Chapter 42: Chickens
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
These mushrooms were pretty expensive when Jiang Hai was little. As far as he can remember, back then a catty of pork cost 4 yuan and a bit, but this type of mushrooms costed nearly 5 yuan a catty. So he had always tried to get his hands on them every year. However it really has been a long time since he has had any, because these mushrooms are seasonal vegetables as it appears in markets during july to august. They also have some ridiculous growing needs; they only grow in mountain regions where temperatures reach 32°C and humidity levels needs to reach 85% and beyond.
As more people start to demand better quality food, the prices of these amazingly tasting mushrooms increased nonstop. Adding on the fact that these mushrooms have anti cancer and diabetes properties, with their originally high prices and the fact that they can’t be farmed, it’s no wonder that their prices skyrocket each year. Jiang Hai hasn’t had these mushrooms in a long time, now that they have appeared in front of him, his mouth is really watering. Although they were dried, and had a ridiculous price tag, Jiang Hai still decided to empty the shop of them.
“Young man, why you buying so much mushrooms?” Just as Jiang Hai was emptying the market of the mushrooms, an old man came over full of curiosity and asked.
“Old man, you’re also chinese?” Hearing this old man’s pure mandarin, Jiang Hai is in quite the shock.
“No shit, those who came here to shop, 99% are chinese.” The old man explained.
“Hehe that’s true, but old man, this type mushrooms is called matsutake. A very delicious type of wild mushroom.” Jiang Hai introduced.
“Oh? I’ve had these mushrooms before. Pretty good, but then you get diarrhea.” The old man replied as he tried to remember his past experiences with these mushrooms.
“Well of course, you need to peel off the top layer of skin before eating it.” Jiang Hai continued. Hearing this, the old man can be clearly seen debating whether to try it out or not later.
After picking up all the mushrooms, Jiang Hai thought about it and picked out a couple chinese yams to snack on later. When he picked out everything and was about to pay, the old man called out. “Young man, seeing you buy all this sauce, rice and mushrooms, you are probably from the northeast. This store also has some small ben chickens, want some?”
“Ben chickens? Wait what? There are ben chickens in America?” The so called ben chicken are just free-ranged chickens, but not those commercialized ones. These chickens basically are never fed, rather all the food they eat are self gathered from the farm. Because these chickens have a very barren diet thus there is very little meat, and it’s meat is also very tough, without much fat and very tasty. Although Jiang Hai doesn’t like chicken, but after only having factory chicken for so long, it’s no wonder he is missing the flavor of free ranged chickens.
“Haha, these are just chicks. This owner of this store specifically imported some from china and raised them here in America. So?” The old man said.
“Oh? Sure, let’s see them.” Hearing this, Jiang Hai can’t help but be excited. If they really were chicken breeds from China and free ranged here, then they probably would taste great.
Americans love chicken, that is a given, but most of those were factory raised and from poor breeds. The meat itself isn’t that great, but just good enough to satisfy people’s basic hunger. As such, most Americans only eat these during holidays. Otherwise the chicken they eat generally are all big and fat factory raised ones.
As Jiang Hai chatted with the old man, they arrived at the produce section of the store. Here, not only do they sell seafood and beef, but they also sell river fish. However, most Americans won’t eat these river fishes, hence there are a lot of big wild fish in their river system. Due to invasive species, and not having enough people catch them, the situation continues to be disastrous.
Sadly Jiang Hai is different from most Americans. During these couple of days, he has grown tired of eating seafood every meal and is craving some river fish. By what Robins told him before, their river systems here are full of invasive fish that almost no one touches. So there is no need to buy them, as he can just easily fish for them.
Therefore, Jiang Hai just took a glance at the fish section and went to the part of the store that handles chicken. With a single look, Jiang Hai can tell that the chicken sold here is not of the breed Americans commercialized. This breed has many colors and appears to be fully matured, but it only weighs around 3 catties or so.
“Not bad. I’ll take a few.” Seeing these chickens, Jiang Hai nodded, picked 3 of them and a carton of eggs. He doesn’t have much to buy, even if he forgot something, he can always come back as the store isn’t far from where he lives. According to his phone call a couple of days ago, his driver’s license will be ready in a couple of days so he can then come whenever he wants. Having picked out everything he currently needs, Jiang Hai went to the cashier with that pile of stuff. This stuff’s quality can be guaranteed, but are seriously expensive. In total every thing cost him over $300, but he still went ahead and bought them.
“Old man, you are not buying anything?” Having paid for everything, Jiang Hai can’t help but ask the old man since only he had been shopping after this whole time.
“Me? My son owns this store, so what is there to buy?” Hearing this, Jiang Hai nearly went berserk. Okay, this is clearly false advertising, but there isn’t much to say about it. It’s just one is looking to buy and the other is looking to sell. Nothing more, nothing less. So Jiang Hai can only let out a sigh and carry the stuff out.
“Hey boss, what’s all these stuff you bought?” Seeing the young boss in front of him, Robins couldn’t hold in his curiosity and asked. When his boss left he had nothing in his hands, but now that he is back, he brought a huge pile of stuff with him.
“Nothing really, just some basics from home. I can’t always live off of your western meals, so I bought some stuff to cook with.” Jiang Hai happily explained.
“If you really want to eat, you could always go to the chinese restaurants in town. Their stuff is actually pretty good.” Robins continued.
Hearing this, Jiang Hai can only shake his head and disagree. Having been here for this long, there is no way he hasn’t tried them. But the stuff there really is just to earn profits and nothing else. As such the so called chinese food here aren’t authentic chinese food, rather they are westernized chinese food. The chinese restaurant he went to in Winthrop uses ketchup in almost everything. So the stuff there really can’t be called chinese food.
“You don’t understand. You’ll understand once I’ve made some. Alright let’s go.” Jiang Hai gave up explaining and commanded.
Hearing what Jiang Hai had to say, Robins scratched his head since he really doesn’t understand. But he needs to follow what Jiang Hai says since he is still the boss. With a quick hop, skip, and a jump, the truck let out a loud roar and sped off towards the estate.
It took over an hour to reach Boston from their estate, but the return trip was much faster as there is no need to slow down and change lanes. After about an hour, they’ve already arrived in front of the estate. At the moment, Bob is there with Burke examining the current conditions of the horses. The ones Robins choose clearly had no problems, but were reinspected just in case something happened on the way here.
“These horses are great, right?” As the car stopped beside Burke, Jiang Hai jumped down and asked.
“Boss, no problem with them.” Burke replied. Old Bob’s horses are quite famous around here. There shouldn’t be any problems with them because if there were, Bob’s farm wouldn’t be in business for so long.
“Em, that’s good to hear. You can go ahead and put them away. That big one is mine, you guys can sort out the rest!” Hearing Burke’s reply, Jiang Hai greeted Bob and continued on into the estate with Robins.
Having parked the car in the estate, Jiang Hai first put away the guns and bullets separately in one of his many empty closets. Then headed downstairs to put away all the food he bought in the fridge. Finally just when he carried the chickens inside, the two hounds already came over hoping to be fed.
“Hey hey hey, these are mine, not yours.” Seeing the greedy looks the hounds were having, Jiang Hai yelled and kicked them away.