Thursday, September 21, 2006


Schmidt's Grocery sign, originally uploaded by Joey Harrison.

NOT my favorite activity...but this piece in the New York Times did inspire me to get my beat up track shoes out and head for the store.

It's a list of treasures found in the supermarket among all the over-advertised and under-nourishing stuff I sometimes grab in the heat of the race.

I was happy to see some of my own favorites on the list: Cabot cheddar cheese (but at all costs avoid the LIGHT variation), B&M baked beans (I like the vegetarian kind, but Ted prefers the bacon and onion.), Greek yogurt (so rich and delicious you can substitute it for sour cream), and Progresso Lentil soup(The writer adds cumin, hot sauce and lemon. I microwave fresh garlic, tomatoes and extra spinach and toss it in--though I suppose I'll be rethinking the spinach these days.

I also have my own personal list of supermarket treasures: Grape Nuts, Ezekial California bread, Kraft Parmesan Cheese, Campbell's tomato soup (also good for add ins, such as garlic, spinach, leftover pasta or beans), Wyler's frozen wild blueberries, and whole wheat pasta with flax seeds by Hodgkins Mills. (Yikes, maybe I really AM earthy crunchy.)

But what really made the Times list interesting was the things I haven't tried--but will now. I've already added the Bahlsen Choco Liebniz cookies to my list and underlined it--and just in time, too. My chocolate covered cherries from Trader Joe's ran out yesterday.

Anyone else have a grocery store favorite to share?


rdl said...

mmmm, now i want those cookies!

Patry Francis said...

The night we have the champagne and groucho marx party, we'll make sure we have a box around...

Sky said...

A few of our must-have products from the local grocery: McCormick's Hot Shot Black and Red Pepper Blend (never without); Heinz Hot & Spicy Ketchup Kick'rs (our must-have spicy condiment); Smart Balance Buttery Spread products (lowers cholesterol, no trans fats); NON-instant Quaker Oats (a favorite fall/winter breakfast with fruit and nuts and cinnamon added). And from the GA grocery, shipped to us from friends in Atlanta who take turns keeping us supplied (shipping costs more than the grits!) -
NON-instant GRITS! for garlic cheese grits spiced with red pepper flakes. My East Indian husband loves these as much as his southern belle wife! ;)

Anonymous said...

Chocolate-covered soy nuts from Trader Joe's. I have myself convinced they're good for me (and they are; my mood pick's right up the minute I start munching :)

liz elayne lamoreux said...

my husband and i had this funny moment last weekend when we decided to walk around a little neighborhood market in a town we like to take a day trip to: we love grocery stores. we love to walk around them and try something new and marvel at all the gorgeous goodness. i think it is because we lived about 30 minutes from a big grocery store back in indiana and about 60 minutes from a place that had a few gourmet delights and nowhere anything like trader joes and the other wondrous places we have here in washington.

i love trying new crackers because that means i have to buy gourmet cheese...and organic chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Love B&M baked beans-- good to know they aren't bad for me-- I think I could happily eat at your house every day-- Ezekiel bread, Trader joe's-- soups with fresh stuff-- yuum.


Patry Francis said...

Sky: All right, now I have to go out and buy some of that Hot Shot pepper-- right now. How did I miss that in the spice aisle all these years? The spicy ketchup sounds good, too; but when it comes to buttery products, I'm addicted to the real thing.

tinker: My mood lifted just reading about them. Truly, sometimes I wonder how I lived without Trader Joe's.

liz: You make a good point. I don't often think about how spoiled I am living in an area with lots of good grocery stores, health food stores, and restaurants to choose from. Lately, however, I've been thinking about how much we depend on supermarkets. Would we know how to get food without them? But that, I guess, is another post...nice to see you here.

blue poppy: but alas, no hamburgers for the dogs! Loved your dogague so much I think it should be a movie.

Anonymous said...

We live in the land of independent grocery stores, neighborhood produce markets, and charming family-owned butcher shops. Safeway IS the exotic grocery experience around here, the retro-shopping you sometimes crave to mitigate all the blinding hipness of living in Berkeley. And so we go to Safeway for things we can't find in the independents, things that deliver a sweet hit of nostalgia and normalcy: 1 ounce bags of potato chips (the kind that go in school lunches so my children won't be totally uncool), two for one deals on the sort of peanut butter you DON'T have to stir to mix the oil in, french onion dip for that taste of the 70s (especially when served with barbeque chips), and ice cream that comes in a square box (another 70s favorite). Almost every time I go to Safeway I find one of these pleasures. I'm glad there's one not far from where I live. (Plus, our neighborhood Safeway just started offering ground buffalo -- I guess it's hipper than I thought.)

Mary said...

From over here: organic natural yoghourt, New Zealand manuka honey. Cote d'Or dark chocolate with nuts. Green & Black's Maya Gold organic dark chocolate. Losely organic ice cream - the Losely cows are just 30 miles or so from London.


Anonymous said...

Fig jam on fresh bread toast. . .

Anonymous said...

Lately we've tried spaghetti squash, which is yummy and fun to make, too. Unless you're a dork like me and you try to pick out all the seeds instead of scooping out the guts. Thank goodness for knowledgeable neighbors.

We've also been on a yogurt kick. We layer fiber pellets (bran buds?), cottage cheese, yogurt, and dried fruit. Good stuff -- except with dried peaches. Yikes, those are weird.

off line said...

Trader Joes? I want that place!

I am so hungry now...thanks guys.

Country Harvest granola-bars--crunchy almond
Frozen summer blend berries, which i mix with Harvest Crunch cereal and plain yogurt.

Must go eat now.

Kerstin said...

Oh, the Bahlsen Schoko Leibniz Kekse bring back fond childhood memories! I prefered the milk chocolate covered ones, they are quite wonderful. I love Greek Yoghurt, too, mix it with some runny honey for a simple & delicious dessert.

One staple I was happy to also find over here in the US is Herbamare Sea Salt (from Wholefoods or health food stores); it's low sodium and gives food a wonderful taste in lieu of normal salt which I never use anymore, except for maybe in pasta water. Great for earthy-crunchy people!

robin andrea said...

Our little Co-op carries Ezekiel bread, but I never tried it. Now that you recommend it, I'm going to go tomorrow and give it a try.

I'm a potato chip addict. The stores stopped carrying my favorite brand Barbara's, which is a nice thin crisp potato chip. The world is on a thick chip craze. I like mine thin and plain. I have been somewhat satisfied by a Ruffles chip that is made with good oils. Naturally lower in fat. Sure it is!

Lorna said...

HERO black cherry jam
havarti cheese with jalapenos
Miss Vicki's Black Pepper and Lime potato chips
fresh figs
fresh lychee
those little tins of devilled ham
seet, hot mustard
rye bread with caraway seeds

except for toilet paper and bread, that about constitutes my shopping list....

Anonymous said...

Greek yogurt is awesome; agreed.

I couldn't get to that article using this link, not even after logging on at the NYT. However, I will just remind you that I recently quit working at a grocery store. I went to work in a grocery store in the first place because I LOVE groceries. I love the little packages. I love trying new ones. They're like little presents with surprises inside, no matter how carefully you pore over the ingredients and descriptions.

That said, I can't live without Annie's Organic Shells 'n' White Cheddar (upscale mac 'n' cheese; I make it with nonfat organic yogurt and a healthy sprinking of organic garlic powder and freshly ground organic peppercorns, then mix in tuna and formerly frozen organic veggies like peas and corn, cauliflower florets and carrot coins). Less healthy but equally essential to our way of life are LU cookies -- especially extra dark chocolate Little Schoolboys (Petits Escoliers).

I have written poetry -- haikuish stuff, generally -- about specific groceries (Little Schoolboys included).

I could go on for hours. Or for years. And I did.'s so great to have food.

Shannon Hopkins said...

I love Ezekial bread, though it can be hard to find in my town, as can anything that ISN'T 70's nostalgic! But maybe I missed something: Why rethink the spinach?

chuck said...

fresh baguette and sweet butter
lasco smoked salmon
fresh lemons
fresh mushrooms
jaarlsberg cheese
henri et marcel pate
a good riesling in lieu of chardonnay
oodles of fresh fruit
chianti classico
european mixed greens for salad
fresh garlic- mucho
fresh grated parmesan
fresh fish
darjeeling tea

Anonymous said...

This is good posting but only problem is I am hungry now, Liked it dribbling over his keyboard :)
Wish you well

Patry Francis said...

bloglily: Those foods have excellent value as nostalgia items. How wonderful to live in a community where that's they're exactly that!

Mary: Just so happened to be in the Star Market today where I found the Green and Black dark chocolate. I might have to travel to London for that ice-cream sounds wonderful.

popeye: Fig jam doesn't seem to be available here, but it sounds good. Have you tried the new whole grain fig Newtons?

robin: I bought some spaghetti squash a few years ago when I was a low carb diet thinking I could substitute it for real pasta. Never could figure out exactlyhow to cook it though. Maybe I should move into your neighborhood...

Edie: Aren't frozen berries great? Now we never have to be denied.

Kirsten: I was thinking of you when I posted about the Bahlsen cookies (which I bought today, along with Mary's organic chocolate!) I wondered if they were a staple from your childhood. The Herbmere salt sounds good. I am way too reckless with the salt shaker.

robin andrea: I really don't work for Trader Joe's company, but have you tried their salt and pepper chips? I can't buy them because I won't put the bag down until they're gone.

lorna: I had my first fresh fig a week ago when I filched one at the market. Still not sure what I thought of it. Maybe I'm just too accustomed to the dried variety.

sara: sorry about the link. I tried again to make it work, but the Times doesn't seem to be letting me in. They want to keep their good food list a secret maybe which is okay because I found plenty of ideas right here. I bought your Schoolboys today. Results of a very scientific taste test between the Bahlsen cookies, the Schoolboys, and the Black and Green chocolate will be available soon.

tarakuanyin: Not sure if you're in the US now, but we've had a major E coli outbreak attributed to spinach--though I think (?) the frozen kind is still considered safe.

chuck: lots of my favorite foods on that list. Anytime you want to invite me to dinner...

zingtrial: Wishing you well, too. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed the meal.

gulnaz said...

your post has made me stomach growl!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Patry, I wouldn't say no to any of those items. I love them all -- and more. So much more. Bahlsen pfefferneuse and "Afrika" cookies. Pepperidge Farm anything. LU anything. And Green & Black takes even white chocolate to a whole other place.

Happy tasting!

paris parfait said...

Those cookies are all over Paris! Delicious. Enjoy!

Patry Francis said...

Gulnaz: Would love to hear your favorite foods to buy...

sara: The official tasting is set for tomorrow.

Parfait: If the discriminating Parisians like them, they must be wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of any favourites but I have certainly worked up an appetite reading about yours. :-)

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Anonymous said...

I was looking for information on Wyler's Wild Blueberries when I surfed onto your site and read a comment by "Tinker" that she likes some soy product she purchases from Trader Joes.
I tried to send her a suggestion that she Google "soy dangers" and let me know if she will continue using any soy products after researching "soy dangers." Soy is in so many products it is virtually impossible to avoid.
I hesitate to mention how much we enjoy the Wyler's Wild Blueberries because that will most certainly drive up the demand AND the price.
We buy them mostly for our granddaughters and it is for our granddaughters sake that we try so fanatically to avoid soy products. AND hydrogenated oils AND high fructose corn syrup. Dr. Oz of Oprah Winfrey fame dislikes the last two items but he appears to like soy. I do enjoy listening to Dr. Oz but we are going to continue to disagree regarding soy.
We finally got a Trader Joes in Pittsburgh. It was a long wait, but worth it.

Patry Francis said...