Menu

header photo

Supermarkets...

February 24, 2013

When we travel we just love checking out supermarkets! I think all foodies will understand the sheer delight of gazing wondrously at unknown bottles of preserves, imaging the flavours and selecting unknown items with gourmet fervor. Often the labels being in foreign countries are unreadable, yet like a guessing game looking at any drawings of said item enclosed.

 
We have enjoyed the crammed versions of one-trolley-wide aisles on the Island of Gozo. We have experienced the minimalistic choices in Albania, to Italian and French mega supermarkets where isles of cheeses pose so much choice one would have to take up residency in the aisle for a year to do justice to the artisans' crafted produce.
 
Supermarket shopping is always fascinating, even comparing prices is an eye opener. We were so enamoured with the selection of well stocked and fair priced items on offer in the supermarket chain Hofer we thought we should relocate to Slovenia. A friend shopping with us thought we were hilarious at the excitement we derived from the supermarket. 
 
There is nothing quite like the food of a country, that you are eating once you are home in your own country to rekindle and relive the holiday experience.
 
Like a return visit to New Zealand has us in search of pies! The best we have found - a venison pie in Te Anau, chicken and leek or lamb shank pie in Christchurch, or our new found supreme Lamb pie at Riverstone kitchen near Oamaru. A meat lovers pie of perfection!
 
So you may ask, what is it like on Santorini in the supermarkets? Well we are blessed with quite a number of supermarkets thanks to having tourists and because the Greek people love to eat. This suits me just fine. Noticeably there are quirks that tend to make shopping an experience.
 
It can range from simple things like a donkey tied up outside, next to a quad bike then a scooter, motorbike, lots of small cars randomly parked. Now every supermarket is different. There is the one with really reasonable pricing, and a phamphlet in ones post box ensures most of the items will only be available on that day, not the whole week.
 
At this supermarket i have come to understand not to expect logic in the fruit and vegetable department. Let me explain, as unless you live in a foreign (can't read the language) country, you may have missed this exciting element for shopping.
 
It goes like this, oh yes I think I will get some red peppers, now I wonder how much they are? The trays of produce run three high, as does the prices on the top of the third row of produce. Now one may like to assume that perhaps the produce would have the prices correlating top to bottom to match the order of the produce. Oh no, why would any one do that? So begins my long time in this section getting to meet random shoppers I engage in questions of." do you know how much the peppers are?" It takes them time too, as they look up and down the prices and along the aisle. I kid you not, the price for the peppers can be five items along.
 
Not to be beaten I write down the spelling of items as I learn on my supermarket escapades. I do find it amusing though when and this does regularly happen, no price is on any of the boards for the fruit on the shelf! Yes this takes extra long for my random helpers I have pulled aside to assist me on my Greek shopping.
 
Now you may say, 'can you not get it weighed by someone or by yourself and punch in the item and get a price from a machine?' No you cannot. You can weigh it on some hanging scales, but the only way to get the price is at the check out, once you have got in the queue.
 
Oh the joys of shopping. Because I enjoy discovering what is in supermarkets I have visited all of them on Santorini. I do find one has to shop in two frequently to achieve what one sets out for. I notice that this seems to be a pattern, as I see the same shoppers from one with me in another! Anyway, that's how it is. 
 
So one supermarket had stairs leading downward and items on them. Being curious I start heading down. No I am told nothing down there, just on the steps at the top. O.k. Now I am in another supermarket and it is fairly well stocked, yet I thought it a bit odd I could not find olive oil, so I ask. It is downstairs I am told. Of course it is! I am thinking. So the steps in this supermarket are for using, and the lift too! Not one sign or arrow would indicate it was a two levelled shopping experience. Well it was a treasure trove of hidden items I never knew they stocked! They even have an organic section.
 
Now I have shopped in many countries and never had a two levelled supermarket. But wait there is more. Yes a separate chain of supermarket they have two levels as well, and again not a sign in site, and you would have to be wandering around a corner near items you would not be looking at to find the stairs. And if you don't feel like taking the lift, just abandon your cart at the top and off you go!
Nothing is dull on Santorini, even the simple things have their unique circus-like ambience. Such fun!

Go Back

Comments for this post have been disabled.