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At the Supermarket

Infinite Variety: With/Without Sugar, Salt, Glucose, Etc.

There is nothing like a visit to the supermarket to demonstrate that not all is well with the Republic. It seems that one could buy tomato juice with or without salt or hot chile peppers. Of course, one could buy plain tomato juice, add the salt oneself and even add a few drops of my favorite Marie Sharp’s Chile Habanero sauce. And don’t get me started on milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, you could drink milk made from almonds, oats, soybeans, and (probably) kale. There is so much variety on the supermarket shelves that one is often hard pressed to find what one is looking for.

In case you didn’t know, there are firms which arrange the products on the shelf. Manufacturers pay to be at eye level. If you’re a cheapster selling a basic product, you will be stuck on the lowest shelf, which you cannot examine safely without getting a shopping cart up your backside.

Today, I was looking for a product rarely purchased by most Americans: whole granulation kasha, or buckwheat groats. I like preparing it with egg, onions, and bow-tie noodles as kasha varnishkes, a Jewish dish that Martine and I like. But there were zero varieties of kasha on the shelves, and probably several hundred varieties of rice, mostly not deserving of the shelf space they got.

So, instead, I got a can of clams and some linguine, with which I prepared today and (hopefully) tomorrow. Martine has told me, in no uncertain terms, that she doesn’t want linguine with clams; so she will shift for herself tomorrow. (Today, she finished off he Indian kima dish I prepared on Monday.) That is her prerogative: I remember my youth, when I was the pickiest kid in Cleveland.

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