There were many Korean products and foods that I grew to love while living there and was saddened at the thought of no longer having access to them. Little did I know, Hawaii has a growing population of Koreans that live here. That means Korean products, food, and restaurants are here too!
I spotted a Korean supermarket when we first moved here and finally ventured into it recently. I had a huge smile on my face the entire time, despite the familiar pungent Korean smells :) The Palama Supermarket is in the Waimalu Shopping Center in Aiea off of the Kamehameha Highway.
They had a selection of fresh kimchi.
Red bean and red pepper pastes - yum!
A selection of baking and cooking mixes, flours, powders, etc.
Instant ramen and udon noodles.
Korean snacks and candy :)
A few packages were actually written in Korean and English. Almost everything else had a nutrition label written in English stuck on it. This was really interesting to me. I saw these items for a year and never knew the ingredients. Now here they were, easy for me to read at last. The ingredient list on many items surprised me. Some were a good surprise containing few, all natural ingredients when I expected there to be more. Whereas other things were a bad surprise, containing ingredients that I try to stay away from, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other unnatural substances.
These Korean cookies are my favorite so I was really excited to find them here! The ingredient list is questionable however... "contains wheat, milk, shellfish"... uh, shellfish?!! I'm sure that is referring to the "shell calcium" that is listed but it's still strange! It makes me worry about non-Korean speaking people living in Korea who can't read the nutrition labels. Someone allergic to shellfish probably wouldn't think twice about eating these yummy little cookies.
A fine selection of Korean coffee (Maxim!) and tea (leaves, powders, and jellies).
Korean drinks. Aloe drinks can be found everywhere in Korea and have a cool refreshing flavor.
So what did I end up buying to satisfy my Korea cravings? I bought some of my favorite Korean snacks; the crisp, buttery Lotte Waffle cookies and the sweet "shellfish" cookies. I also bought some Korean teas that I love (honey citron and plum) which are a sweet jelly that you mix with hot water. I also got some Korean pancake mix (only one brand without MSG) and some yummy pumpkin pasta.
I am SO excited that I can purchase these products here whenever I want, especially the teas!
"Joy is not in things; it is in us."