Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mysteries abound at the grocery store...

So I finally got my lazy hibernating butt out of bed on Saturday late afternoon and made it to the grocery store two blocks down the road. The closest one that I could visually identify was a K Market, so that is where I went. I found out later that I not only went to the most expensive grocery store in my neighborhood, I also went  to the one with arguably the least selection...but we will see about this as I explore others in the area (now that I know where they are).

I decided to buy sandwich fixings, as this will provide much needed sustenance for the week ahead. It was also, in my mind, probably the cheapest way for me to get food, as I looked around and noticed things are really quite expensive here (again, might be just the place I went to). My loaf of bread, lunch meat, cheese (which is like a white version of Kraft Singles), metal tube of mayo (which has a very delicious relish in it), small carton of juice, head of cabbage, and two large cans of Strongbow cider costed me a whopping 18,70 euro (i.e. about $23!). Holy nappers my sandwiches better taste like butter and look like gold! Luckily, they were pretty successful (^_^):

I nommed on this masterpiece while watching a very satisfying episode of some documentary where guys went around capturing great white sharks in San Diego to tag them for scientific research purposes. I was quite content. :)

There were definitely some gems to be had at the grocery store, prices aside. I once again found evidence of the monolithic confusion regarding American products, as seen here by a delightful interpretation of our thousand island dressing:

Though I completely, and fully agree that this is a much more delicious use of our sauce, only In N Out Burger and selected other restaurants use it in this way. Which of course begs the question...HOW DID THEY KNOW?!? O_O 

Other than that the other large thing of note in my shopping experience was probably the produce section. They have these very peculiar cards underneath some of their veggies and fruits that have a number, plus a Finnish word, then next to it, a price in euros per kilo. Now, luckily, I'd been told by someone before that they had some sort of weighing system for their produce, so I was not taken completely aback by this system, but I did stand there like an idiot for a good 5 minutes before realizing the machine behind me was for weighing said produce and then selecting the number on the card, which would then print you out a label to stick on your selected produce:

I put my head of cabbage on the scale, selected #113, and it printed me out a little sticker that said 1,65 euros for my particular head. Quite ingenious really. :) Saves the checkout people quite a lot of work.

I have lots more to report on my grocery store fiascos but I'll save those for another time. Unfortunately the store was too crowded so posing with my mustache monocles would have been even more out of place than I was already, so, next time (sorry guys). At the rate I'm eating through my sandwiches, plus my need for variety, it will not be so long before I need to make another trip. :)

Until next time... ^_^


  1. We have those in some of the supermarkets in Spain too! I didn't know you had to do it and when I went to the cashier, I was sent back to get the sticker. Luckily, even with my limited Spanish, I understood that. haha

  2. Love the Thousand Island bottle. Just imagine what they think we do with mayonnaise...or introduce peanut butter, sit back and watch them wonder!!

    1. I've heard Europeans are very confused with our concept of peanut butter and generally ignore it (please correct me if I am wrong, Euro friends). I didn't see any when I was at the store and have never seen it served anywhere. Mayonnaise is completely integrated here in the North though - they love it more than we do! :) I'm very happy about this.

  3. I remember last time I went to Helsinki and went to a supermarket (they look so cute and clean and full of chocolates) I noticed that Felix American dressing (which I never saw in the US) and liked the retro look. Still don't know what they mean by American dressing though, as I did not tried it out.

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  5. They know because of the big mac... Mcdonald's, America's cultural ambassador around the world :/

  6. I had a similar experience with having to weigh my own produce in France too. Everyone knows you're a tourist when you walk up with some bananas sans sticker and have a complicated frenglish conversation and then get directed back to produce. :P