Thoughts from the Grocery Store

Thoughts from the Grocery Store

With the amount of food shopping I habitually engage into, you’d think I would know better than to go to the grocery store with my stomach rumbling so loud it could be heard over the loudspeakers’ cheesy music.

Having come in with the intention to buy just plain yogurts to start a batch of homemade ones, I managed to walk away with two other types of yogurts, my favorite Krisprolls (the “Special” flavor with sunflower seeds), two different gâteaux au fromage blanc (the French cheesecake, light and moussy), malt swirl crackers, chocolate covered biscuits, the crêpes and the little pains au lait Maxence likes for breakfast, and a loaf of raisin bread. Can you tell it’s carbs I crave when hungry?

I am always very curious of what other people are buying, and waiting in line at the register is no hassle to me : it just gives me plenty of time to study, with sideway glances, the contents of the baskets and carts around me. It’s a fascinating window onto people’s lives, and I love to imagine what it suggests about them : whether they’re grazers or bulk eaters, who they may be throwing this party for, what recipe could possibly involve buying five boxes of pink lentils, and how many kids it will take to eat all those packets of Petit Beurre.

And then when my turn comes to unload my purchases on the conveyer belt, I try to have the same kind of remote look (it’s only fair) and wonder what they say about me. Usually an excellent indication of the mood I’m in at the time, it’s interesting to see on which side the selection leans more heavily : Chocolate or Zucchini?

  • becky

    I didn’t know yogurt could be made at home!!! Can fruit be added?

    I’m excited!

  • Chloe

    I love to see what others are buying also, It is a good anthropological exercise!
    Home made Yogurt has now became a staple in our house, thanks to you!
    I found that, as for many things, yogurt is better when it has a higher fat content. I now use a thick, 7% yogurt to start wich gives great results! This week I will make some with goat milk and see if it s any good!

  • boreal

    A small semi-gourmet chain here called “Trader Joes” (you probably remember it from the bay area work,) has started carrying Greek yogurt recently, from the site. (“Total”. There is a UK link which gives more info.) I get the fat free one and because its so incredibly thick and creamy its fabulous. Absolutely heavenly.

    What is “The french cheesecake” though… are they actually sweet little cheesecakes or a type of yogurt or cheese or what!?

  • Becky – I make your own yogurts using a yogurt-maker (but there are recipes our there to make them without an appliance, in a hot water bath). I have never added fruit – I’m not sure if the yogurt would set correctly – but I’ve experimented with vanilla extract to good results! I plan on trying to infuse the milk mixture with lemon zest, too.

    Chloe – I’m delighted to know you’re in full yogurt-making mode now! I agree, a little fat makes for a better texture. And I would love for you to report back about the goat milk experiment!

    Boreal – Aaaaah yes, Trader Joe’s… (Sigh.) I would litterally spend hours there, browsing the aisles, picking up every single product to study it carefully. And the arrival of the Fearless Flyer in our mailbox was always a small event!

    And “gâteau au fromage blanc” is indeed a cake : it usuallt has a crust underneath (but it’s more like a tart crust than ground graham crackers). The white part is made of “fromage blanc” (a type of yogurt) sugar and eggs, and it’s airy and moussy, less dense and less sweet than American cheesecakes… Yummy!

  • I’ve just spent my first week of sugar-free, fat-free life (well, the first week this year — it’s something of an annual ritual), and I’m hating it! But it’s nice to you know you’re shopping well, Clotilde. I’ll live vicariously through you now!

  • serena

    i’m a carb-craver too! honestly, i’ve often thought if i were ever to go on a diet (not likely, but there you go), the low-carb diets would probably have me on a murderous rampage after the first week.

    i love food shopping :)

  • Hande

    clotilde – don’t put lemon in your yogurt, lemon (as well as kiwi and ananas) has something that hinders yogurt from becoming yogurt…. The commercial ones have only aromas of these, not the real thing….

  • izan

    ah, i always come home from the supermarket with twice as much (usually chocolate and other sweet stuff!) on my shopping list. i feel so good for writing shopping lists and then i feel so bad for exceeding them, hehe! oh and i found out that my local supermarket started selling reeses pb cups!! although a little pricey at $1.70 a piece!! that’s about €1.40.

  • izan

    hande >>> but what about danio dannone, there’s real kiwi in them!

  • Jackie – I wish you luck with the “ritual”, my friend, be strong!

    Serena – I quite know what you mean : serious carb deprivation would make me cranky as hell! Give me bread! Now! :)

    Hande – I kinda had a bad feeling about using lemon juice or anything too acid, but was thinking it may work with this dried and roasted powdered lemon zest I have. Do you think that wouldn’t work either?

    Izan – The only solution I have found is to not have a shopping list. I can then pretend I intended to get that stuff all along! Seriously, my shopping lists are meant more as a reminder of what I must not forget, than something to prevent a shopping spree…

  • hmm… about adding fresh fruits, especially acidic ones to yogurt(or gelatin, for that matter), i think you must “cook” them first to “deactivate” the enzymes which will prevent the thickening(or gelling). very similar to making jams. c”,)

    i have no idea what or where to get yogurt makers here. but living in a tropical country, all i have to do is sit a jug of milk with a cup of yogurt on the kitchen counter all day, and i’ll have my fresh yogurt. hehe

  • Laura

    Whenever i go shopping in the supermarket i have the same problem in that what starts as a strictly-whats-needed list for the week turns into some food-haulage extravaganza that i know i will never be able to get through. An article on comments on the nagging urge to splurge on food and suggests visiting local markets for a much cheaper and much tastier weekly food forage!! i found it really helpful and hope some of you hard-core spenders do too!!!

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