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Old 12-20-2008, 08:37 AM   #21
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I love grocery stores and markets. They still to vary greatly around the country.

NYC was like traveling at home because all the different neighborhoods have supermarkets and specialty shops geared to the local ethnicity. There are not too many big box chain style markets there so the variations are great.

With the exception of Reading Terminal and The Italian Market neighborhood Philly is pretty grim on the grocery shopping level...

The best ever was when I lived on the Swiss-Italian border... food was amazing... unfathomably expensive but amazing the groceries were wonderful.

I remember England having great sweets and cream and in France the meats and cheese even at a common little market were wonderful.

Houston TX where I lived for a long time had great food shopping too. Not so many specialty shops but some great supermarket chains... Randalls Flagship was like a TajMahal compared to east coast supermarkets and my favorite was Fiesta which is decidedly lower end but makes a effort to stock for the local population... my neigborhood was a mix of Mexican immigrants and aspiring yuppies so our Fiesta had great Mexican food and produce (really cheap avocados and mangoes) as well as nice wine and cheese sections and an interesting collection of beers.... also they let people take carts home and sent a guy around to collect them.... Awesome.

The flip side of buying food on vacation is when say you are all excited to score some Maple Syrup in Vermont or something and the you get home and see the same thing on the shelf at Pathmark for less
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #22
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OK fellow supermarket junkies, if you are eve in SW Ohio . . .Jungle Jims! It is located just north of Cincinnati. They claim to have the largest selection of foods anywhere east of the Mississippi.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:47 AM   #23
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Am I the only one who does this ?? For some reason, If I go away, and I see a chain of supermarket Im not familiar with, I love to go in and browse around just to see what products im missing out on. Sometimes its the highlight of my vacations

Any other grocery store freaks out there like me ??

And if it is a farmers market or some kind of ethnic food specialty store, forget about it, i feel like ive gone to heaven....

My name is Pie Susan and I am a grocery store freak. I can't help it, I love to do exactly what you described. In fact, I love grocery shopping, in general.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:08 PM   #24
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While on vacation I usually pick up items for breakfast and lunch from the local farmer's market or grocery store. It is fun to pick up local items like cheeses, breads, salsa, smoked salmon, jams, and jellies, fruits and veggies, etc. I carry a small ice chest to pack the goodies in, spend the day sightseeing, and eat breakfast and lunch from the ice chest.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:34 PM   #25
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I once had the opportunity to browse all of the organic and whole food stores from LA down cost to San Diego, and it was a discovery of a life time
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:00 AM   #26
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Dave, when we were in the RV I was having a blast in the southwest buying things I considered "U.S.American" like Cambell's soup with a Mexican twist. Even friends who lived in the area had never noticed them. The one I regret is that somehow I never got around to tasting yogurt in Slovenia, where it was a staple. I loved it, though, that green peppercorns and capers came in huge jars (and yes, many restaurant meals we ate contained one or the other). Haven't been able to travel in recent years because of a geriatric puppy dog, but you bet we'll be in grocery stores internatially when we can again. Whenever we go to visit family in FLorida we have to buy a particular brand of Publix canned whole green beans.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:04 AM   #27
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Ya know, the wife is always talking about taking a trip that is centered around 'food', maybe you two have inspired me to go along with it, LOL.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:20 AM   #28
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That was one of the highlights of our trips to Thailand and Bali. They had vacuum packed products in their frozen seafood section that we could not figure out what it was (all writing on the packaging was in Thai/Indonesian) And of course the exotic fruits were out of this world ! Only downside was that we could not really buy anything .
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:47 PM   #29
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Whenever we go to visit family in FLorida we have to buy a particular brand of Publix canned whole green beans.
Whenever we're at Publix in Florida we always buy Colman's Shepherd's Pie Mix. We usually buy about 20-30 packets to last us until the next time.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:48 PM   #30
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I don't think there is a better way to get the feel of a community or country than to visit the place where the people buy their food...I love it. My husband is not quite as enthusiastic as I am, but I drag him along. During high tourist season here, it is fun to keep my eye out for confused "gringos" trying to navigate our local supermarket. I enjoy helping them find what they are looking for, e.g., garlic is "ajo,", shrimp is "camarones," etc. People helped me when I first got here - it's nice to pass it on.
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