Monday, August 14, 2006

Supermarket Sunday

Saturdays are usually the day I hit the markets for groceries, however I opted to do some shopping yesterday instead. Having heard so much of the new spice story from Joey of 80 Breakfasts, I popped in and found a lovely nook full of the aromatic splendor of spices. After perusing the shelves I decided on a gift of brown sugar encrusted cinnamon sticks, a jar of dried peppers, and a whole vanilla bean, to be given to a special food friend.

Entering the side of Market! Market! I was looking for the pastel kiosk. Those lovely yema filled buns from Cagayan de Oro is one good reason to take yourself out of your typical route and go to Market!2, as it's cheaper than flying to CDO. However, I couldn't find it! Horrors. So ended up buying three bags of honey crisp banana chips, and was tempted with some mildly spicy dilis, which I eventually walked away from.

The center of the mall was taken over by some concert, and the noise gave me an immediate headache. I understand encouraging public assembly in a friendly fashion, but we're surrounded by noise pollution on a daily basis. This was aggravated assault!

However, my plans weren't fulfilled yet, so I went down to the basement of the Metro Department Store to peruse the shelves of the the supermarket. When I lived overseas, I picked up the habit of going to supermarkets and grocery stores to de-stress. You look through the stacks, learn about the eating habits of people and pick up some interesting finds. And for half an hour or so, whatever's bugging you and any stress you feel goes away. Retail therapy but sometimes more for a brainstorm than to assuage a need.

As it's not a conveniently located supermarket, I don't get to go to the Metro market that often, but find it to be very convenient if I have certain things I can't find in the other supermarkets (a good selection of jalapeno peppers and salad dressings just to name a few!). Yesterday I found myself debating over whether to get the 14 oz bag of dried blueberries or a smaller 3 oz bag. I opted for the bigger bag as it was better savings and I can always have more berries in my oatmeal and salads. I also picked up my favorite Thai dried durian chips. They are buttery and have none of the strong durian smell.

As I was strolling towards the register, a bag to my left caught my eye, then made me stop and spend a few minutes to be absolutely sure I was seeing what I was seeing. Green Tea it said, but it was a bag of Lay's Potato chips. Then I realized it was a line of "international flavored" chips: French Chicken, Italian Red Meat, Swiss Cheese, Hokkaido Chilled Crab, Lemon and the aforementioned Green Tea. I tried to take a phone cam shot but it wasn't going to come out right. So I just bought a small bag to taste. Later that evening I popped a chip in and pronounced it - mislabeled! It may have an aroma of green tea, but the flavor was more like nori than tea. They should just say Seaweed or Nori flavored chips.

For penance, it was soup and vegetables, no dessert that evening.


christine said...

The supermarket of Metro Gaisano and Cash n Carry are 2 of my favorite places for hard-to-find imported items. I love discovering new items on the shelf there from around the world, not to mention the bonus that it is hardly ever crowded. Grocery shopping is indeed wonderful retail therapy! Sometimes even more so than clothes/bags/shoes shopping. :)

ChichaJo said...

Glad you found some goodies to buy at the spice store :) Aren't those sugar/cinnamon sticks cute? I have test driven them in some coffee and they're good...nice to leave the stick lounging in the coffee to get the aroma...Lucky friend!

Another lover of Metro here! I was so surprised to see all the random imported stuff the first time I went...I also like losing my self in the aisles of groceries everywhere...particularly in different countries...that is why I don't follow what seems to be the local custom here of going only a couple of times a month and buying a gargantuan load of things. I'd rather buy a few well chosen items at a I have more excuses to go...hahaha! :)

Mila Tan said...

So true, Joey. Let's all try something new each time we go to the grocery store, and see if the new ingredient makes life tastier along the way.

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Pike Market Peonies