OK, this is maybe not the right place to post this, but it is jolly.
And I can assure you than none of these ladies or me worked in these stores.
I am teaching myself to cook because it calms me. But I’m not familiar with many ingredients so I stand looking puzzled at things on the shelves.
“**When the pupil is ready, the Master appears**”
Me, tall paunchy white guy. I’m kneeling on the floor at our local K-roger looking at what is called a “country ham” in these parts. Like an American prosciutto, but not as delicious. A big haunch/butt of pork, wrapped in burlap. $35 and up. Why they store them on the floor, IDK.
I hear a woman’s voice behind me, “What do you want with that country ham for?” I turned around and a little African-American lady was talking to me. Big voice for a little lady. I was going to reply “For thanksgiving”, but not missing a beat she said “You got to boil that in Coca-Cola all night to get the salt out!” This was so nice I smiled and said “I did not know that.” and thanked her. She said, “You don’t want that country ham!” and she went on her way. I have never cooked a country ham and I will never will.
Another store, another year. I’m learning to cook Thai now. I am at the aisle with coconut milk cans. Like 75 different sizes and brands from different countries. WTF? Isn’t it all the same? A tiny Asian woman leans past me and taps one specific brand – starts with a Ch-, doesn’t say a word, and leaves. I pick one up, buy it, take it home, cook with it and it’s GREAT. Better than what you get in restaurants, moderately priced. And as an added bonus, it comes in a small size too, perfect for 2-person cooking. We keep buying it, it’s good.
A third store, another year – an oriental mega-mart. Tofu aisle. I knew nothing about tofu, every time I tried to cook it it turned into a sloppy, unappetizing mess. So I’m looking at some firm (what does that even mean?) tofu. Turning it over and shaking it, listening to it slosh around. Another Asian lady walks up to me and says to me, “You need to pour boiling boiling water over tofu. Keeps it firm.”, looking at my face to see if I understood. I said “I never heard that before. Thank you.”
And now I cut PERFECT cubes of tofu every time. These are the anti-Karens. I love that they’re out there.