A trip to Tesco…

I had to stay in a lot this week because I was waiting for a delivery. By the time it finally arrived I had serious cabin fever and had to get out! As well as cabin fever, I had a bit of “homesickness” for Japan. It wasn’t just Japan that I was missing, but also the freedom to do things as and when I wanted. It’s not that I’m not free here (you could say I’m free as a bird, seeing as I’m currently unemployed), but I was lucky in Hamamatsu. I had a Family Mart across the street, a 7-Eleven just down the road, and downtown was just a 15 minute walk away. There, I could sit in a choice of two Starbucks cafes, visit a nice bookshop, browse around Uniqlo… Here, in Bognor Regis, the beach is a 30 minute walk away (which is quite nice actually), there is one half decent coffee shop in town (Costa), and no decent book shops. Town is also a 30 minute walk away from my house.

Anyway, because of how I was feeling today, as soon as my delivery arrived I shot out of the house and went for a walk. I decided to go to the one place within walking distance where I hoped I might find just a little taste of Japan… Tesco!

Tesco is one of the major supermarket chains in England. I knew I was pushing it a bit, hoping to find something Japanese in a local Tesco in Bognor Regis but it turned out I was in luck – they had sushi!

I bought two small packs. This one is “prawn, tuna and vegetable”:

Tesco sushi

The sushi is described on the label as follows: “1 tuna mayo and cucumber California roll with a white sesame seed coating, 1 vegetable medley with low fat soft cheese California roll with a black sesame seed coating, 1 prawn mayo and red pepper California roll with a black sesame seed coating, 2 cucumber and 2 red pepper hosomaki and a bottle of soy sauce”.

In case you don’t know what “hosomaki” is, there’s a handy little factoid on the back of the pack:

Tesco sushi

The other pack was a “fish sushi taster”:

Tesco sushi

Described as: “1 tuna mayonnaise and cucumber California roll with a white sesame seed coating, 1 prawn mayonnaise and red pepper California roll with a black sesame seed coating, 1 smoked salmon nigiri, 1 ebi prawn nigiri, 2 tuna mayonnaise and red pepper hosomaki and a bottle of soy sauce”. Interesting that they threw in a few more Japanese words there… also interesting that they wrote “ebi prawn” (in case you don’t know, “ebi” is the Japanese word for “prawn” or “shrimp”). 😉

The factoid on this pack was:

Tesco sushi

Well I never!

You’ll notice the other message on the pack says “We work with the only Japanese owned Sushi company in the UK. Using Japanese preparation techniques and skills, the end result is authentic, high quality, hand-crafted Sushi that our customers love”. Really? If you say so…

I guess my favourite part was the little soy sauce bottles:

Tesco sushi

Very cute.

The sushi itself was… just about edible. I don’t want to sound snobbish or anything, but once you’ve tasted the real thing it’s hard to go back. There was no raw fish to be found in any of the pieces of sushi, not that I was surprised. We Brits don’t usually go in for all that raw fish malarkey…

Anyway, even though it wasn’t really fresh-tasting and was actually quite hard, it was edible, and it did satisfy my cravings. I guess I’m going to have to get used to it for now, until I find a job and can move to a bigger city where, hopefully, there will be some Japanese restaurants!

Tesco sushi

One thought on “A trip to Tesco…

  1. Oh no! That’s what I am afraid of when I leave Japan, too. At least in California, we actually do have some pretty good sushi places. Most of the places are not authentic though and are ran by Korean or Chinese chefs rather than Japanese chefs. But, we do have restaurants that serve fresh fish. The only thing is — they are REALLY expensive. I never ordered chirashi-don for example because it costs about $35 for a good selection. A plate of 2-pcs. nigiri costs $4-5 on average (vs. the 100-yen at kaitenzushi) and I’ve seen that a plate of chuu-toro or o-toro can cost anywhere between $12-20 USD… which is CRAZY expensive. ;_;

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