I have been known to wander around the grocery store with a look of perplexity and confusion, but these times are usually limited to moments when a recipe calls for an odd and obscure ingredient (...What is adobo sauce anyway?). Unfortunately, as of late, every trip to the grocery store has been thwarted with confusion and utter perplexity. I wish I could say that this state is brought on by a fervor of cooking new and complex recipes, but really it is only because my grocery store recently remodeled and rearranged. Now, even a trip to pick up milk, eggs, and cereal feels like runny through a labyrinth of canned and dry goods. I have even begun to wonder if these grocery trips are slowly contributing to premature wrinkles between my eyes from furrowing my brow at at my shopping list as I aimlessly wonder each and every new aisle.
The things is, I love grocery shopping. Seriously, I even do it for fun. When most people would put "grocery shopping" on their list of weekend chores, I put it at the tip top of my list of weekend social activities. I am a very lucky girl, because I live mere moment away from a haven of grocery delight called Central Market. Central Market is a meca for the aspiring foodie. I just love everything about the store, from the handwritten signs in the produce department, to the especially the friendly employees in green striped aprons wandering the aisles to answer any and every question you might have as you shop. Their sole purpose is to help shoppers get what they need. If you need to know the best red wine vinegar for the price, they know! Ask them which bread is ideal for tomorrow nights pineapple bread pudding, they know! And you can even ask them what adobo sauce actually is, and if they do not know they will pull out giant text book and look it up for you! They are amazing.
Central Market was also offering "weigh and tag your own produce" long before other grocery stores caught on to the concept. I love being able to squeeze, prod and poke each and every tomato before I bag it up and take it home. And it also means that when a recipe calls for 13.5 oz. of rhubarb, well, I can weigh out exactly 12 oz. all by myself. There is such a sense of independence and a connection with my food. And Central Market even has their own store brand, Central Market Organics, that makes the whole upscale grocery shopping about as cost effective as gets, and its ORGANIC to boot. That's a pretty sweet deal.
I am so in love with the grocery store that even in this time of perplexity and confusion, when rearranged aisles and relocated product foil my attempts a "quick trip to the store," I still cannot entertain shopping anywhere else. The remodels leaves me confused, it makes grocery shopping take at least twice as long, and it may be contributing to premature wrinkles, but hey, if I look on the bright side, this means I get to be in one of my favorite places for twice as long as usual!
p.s. Just to prove how great the store is, I snapped a few low quality camera phone images of some of the AMAZING Central Market produce. Look at these veggies! The crazy green one is Romanesco, also known as Italian broccoli. I have no idea what it tastes like, but it is beautiful and looks like it belongs in the floral department rather than an aisle where people buy tomatoes and apples and bright orange cauliflower.