Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shopping for groceries Italian style

Here is a story about my first night in Verona. We arrived at about 3:30 pm. Our friend Ivan picked us up and brought us to our apartment. He said he was going grocery shopping for his family at 5:30- did I want to go? He was going to the big grocery up the hill. I said sure and after he left we did our best to come up with a list. Here's what it looked like: a Walmart/Target super center. After work and before dinner so it was crowded. Ivan shows me how to read sale signs and weigh produce and we're off!!!!
Ever see the game show where you get an empty cart and have just so much time to fill it?! That was me! Racing up and down aisles trying to finish quickly not to be an inconvenience. At one point I was trying to turn a corner and my cart went sideways in a skid. I'm sure it was hilarious to the other shoppers! Plus I'm trying (haha) to read Italian labels and make good choices. In the end, my cart was overflowing. I had to hand carry two 6 packs of 1 liter bottles of water. I wish I had been with it enough to take a picture of that cart!
As exhausted as I was, I'm amazed I didn't miss more than I did on the list!

Everyday we walk down the hill or around the corner to get supplies.  The apartment kitchen is rather small and is set up for B&B traffic, not daily living so we needed a lot of things.  There are two grocery stores near by and down the hill there is a vegetable/fruit store and a bakery.  Most things we need for everyday can be bought in these four stores.  There is a "supermarket" about .5 miles away that we went to once and the big grocery store where I went with Ivan the first night.  I'm going to sign up online for delivery of groceries from the big store which will help a lot with the heavier items like bottled water, basics like pasta and hopefully canned cat food.
What we have not been able to find so far is Oatmeal.  Today we are heading to the fancy grocery in town- they have an international selection and I'm sure we will find it there.  We will also pay three prices for it....  Oh well, gotta have what you gotta have!

I went to three stores trying to find ice cube trays. Granted Europe is not famous for using ice, but the cocktail culture is creeping in. There is a cocktail bar now in Verona (you heard right A cocktail bar). So I figured ice isn't far behind.
Finally yesterday as I was unsuccessfully looking for Ziploc bags I found these! And they work! Whoopee!! In fact they are great, the ice stays sealed so it picks up no odors and you just cut off each cube as you need it!

Vivienne Frankel's photo.

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