By now, you all have probably heard my canned tuna story.
If you haven’t, it goes like this: I was out grocery shopping one of my first weeks here and I picked up a few cans of fish to have in my pantry for those nights (or lunches) when you don’t feel like cooking. The wifi wasn’t working at this supermarket and I couldn’t get the offline Google Translate features to read the characters on the can, so I picked up a few cans all under 100 yen and threw them in my cart, hoping for the best.
Again, key words: hoping for the best.
Anyway, the first can I opened turned out to be canned chicken which I counted as a win. Not exactly what I wanted, but close and tasted good mixed with mayo and a little pepper. The second can, however, turned out to be chunks of mackerel in a sticky yellow sauce. Definitely not tuna. Never had mackerel before and never had an inkling for it either, but I wasn’t about to let some dead fish chunks beat me. So, since I purchased it, I tried it, and believe it or not, it was actually really good! And that was usually it, but I’ve since opened up and tried the contents of a few more cans from my tiny pantry and I thought I’d enlighten you all to my experience thus far.
My canned fish roulette continued with a third can that said “curry” on it, I wasn’t sure what type of curry it was or the type of meat it was. Turned out to be ground up chicken (or pork, still not 100% sure) that was in a gooey curry sauce that honestly looked like a can of cat food. Cat owners will look at it and agree, you all know what that stuff looks like. Still ate it though, put it over rice this time and paired it with some stir fried veggies.
I opened up what I thought was another mackerel can, but nope, couldn’t be that lucky right? Ran it under Google Translate in working Wifi and it turned out to be miso sardines. Never had a sardine either, but again, I bought it, so I had to eat it. There were two fillets in the can and the manufacturers were nice enough to remove the heads and tails before canning those little guys, so thankfully nothing was staring at me when I pulled it open. It was going well until I felt a crunch and then proceeded to pull parts of the backbone from my teeth for the next few minutes. How lovely. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad though, the most fishy tasting so far and not my favorite, but still edible.
Okay, after waiting a few days, I finally tried the final can. Honestly, the final can was a bit of a let down after the other exciting few, but this actually turned out to be honest to goodness tuna fish – taste and color were right at least. I knew I had to have bought at least one can! Now I just have to remember the store I bought it from and see if I can find it again…
Note to self: learn characters for “tuna” before next shopping excursion.
It’s so much fun grocery shopping without wifi or mobile data to help look things up on the fly. I know that offline Google translate exists, but it can only do so much and some of the guessed translations change depending on the angle I hold the camera. If I listened to it all the time I would think I’m buying “eagle rock Chinese” or “bay fish all eat” or sometimes “chair” or “darkness”. I mean, I love a good eagle rock Chinese, but a girl needs some protein in her diet.