived and seen the big, wide... chicken coop.
These eggs probably came from chickens that drink coffee.
"Clean and Fresh Oxygen Eggs."
The date listed on the carton is 2007.09.20. I'm going to assume that's the date these eggs were produced, and it's not the expiration date, as listed on most other egg cartons. If not, at least the oxygen's fresh.
I will conclude my egg notes with a couple of tips, courtesy of the egg section at Lotte Mart.
Tip #1: The yolk of fresh raw eggs should be full and round, like the image on the left, not flat and pathetic.
Tip#2: To lengthen the freshness of your egg, place the egg with the pointy side down.
Kamsahamnida, Lotte Mart. That was very helpful.
I'm excited to see all the variety of milk and eggs here. I just wish I could say the same about cereal in Korea. Captain Crunch, that silly rabbit, Smacks, Crackle, Pop, and that other guy -- I miss you all very much.