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#76 Fresh Food

Posted May 23rd, 2008 by Peter · 23 Comments

When you’re in the dairy and produce aisles at any supermarket, you’ll notice an all too familiar sight: an asian woman scrunched over peering into the dark abyss that is the back of the milk refrigerator. You wonder when they’ll move. You wonder if they’ll ever move at all. No, this asian isn’t constipated due to years of rice consumption, but is satisfying their unquenchable appetite for Fresh Food.

Fact: Asian countries lack supermarkets, which are only now becoming available in the more developed asian countries.

Fact: In their natural element, Asians are extremely thrifty: Never spending even a cent too much for anything. All the while, they are expecting the best bang for their respective bucks.

Now, if you’ve ever been to a supermarket like Ralphs or Safeway, there are a few universal quirks:

1. The signs “Fresh, Freshest, Newest,” and in some cases– “Chock full of New Freshness!” plastered all around.
2. The freshest items like produce on the outer walls, and less time-sensitive items like soda and cookies in the middle. At Walmart, however, everything is reversed, as the freshest items are in the center of the supermarket. Their freshest items are the closest to the middle of the supermarkets as possible.

It’s all by design. Asians are naturally drawn to the freshest items. To preserve this, they have spent years developing good supermarket etiquette by noticing the little nuances. You may never hear from me again after learning these ancient asian secrets of supermarket survival, but I will put my life on the line to show you how Asians always have the freshest foods.

Supermarkets want to get rid of their oldest foods as soon as possible. To do this, they will store the freshest items further in, while enticing consumers to purchase the items furthest out. Asians always look for the freshest items. To do this, they use their proper supermarket etiquette and reach further than any non-asian person has reached before: Into the back of the refrigerator.

This takes us back to the first paragraph. That asian woman now has a reason for staring into the darkness that is the back of the refrigerator. (She was just getting the freshest milk.) She continues to the fruit aisle, where you see her stop once again and then pick up a watermelon. She taps it for hollowness puts it down. She smells an orange to check for ripeness. She can sense dirty vegetables a mile away. All these traits have been passed down for the generations. As a result, have been extremely important in perpetuation of an Asian’s affinity for Fresh Foods.

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Tags: Activities · Culture · Customs · Environment · Food & Beverage · Fruits · Habits · People · Products

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 hrhkat // May 24, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I totally do this, I never ever take anything in the front. Everytime im at costco, I climb into the fridge and get the furthest milk possible, with the best date. I even use this when buying magazines. There are 3 types of magazine layering at the market, one is in the front, and that is the one most people read and put back, its used, the next one is the middle part of which is usually the magazine that was pulled from the back, then read, because some people dont like to read the front used magazine, then they usually put it in the front or to be considerate they put it in the middle, then there is the fresh magazine in the back, which is new and never used. That is the one you buy. Its like food, I dont like things that other germy people touched, it feels like having sex with a 40 year old prostitute, you know they have been doing it a long time, so they just feel kinda used and nasty (no offense to 40 year old prostitutes). I dont think this is such an asian thing, I think most thinking sensible people do this. Its like buying a cellphone at a cellphone store instead of off the internet, its just waisting money. great blog, but i dont know if its THAT specifically asian.

  • 2 FA // May 24, 2008 at 9:54 am

    My mom would rearrange the fruits in their boxes to handpick the best ones and put it into one box – like those you see at Costco. People like fresh food, but yeah my Asian mother tends to get neurotic about it when she’s at the market, hehe.

  • 3 hrhkat // May 25, 2008 at 4:52 am

    You know what would be a great topic for a new blog, Hating Walmart….Every asian person I know hates walmart, and you would think they would like it because its usually inexpensive, and we all know asians love saving where ever they can. I personally hate walmart, putting aside all the terrible work ethics they have and the way they trea tthe employees, but just the basic store is awful, the super tall ceilings, the just massive amount of vastness to the store is very overwhelming. I like target, and so do all my asian friends, it might be in some aspects a bit more expensive, but at least the store doesnt look like a warehouse. It has much lower ceilings, and huge dividers to make it more cozy and comfortable. Maybe asians dont like walmart because of the way it treats people in asian countries? I would like the know more…..

  • 4 Justin // May 25, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    but that’s weird because Asians love Costco which is a warehouse…i like walmart…we should do a poll

  • 5 hrhkat // May 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Costco is different then walmart, because while very large, it has huge huge dividers for storage which makes costco feel smaller. You go down the isles and they are kinda closed in, plus costco is much mroe higher end then walmart. Walmart is very general in what they sell, costco sells more exclusive items, like ralph lauren polos, or special kitchen woks but at a great price. And we know that asians like to get the most out of their money, and higher end items at a good price are better then lower end items at a good price. I cant believe anyone would choose to shop at Walmart if there was a Target a couple blocks away. I dont like shopping at a place that sells food in one isle then pajama bottoms right next to it, with a mcdonalds, a credit union, a nail salon, a daycare, cheap jewelry, a bakery, an arcade, and 45 checkout register with only 3 open and 10 people in each line, all in one store, OPEN UP ANOTHER DAMN REGISTER! …………………..I have Walmart issues….everytime I go some kid…Ive had bad experiences…

  • 6 FA // May 26, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I agree. It does feel like Costco is higher end, even though it has its own eatery, and food sampling tables and pretty much everything else. I wouldn’t feel as awkward/bad buying maybe a sweater or a pair of jeans there. But a cheap-y, tacky place like Walmart with the kind of reputation that it has doesn’t even compare…. Still, Walmart is convenient when you need to buy a couple of things last minute like for that one party or for school~

  • 7 YvesPaul // May 26, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Traitor! You gave away our ancient Asian secret… lol. Just kidding, nice post.

    I do this all the time, and somehow I thought everyone does it as well, reaching to the back of the fridge, squeezing avacados and pears, sniffing melons. Grabbing onions and peppers, rotating them to look for marks and putting them back when I found some. Does the common person just pick one up and put them in a bag? Really?

  • 8 YASPy Chick // May 26, 2008 at 9:48 am

    You want the freshest milk? Get the stuff at the back. They load from back to front.

  • 9 hrhkat // May 26, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Haha I totally squeeze avacados! you dont want them to soft, or to hard, you want them firm enough not to break but loose enough that if you you put extra force into squeezing it would explode.

    Yes, I only go to walmart if i have too, meaning its realllly close by and i get a call telling me to get paper towels or somthing, otherwise i dont go.

  • 10 Vincent's sister // May 27, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Read this book. It’s awesome. It really fueled my anti-Walmart sentiment.

  • 11 Peter // May 27, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I hate Walmart blog:

    hrhkat, do you want to be an editor/writer?

  • 12 seniora rear admiral muggles // Jun 2, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Aw, jeez. I’ll totally muscle any Asian woman out of the way so I can get the freshest foods. They just last longer. I thought everyone did that? If it’s only Asian women (and myself), I guess Asian women are just the sane ones.

  • 13 woahhhh // Jun 24, 2008 at 11:38 am

    hahahhahahaa i do this all the time and i didn’t know it came from my asianness…. woops.

  • 14 jen // Aug 14, 2008 at 11:43 am

    LOL you just described my mom to a T.

  • 15 Heather // Sep 19, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Lol. Wow. I do this all the time. Well, not usually for the freshness, its because usually, the ones in the front has dents in them.

  • 16 50% Asian // Oct 5, 2008 at 5:26 am

    I do this all the time when I go grocery shopping. I just don’t have to buy the carton of milk that will expire in 7 days when I can get one the last from 1o days. same with fruits, why buy the one with bruises all over when there’s choice in front you hehe! BTW, walmart is crazy… so damn crowded all the time. Costco so much better!

  • 17 Kris // Nov 23, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Lol. i didn’t even realize this was the “asian thing” to do. I just watched my mom tell me that we don’t want something close to the expiration date, cuz we might end up throwing it out. Best to get the freshest one. Hrmmm this is funny. Didn’t know how “asian” I was! :)

  • 18 How // Dec 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I will admit to being guilty of doing this, but not all the time though!

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  • 22 juicy couture // Jan 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I like it a lot. This was a useful post

  • 23 ilovehorseyrides // Aug 13, 2015 at 6:53 am

    My dad slaps watermelons, and my mom always gets the coldest item/item with the furthest expiration date

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