Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A trip to the Supermarkt

So one morning you decide to go to your local grocery store, step inside and bam! with a flash of light, loud popping noise and disorientating feeling of being turned sideways and being forced through the eye of a needle, everything changes. You try to get your bearings but before you can, a mother of 3 comes wheeling by with her shopping cart, hitting you and giving you a glare for having the audacity to get in her way. As you find safety between the huge stacks of plastic-bottled beverages, you look around and realize that somehow you are now in a grocery store in central Germany. Some other things you notice are:

- A whole aisle full of sausage, be it link sausage, Leberwurst, salami, or bologna in the shape of a teddy bear with different colours of pink meat, forming a creepy smiley face.

- Fleischsalat. Literally, meat salad. Think chopped ham and mayo. Being a salad, it counts as a serving of vegetables, right?

- You now have some serious choices in the ketchup department. There is Gewürtz ketchup (spicy ketchup), Thai ketchup, salsa ketchup, chili ketchup, curry ketchup.......

- There is a sizable portion of the store devoted to their selection of chocolate bars.

- Cereal with chunks of milk chocolate. Probably the best idea anyone's ever had.

- Milk, stored at room temperature in tetra packs. Us North Americans really dislike this idea but it is more or less the norm here. You can get frisch milch if you want, but then that takes up room in your fridge........

- Insanely cheap dairy. No lie. 1L of milk for under €1. 1L of YOP-like yogurt drink for less than €0.50. Sizeable chunks of Brie for €1.50. Apparently this is actually upsetting the Dairy farmers in Germany, but it is definitely not upsetting me!

- Forget cheese, the popular flavour for corn puffs is peanut. I couldn't make this up.

- Inexplicably, everyone is obsessed with Spärgel (Asparagus). This perennially hated food is gigantic here. It defies rationality.

Enjoy it while you're here. There's a lot to be learned about food. Mostly how many different ways sausage can be produced, but that's an important life skill, right?

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