SCHIZO-ALIAS

Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Peanut Cream is not Peanut Butter, and Other Shopping Tales.

This is not a case of ‘not reading the label’. I read the label.

“So if you read the label, of course you should know the two are different.”

Not necessarily. Because there are plenty of things in the food realm that have slightly different names when translated from Japanese to English, and vice versa.

So when I read “peanut cream” on the container, I figured, “Oh, this must be what Japanese people call peanut butter,” because peanut butter doesn’t really have butter in it.

WRONG.

Japan has peanut butter too, and then there’s this stuff:

It’s like peanut sauce, except more of a solid consistency and not hot. It didn’t taste bad…but it’s not peanut butter, which I wanted for my sandwich.

I’m sad. Because what this also means is that the ‘real’ peanut butter that I saw at Seiyu really is unavoidably expensive. This peanut cream only cost me 88 yen, and I’m not hesitant to throw it out since I know I’ll never use it. In fact, I did just now.

Grocery shopping (or any shopping) in Japan makes me appreciate shopping in the United States a lot more. I see a bag of 24 individually wrapped cookies for 300 yen here, and realize that in the United States, I can get twice that amount for 3 or 4 dollars.

Produce is somewhat cheap, except for tomatoes and other fruits. Beef is ridiculously expensive if it’s home grown, so I wait until the local grocery store at Fujimidai has imported beef on sale.

I know by now that a place like Japan really isn’t for the kind of person who wants to find bargains, because it’s hard. I wanted to find a bag for school to replace the one I’m using now, which is a few years old and cost only 5 bucks at this shop in Beltway Plaza. I’ve searched Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Nerima, and bags of the same size and even smaller can be very expensive. Not only that, but I’m very picky when it comes to design and quality, which makes shopping even more difficult. Maybe I need to lighten my load when I go to school, but I feel I’ve lightened it as much as I possibly could, so a smaller bag just won’t do.

Oh well. The search continues…

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