California Heartland wanted to see how the Japanese use California foods. Remember
the cherries we saw earlier in the program? Well, we found them again.
The "cherry girl" can barely keep up with demand at the California
cherry stand, smack dab in the middle of a busy Tokyo supermarket.
These Bing cherries were plucked off California trees just three days
ago. Now they're going like hotcakes during the Daiei Supermarket's monthly
sale. The sale price is about $1 per handful, or a little more than $4
Daiei is a huge supermarket chain in Japan. With 370 "superstores"
across the nation, Daiei buys in bulk and passes the savings on to customers.
While the store looks like one we'd have in California, some of the food
is very different.
Along with chocolate sandwiches, you'll find deep-fried Japanese tempura.
And a taste treat for four-legged family members: sardine pet food. Human
customers salivate over free samples of raw fish.
In addition to local products, Daiei stocks dozens of California foods:
cherries, oranges, baby carrots, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, etc.
Fresh California produce can be very expensive in Japan. The Japanese
may pay up to $10 or more for a melon or $15 for a cherimoya. But in Japan,
high priced items are given away as gifts - much like we might buy a pricey
bottle of wine for a friend.