Friday, March 20, 2009

The Value of a Rice Cooker

Maybe it's just me that I find this totally absurd. Partially because in the west you just didn't see rice cookers priced over $100. Typically you can pick one up for less than $50 in the states, but they are not used that often and are often seen as a waste of space. Most people in the west prepare rice the old fashioned way, they use a pot...simmering it for the typical 20 minutes and you are finished.
However, here in the east, a rice cooker, is not just a rice cooker. Most of them are outfitted with microcomputers, have automatic presets, and are used at least once daily. Rice is nearly a part of every meal. Rarely is long grained rice used, with short grained rice prepared. The price of a 2 kg bag of rice is about 8 times the cost of a loaf of bread from a bakery.
I almost felt like asking if there were blue tooth devices, clock radios, or mp3 players loaded on these premium pressure cookers...and you know I do think I did see one with an MP3 player. The most expensive one I found was close to 1,000,000 won. I don't know if rice cookers were elevated to status symbols, almost like coffee makers are in the west, but that seems to be the case here.

Now a coffee maker here in viewed as absurd. They sell instant coffee in convenient 'sticks'. 'Why would you need a coffee maker?' A salesperson asked me. Exactly my point about these Cadillac rice cookers, a pot for less than 20 dollars works just as well.

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