No Brand

Here in Korea, when we go to Emart to go grocery shopping, we find items that are labelled “No Brand,” and they are cheaper items, but the quality may not always be the best.  We thought they were just something that Emart does, but today, we stumbled on a “No Brand” Store. Everything they sold in this store was “No Brand.” The “No Brand” store was not as big as other grocery stores, but they had many unusual items you may be interested in. We took several pictures of “No Brand” items and other unusual Koreans items you may find interesting.

On the shelve here, you can see sea weed “No Brand” Pringles.

To begin with, if may like to eat Pringles, the potato chips that are baked instead of fried.  There are “No Brand” Pringles here in Korea.  “No Brand” items have a yellow package, so that is how you can spot them. However, when we tried “No Brand” Pringles, we just couldn’t enjoy them as much as original Pringles.  However, they have interesting flavors that I am sure you won’t be finding on the Pringles in America unless things have changed a lot since I have been here. There are many more flavors than I can think of, but they have mayonnaise, sweet potato, and sea weed “No Brand” Pringles.  When I was in Japan the first time several years ago was the first time I saw sea weed potato chips.  Sea weed potato chips are not that bad if you like sea weed. I have eaten other brands of sweet potato chips, and they aren’t bad either.  However, when I tried the mayonnaise ones, I just couldn’t eat them.

The purple chips are sweet potato “No Brand” Pringles.

We were actually in luck today.  Usually, in the store here, if we want maple syrup for our pancakes, we have to either get the cheaper Korean brand syrup that is very weak and thin or the syrup imported from Canada that can be as much as $20 for a small bottle.  Needless to say, we have adapted to the Korean brand even though it isn’t quite the same because of the huge difference in price. However, today, we saw real maple syrup the size of the Canadian bottles for only about $5.00.


This is a packaged mix for wasabi, the really spicy Japanese stuff everyone likes to talk about, but is only eaten occasionally in Japan, but if it is spicy, the Koreans must have it. This is the first time I have seen it in a Korean store.

We went by the rice section, and I decided to take pictures there for you too because there are so many different kinds of rice in Korea. If you got to Japan, they usually just use plain white rice, but the Koreans love to mix these kinds of rice together and make their rice more interesting and sometimes even nutty tasting.

White rice and brown rice; yes, those are bags of rice stacked up on the bottom too. You can buy rice here in huge bags that they would never sell in the States. We can buy potatoes in big bags in the States, but potatoes are so expensive here, they are almost like eating gold.
This is black rice. They add some of this to their white rice often.
If you ride a plane to Japan or Korea, they will probably serve you buckwheat noodles. The first time they served these to me, I wasn’t  too sure about them, but I can eat them now.
“No Brand” also makes Rice Crispy cookies, but we have tried these, and to our disappointment, they really aren’t any good.
None of this is lettuce, but these are considered for salads. They eat all kinds of strange leaves here. Some are for salads, and others, they wrap big leaves around their meat.  I really don’t know what all the different kinds of leave are.
The picture of these leaves didn’t come out well, but on the bottom of the package I am holding there, you can see the big leaves they use to wrap around pieces of meat. They also add a spicy sauce inside the leave with the meat. A Korean who has been to America called them Korean tacos.
Chocolate covered sunflower seeds are fairly common here.
Those big white vegetables are radishes, and there is a package of bean sprouts setting on them. These are both very common here.
This is the first time I have seen a dokpokee mix.  Dokpokee is something the young people love.  Usually, it is rice cakes in a spicy red sauce, but this is an alternative that may be good that my daughter is going to make for us because she made it in a Korean cooking class once. They are rice cakes in a soy sauce based sauce that isn’t spicy. It might be good.  She says she may make it and let me watch so I can blog about it for you.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures we took for you. Shopping in Korea can be challenging if you don’t know what you are doing or what you are looking at. However, as you see, many of the packages are labeled in English.  The Korean products are not the same as American products.  They have lots of copies of what we do, but usually, they don’t copy well.  The Koreans all want the original in everything, and when I try these products, and I can tell why they want the original with these.  I have thought about trying to find Rice Crispies and marshmallows and making the original Rice Crispy cookies because we like them, but even though they have boxed cereal here, there are no Rice Crispies.  For a while we couldn’t find marshmallows, but lately, we have seen them more.  For a while, we found Kellog’s Rice Crispy Cookies, but they aren’t for sale now.  The only thing for sale is these “No Brand” Rice Crispy Cookies, and they just aren’t worth it.  We appreciated finding maple syrup, and we are hoping it tastes right.


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