10 February 2016

The American Supermarket Culture Shock

Last month I was in the United States again. I was hanging out with my sister in upstate New York. We went grocery shopping, and man, I was culture shocked. Heck, I have lived in the United States for 7 years in Buffalo, and a couple more years in other locations. And yet, after living in Berlin for 3 years now, I guess I have gotten used to the European way of doing things, and so when I was in the supermarkets in the USA, I was shocked.

Everything was just big!

I don't know, maybe I have completely fallen in love with my farmer's market, with my weekly routine of going to Winterfeldtplatz to go shop at my cheese counter, at my vegetable and fruit vendor, at my butcher. Shopping in an American supermarket is definitely very impersonal. Everything is in just one big warehouse, and everyone uses these large carts to haul their goods, which they will then take to their cars and drive home. Somehow that sight is just not appealing.

It's bizarre to find myself in there, given that when I was in Buffalo, I was definitely used to this mode of shopping. Wegmans was also like this, and yet when I was there, I thought Wegmans was the most awesome thing. But now that I live in Berlin, I guess I have come to realize that there are better choices out there.

I was at the cheese section of this large supermarket. It was Fairway, by the way. I was looking at the cheese selection, and I wasn't too impressed. Why is it that most of the cheeses are hard cheeses? Where are the fresh burrata, the middle-aged mimolette, the vine-leaf-wrapped Valderon? Oh gosh, I must have turned into an elitist foodie. I went to the tea section. All of the teas were in tea bags! No loose leaf teas! And let's not talk about the charcuterie section!

Oh, I am going to miss Berlin, in case I leave it.

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