Wednesday, 11 March 2009
A new taste!
Shopping for groceries in the Kink is often a frustrating and expensive experience. I'm not exactly sure why, but groceries seem to cost at least a third more here than anywhere else. Plus the selection of produce isn't always thrilling.
I'm a big believer in shopping local, but our grocery bills are getting ridiculous. It's easy to supplement our diets with locally grown produce in the spring and summer, but in the winter we're at the mercy of the local stores. When I decided to make 20 pints of salsa last weekend, I knew a trip to Food Basics (a nearby bargain grocery store) was in order if I didn't want to bankrupt myself buying ingredients.
So off to Goderich - a 40 minute drive in a snow squall! - I went with D, who was acting as my "bag boy" since I'm not supposed to carry heavy stuff these days. As a general rule, I adore grocery shopping. I enjoy planning the weekly menu, dreamily browsing the aisles and finding my favourites on sale. Shopping with D can put a damper on my leisurely style of grocery trolling though; he prefers the seek and destroy method and likes to buy stuff in bulk (e.g. a case of tuna, a flat of oranges, boxes of cereal that would feed a small country, etc.). I knew I had about 30-40 minutes of leisurely shopping before he started to get twitchy, so I was focused. Canned tomatoes - ON SALE! - check. Jalapenos - check. Green peppers - check.
I was turning to put a few sweet onions in the cart when I saw it. A weird looking round thing wrapped in what looked like fishing net was perched on top of the canned tomatoes in my cart. It was bigger than a grapefruit and smaller than a watermelon; I had no idea how it got there or what the heck it was. Then I saw D walking away from the cart as fast as he could go. I sighed.
On the rare occasions we shop together, D likes to tuck things into our cart that I wouldn't normally buy. This time, it was a pomelo, a fruit from China that neither of us had ever heard of before. I rolled my eyes, especially at the price ($5!) but hey, he was nice enough to drag all my bags and boxes to the car for me, so I let the pomelo stay.
We tried it that night and we both loved it! It's kind of like a grapefruit, but not as bitter nor as juicy. It has a puzzlingly dry texture for a citrus fruit, with the advantage that it doesn't drip down your chin or get your hands sticky. We left it cracked open in the fridge for several days, and it still retained its freshness. The only thing that was a bit unsettling was the startling resemblance it bore to a Georgia O'Keefe flower or Judy Chicago's Dinner Party art when you split it open. Hmm.
Well, anyways, it goes to show me that D is sometimes the adventurous one in this relationship. I think we're going to try to insert some more exotic fruit into our shopping routines; now if we can just talk the Kink store owners into ordering some...