The local grocer

Each week I visit the supermarket (usually Aldi) and generally buy the same items (I am a creature of habit)—it isn’t terribly exciting and I do it as fast as possible. Supermarkets don’t have any character — just check out the photo above, but they serve a purpose. 

However on Friday afternoons on the way home from work I stop off at the local fresh food market. This place has a wide selection of fruit and veg stores, 3-4 different butchers, bakeries and those great European delis.  I love visiting the markets and enjoy the smells of all the different foods, the great selection of food from around the world, the buzz of activity and the character of the place (it isn’t all polished and sterilized).
I went last week to pick up some vegetables and came out with far more—to be honest it is often cheaper than the supermarkets and I know everything is fresh and picked locally.   I particularly love looking at all the different cheeses —this time I bought a feta in oil with pine nuts and purple sumac which was delicious on salad.  I also like to visit the delis and look at all the unusual food items—my sons, when they were little, loved these shops and would get me to buy different things to try.  This is perhaps why Tristan has such a liking for foods such as pumpernickel bread and sauerkraut!!  I remember him asking me to buy a tin of octopus when he 5 (rather than lollies), he just loved trying new foods.  The other thing about these delis is that you can talk to someone about the food, e.g. the best cheese for for a particular recipe, not something you can do at a supermarket.

Sadly many of these markets are getting pushed out by the large corporations, such as Woolworths and Coles.  Give me a locate market any day to a modern supermarket!

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  1. Jo,

    We don't have many open-air markets where I live, but we sure have a slew of grocery stores!

    I agree that grocery stores are NOT very exciting places. I'm also one of those people who typically buys the same items, so it makes the time go faster, as I go to the same grocery store(s) all the time and know where everything is (unless the grocery store manager gets "cute" and decides to swtich certain foods/items to different isles).


    -Lady Rose

  2. Lady Rose – there is nothing more frustrating to find, when I am in a hurry looking for one item, to discover that the supermarket has been re-arranged everything and nothing is in a logical place. I walk up and down the aisles trying to find just one thing. It is the quickest way to cause me stress!!

  3. Jo, only you can make a grocery/supermarket post interesting! lol! It's true what you say...

    That feta cheese with pinenuts sounds delicious!

    How brave of your son to want a jar of octopus instead of lollies! Not sure I would lol!!

    Enjoyed this post Jo... have a lovely day.

    ps. I love deli's too, with all those cheese and cold meat cuts.

  4. Well I am reading your post after having the blessings of having enough money to go grocery shopping at a different store. I took forever just going down the rolls looking at the cheeses, the olives, the fresh produce, the breads, the humus variations, on and on. I never shop there because it is a little more expensive and so many temptations to buy.
    Today we had some extra money and I so enjoyed my creative juices flowing while looking at all the wonderful things.

    I don't have a local market like you are talking about...that sounds wonderful...just a change helps to make cooking enjoyable.

    Enjoy your produce and I hope you continue to have your local market.

  5. Jo: we live in the heart of market garden country & often pass roadside stalls on the mainland. Always worth stopping for ~ especially in strawberry season! ☺

  6. Hello Jo,
    I am a huge fan of fresh food markets, it's just plain fun. I'm hungry after looking at the picture.
    I should be posting new stuff in about a week.
    Thank you for your comments on my blog, i feel blessed.
    Michele Katherine

  7. Amanda - the feta and pine nut was SO GOOD and it didn't take long to eat.

    My son eats lots of unusual foods and I think it is due to his experimenting as a child, he was always game to try something new - unlike his brother!!

    Ganeida - strawberries are always nicer from the markets, they have more flavour compared to the supermarket mass produced ones which are often large but tasteless.

    Janette- there are so many yummy foods it can be hard to decide on what to buy. I found a great place that makes homemade humus and its hard not to eat too much. My youngest son loves it when I buy humus and warm Turkish bread - he thinks makes for a good lunch.

  8. About 2 weeks ago I visited the farmer's market and the aroma of all the freshed picked veggies was amazing. Can't say the same for the supermarket:(

  9. and do you know that Costco also has now arrived in Sydney to add to the three you mentioned:)
    I agree with Amanda's comment, only you could make a supermarket post sound so interesting:)

  10. I love shopping in any kind of store if I have the time to wander around. When I'm in a hurry I don't enjoy it at all... We just went to a fruit & veg market the other day which was fascinating - they keep some cows outside which they feed all the fruit & veg scraps to! (I thought it was a great idea!!)

    Rosemary - is Costco operating now? Dan is happy to see it here because it's an American store and he's excited to see how different or similar it is to the ones in the States! :)

  11. Yep, markets are the way to go if you can find one.
    How cool that Tristan liked trying new foods from a young age.

  12. Joyfulmum/Amanda - I probably could talk about any topic if I had too! I might have to think of some usual topics to keep you all amused!!

    Groceries is something I do each week, so I started to think about it and decided that supermakets are not the most exciting places to be.

  13. Clara, oh yes your hubby would love it:) our pastors are American and they are excited...I'm pretty sure the one in Auburn is open already, so I heard though I could be wrong:)

  14. Jo, not sure if you saw my post about 7 Questions. It is a fun tag game which gives you opportunity to answer 7 questions, giving us a chance to know one another a little more. I have tagged you, Ganeida has played, as well as Ruby.

    Feel free to skip it, just didn't know if you saw it because I had posted a few times today.

    Thought you may enjoy it lol ;)

  15. We do one massive shop at Costco each month -- it provides the backbone for many of our meals. We always buy pretty much the same things. It's the only way to get reasonably priced meat. What is interesting, its by far the best source for European cheeses in our area at a very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, this drives out the smaller operators, so to find a butcher in the USA or a green grocery is (almost) unheard of. When we go to Adelaide, the children just love the Central Market. I'm not aware of anything remotely similar in Colorado.


  16. That's really interesting Nick - I didn't know about the lack of green grocers in the USA, I wonder why this is the case? I assume this is the same in the smaller towns.


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