Buying at the supermarket

One of my first questions to people who live overseas is, “What foods do you eat?” As they expound on young coconuts or strong coffee, my mind drifts through the whole eating process. Where do they purchase the food–what are the storekeepers like, the level of sanitation, the selection? How is the food then prepared? How is it eaten? Foods reveal a lot about a culture. I want to dive into their whole experience.

These thoughts have inspired the “Buying at” posts. We’ve adventured to both the fruit stand and the corner store. Now we will explore the supermarket. Grocery chains from France occupy our larger cities, providing a one-stop shopping experience. However, you will see that what they stock on the shelves reflect the market, the culture.

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Here is one of the refrigerated aisles filled with…yogurt! Coconut, strawberry, pineapple, no sugar, varying brands and sizes are all there! They love their “Danoon” (“yogurt,” after the famous brand).101_9029Since I don’t have a good camera on my phone and am carrying around my pocket camera on this shopping spree, I posed Josiah in front of the tubes of meat so that I wouldn’t look too suspicious photoing bologna! This, my friends, is a whole aisle of mortadella, made from turkey and beef, with olives or without, in many different styles. We aren’t in Kansas’ Kroger anymore!IMG_2353

Here is a special mortadella. See the picture? It’s made from camel. It might be easier to stomach if you call it dromedaire (on the label).101_9031 This is the aisle of flour. There are many different types, textures, colors. Moroccan women can make wonderful things with these flours, from bread to harcha, Kaab el Ghazal to sfouf.101_9032Notice that they have open bags to see and touch the flour. If they didn’t have these, people would open the bags so they could see and touch. Once I bought a mustard jar which too late I realized was already opened and smelled and tasted. People want to know for sure what they are buying, so these open bags of flour save merchandise.

My photo journey came to an abrupt stop as a security guard gave me a funny look as I was about to photograph the whole aisle of large cooking oils. Oh well, you get a taste of my shopping trip (without opening a jar or sampling an olive!). I didn’t put in the bakery, the butcher, the candy aisle, or the produce. I am thankful for these big supermarkets even though they don’t have the personal interactions like the smaller stores.

Excuse me as I go and eat my orange-flavored Danoon!

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