I thought grocery stores would be more or less the same in most places. Fooled me. Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up in the past few months.
- Grocery carts come in a four-wheel drive version. Surprised you too, huh? Unfortunately this is not the kind of 4WD that is on my car. All four wheels move independently. Let’s just say that pushing this thing in a straight line for more than a few feet is a core workout.
- Eggs come in packages of ten. And are located, still in huge boxes, in their own aisle. Not refrigerated. Use quickly.
- “Best Before” dates are usually tomorrow. Don’t bother digging through the milk cartons. Fresh milk is probably still in the cow.
- Most of the milk is in UHT cartons, not the refrigerator case. And you won’t find it in anything larger than a 1 litre container.
- Like half and half in your coffee? Don’t come to Europe. It doesn’t exist.
- Skim milk or non-fat yogurt don’t exist. Neither does cottage cheese, something that I’m beginning to miss very much.
- Celery is an exotic vegetable.
- Fresh vegetables in winter are carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbage and kohlrabi. Enjoy.
- The check-out lady does not weigh your produce. You do. Tie the bag closed and stick a label on it or they’ll send you back to do it right.
- Beef is….best enjoyed somewhere else.
- Duck and goose are readily available. Fresh, not frozen. On the other hand, turkeys come in pieces.
- Fish? What’s that?
- Some products have their own aisle. For example, sour cream takes an entire refrigerator aisle. Likewise, so do yogurt, kefir, flavoured yogurt and butter. Who knew?
- Shopping bags are not available at most stores. Don’t leave yours at home.
- Bread is white. Or maybe rye, depending on the store. And it comes with its own baked-on label.
- The biggest section at the store is devoted to alcoholic beverages. Cheap. Explains a great deal.
- It has been decades since I’ve seen pink or yellow or green toilet paper. Okay. But strawberry or chamomile scented toilet tissue? Really?
Evidently I’ve lived a sheltered life.