Foreign Dispatch #4: How Indigenous People Shop

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In the course of other business yesterday, our correspondent had opportunity to enter a local emporium for edible provisions. This was a large, clean, well-lit and heavily stocked facility, and our correspondent proceeded to hopefully whip out his high-tech wish list…

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…and headed for the “baking” aisle, which was given over to packaged pre-mixed foods and offered no actual yeast.

Undeterred, he looked for the coffee aisle. And looked, and looked in vain. Perhaps, he feared, coffee had been declared a forbidden substance in this new land? Our otherwise intrepid wanderer feared giving offense to local beliefs.

But no: Coffee was in fact not at all forbidden. It was enshrined

one tiny part of the kiosk...

one tiny part of the kiosk…


…in a kiosk in the middle of the store, so large he had originally edited it out of his sensorium, as a man might miss seeing a nearby battleship because so much gray must surely be the sky…

Indeed, an overwhelming and bewildering variety of coffees were offered for sale. But unfortunately no coffee accessories, anywhere in the store. Apparently those are sold in some entirely different store. Or…something, we don’t know.

He did score two pounds of apparently fresh barley for stews, though.

Next adventure: Vegetables!

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Foreign Dispatch #4: How Indigenous People Shop

  1. Unclezip says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to find any bulk supplies in the big city stores. Now everything, including salad comes in “kits”. Took me four stores last week to replenish my rye flour stash, and yeast is starting to get scarce.

  2. M Ryan says:

    Joel you will probably find the yeast in the refrigerated section at Wegman’s. Failing that you can google search for any European style bakeries or delis in the city you are in, they should have it. Failing all that you may have to resort to dry brewers yeast and you can get that at Walmart, Target or any make your own wine shop.

    Keep up the dispatches and remember, don’t scare the locals. :^)

  3. Claire says:

    You might also explain to the non-me and non-Landlady part of your reading public what “crack sauce” actually is. That made me laugh. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking you’ve gone to the city to hit up your drug dealer.

    Um … still I don’t believe that a giant Big City grocery store had no coffee filters anywhere. Are you sure you weren’t simply so bedazzled you missed them?

  4. Joel says:

    Crack sauce is the name Landlady’s husband T gave to this stuff. It can turn the blandest rice into ambrosia and is good with lots of other stuff, especially including pork.

    Also you might be right that there were coffee filters hidden somewhere. I’ve been looking for a new filter cone, though, and so far it’s proving harder to find than I hoped. May end up needing to go to Amazon … as with my yeast, which I STILL haven’t scored. Does no one in this city bake?

  5. Norman says:

    Your series on Big City Exploration reminds me of Kim duToit’s account from years back of taking their Russian exchange student for their first visit to a typical American grocery store; 3 minutes in she started crying. I assume you’ve avoided that so far.

  6. Zelda says:

    Where I live yeast is always on the very top of the very top shelf in the baking aisle, where you really can’t see it, and next to the baking powder. My go to brand is SAF which comes bulk vacuum packed and will keep almost forever without refrigeration as long as the vacuum seal isn’t broken. SAF sells instant, regular and yeast for sweet doughs. You could try a natural foods market or a WalMart. I agree with UncleZip that bulk foods are getting harder to find, and being replaced by cutesey little pretty packages of ready to use stuff. Coffee filters are sometimes with the instant coffee or the tea. If you can’t find them you could switch to a coffee press, which is something too funny to even think about given who you are and where you live. You can buy an inexpensive plastic container coffee press with a metal basket for not much money. And post photos of it being used in the Lair. FOMCL

  7. R says:

    Food service supply stores (Cash & Carry around here) are the best place to buy bread yeast. I get vacuum packed pound bags for the price of a 4oz, jar in a grocery store.

  8. WolfSong says:

    What R said about yeast…
    Or, Costco, if there’s one close by.
    Last time I bought it was $4 for a vacuum sealed pound…of course I’m in Canada, YMMV.

  9. Kentucky says:

    RE: finding yeast/filters . . . hide your man card and ASK DIRECTIONS. They’re used to men wandering around with a lost expression on their faces.

    BTDT :-)

To the stake with the heretic!