Friday, May 2, 2014

Seattle: Uwajimaya: Japanese Store, Food Emporium, Inspiration Mecca

If you're a regular reader, you know that I love Japanese design and packaging.  Remember my sushi soap vignette? And how I enhanced all of those beautiful juice cans?  

When I heard that there was an enormous Asian grocery store called Uwajimaya, I couldn't wait to look at their selection of cans that I could use as floral vases.  I know, that's how my brain works.
So...I found 2 aisles that were perfect.  I settled on 5 different cans (2 whole fruit, 3 fruit beverage) and I will show them to you once I have enhanced them a touch and they are ready to be vases. And yes, I emptied the cans before I traveled with them to keep my suitcase under 45 pounds.
I loved taking my time and pouring over every last item in the kitchen section. Tea strainers, rice servers, herb choppers, ginger graters.  What a selection.

There is a really neat trend in lunch box food prep that I have always thought was very interesting - bento box lunches for kids.  (You may want to see some examples at the Just Bento blog).The tools shown above help home cooks cut and mold food into neat shapes.  Apple slices can be "cut out" with a cookie cutter-like instrument, so that the fruit slice is shaped like a cat with ears. Sushi rice can be molded into shapes, perhaps a teddy bear head or sheep.  It is a labor-intensive lunch, for sure but I can imagine that if it seems like fun to you (and your children) it would be a fun way to involve them in lunch prep and it would encourage them to eat their lunch.  I had never seen the tools in person and I was happy that I could take a photo to show you.
I also noticed this kit that helps you make a sushi cake! It is to look sweet, but it actually has savory, main dish-like items on it.  I find this entire concept beautiful and interesting.
Uwajimaya has a beautiful selection of foods in a very casual food court.  It was only 10 am or I assure you I would have eaten some of those tempura shrimp!
The grocery section had a variety of fresh fish, and by fresh I mean, still swimming in a tank! I have seen lobster sold this way, but never tilapia.  It was eye-opening.

Stay tuned for the beautiful can vases!

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