Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Mitsuwa Marketplace

Over the weekend we made a trip out to the Mitsuwa Marketplace for some Japanese groceries. While we were there, we picked up a few last minute gifts for Christmas. Below are a few pictures of what we purchased along with our food adventures.

Currently at most Asian markets you can find specialty wrapped sweets for the holidays. Usually the food is just as pretty as the packaging. If you're looking for a special hostess gift, try out one of these boxes (pictured above). They're pre-wrapped and ready to go. Perfect for your favorite foodie!

We picked up this cute Mameshiba book at the Kinokuniya bookstore. We have another Mameshiba book and it's my daughter's absolute favorite. I also was able to get a couple bean-dog plushies when my kids weren't looking, he he.

Another great find was this children's book by the famous artist, Yoshitomo Nara. I really like it but I have to warn you that some people find Yoshitomo's work creepy. If you think you would like to get this book, check out the artists illustrations first.

Spaghetti Bread

At the shopping center there's a Japanese bakery called Clover Bakery & Cafe. They offer all kinds of unique breads and pastries including, spaghetti bread, unagi (eel) pan, and yakisoba pan just to name a few. My husband tried the yakisoba pan and said it tasted kind of like a Japanese version of a piroshki. I had the melon pan which was delicious. It had just the right crunch on the outside and was perfectly soft and fluffy inside.

Chestnuts roasting on an open chestnut roaster?

I have a confession to make, I've never tried fresh roasted chestnuts up until now. The chestnut booth was outside the store so I decided to give it a try. It just seemed like the Christmasy thing to do. So glad I did too, both my daughter and I enjoyed them on our ride home.

Now I'm curious, what unique places do you like to shop at for the holidays?

12 comments:

Pacas said...

Hi, I don' t use to leave much comments but today I had to :)
It's very common in Portugal to have chestnuts selling on the streets you can see a picture of it here:
http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/photo39073.htm
and here:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_a1LqjNxWXZ4/SzemKqpXChI/AAAAAAAAAGI/w1vdcnzw3KI/s1600-h/vendedor+castanhas.jpg

Have a Merry Christmas :)
Paula, from Porto, Portugal

Joy said...

Oh fun! I love chestnuts! :) Is it bad that I prefer to do all my shopping at home now? Mostly because bundling up two wriggly boys gets a little tiring :)

juliecache = Julia + geocaching said...

last year, we shopped at wang's asian market -- yay local -- for the candy and cookies to put in stockings, a change for our kids. the prices were great, and we've since found indian and russian markets. haven't been to the arabic market, but looking forward to it. we committed to having a the tooth fairy bring foreign money a long time ago. it's evolved into stockings.

Zakka Life said...

Joy,

I completely understand you wanting to shop from home. If I had to do all my shopping with my kids there would definitely be more Amazon boxes on our doorstep. Thankfully they're both in school now so I have a little more free time. One day you'll have that time too.

Zakka Life said...

Juliecache,

Love the idea of foreign money in the stockings. Sounds like you're creating a wonderful new tradition!

Leslie @ Simply Frugal Homemaking said...

Wow, those candies look awesome! We went to an Asian market in Pittsburgh for the first time. We got some candy for my sister who has traveled to China a few times. The thing that impressed me most was their selection of veggies and the low prices! Me and my husband have an organic farm and we specialize in heirloom veggies. We are about 4 hours from Pittsburgh but if we were closer we would go to that market all the time! I need to find one in my area :)

Caca said...

I really like this Japanese sweets. If I got an opportunity travelling to Japan, I will try them out, as much as I can.

Joy said...

There is hope for me yet! :)

Robin said...

I don't remember where I found your blog, but at some point, I saw that we share the same local mall and that piqued my interest even more. That secured your place on my "blogs to keep in my blogreader" list :) My husband, son and I go to Japan Center now and then. I'll have to look for that bakery :)

Jeannette Stauffer said...

Merry Christmas <3 The sweets look really cute!! I was wondering, is the spaghetti bread hot? I've never seen or heard anything like that. Very interesting :)

Zakka Life said...

Jeannette,

When we've been there, the bread wasn't hot. It might be first thing in the morning, not sure. We actually were there again today. I tried the croquette sliders. Pretty good. Lots of carbs.

Zakka Life said...

Robin,

The bakery is definitely worth checking out. If you like trying new things, I'm sure you'll like it.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)