Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco and clotted cream

Salad cream?

Grocery shopping in England is an adventure. We generally shop at Tesco because it’s close by and reasonably priced by UK standards. It’s clean and well stocked. Deb prefers the more posh Waitrose and I like Sainsbury near my office for quick pick-up items and great (and cheap) wine selections.

Onion marmalade - really?

Regardless of where we shop, I’m amazed (and often puzzled) each time by some of the products available. Our shopping trips are getting shorter but my attention span in grocery stores is shorter still and I am not as fascinated by the 17,000 varieties of olive oil as my dear wife.

In all fairness, Deb is an excellent cook and knows what she needs to prepare fabulous meals. The challenge is sometimes finding the proper ingredients, especially with me standing on the sidelines tapping my foot or grimacing. “Oh, for the love of God just pick an olive oil!”

Spanish, Italian, Greek, Israeli...

Because I’m bored and to “help” I have become Deb’s ‘advance man’ in the grocery markets. While she leisurely glides the trolley through the aisles, I run ahead like a dog in search of the elusive rabbit for the next item on her list, which I retrieve and return to her usually to find it’s “not exactly” what she wanted. Defeated I return said item back to its proper place like the sad pup that I am and try again.

This game continues throughout the store. Next item and I’m off in search of the ‘Holy Grail’ of vanilla paste or clotted cream or lemon curd only to have my hopes dashed again and again and again. But I can’t stop myself! Deb and I are like the tortoise and the hare of Tesco: me madly dashing from aisle to aisle while she calmly (painfully) examines each of the items and makes her careful selections. And she ALWAYS wins!

Of course this is further complicated by the multitude of varieties and British names of items on her list. Who knew grocery shopping would be so challenging? And so fun. I love my wife; I love my life. I’ll meet you at the till!



One thought on “Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco and clotted cream

  1. Oh merry England! Choices. And one must remember we are blest to have food and the all choices rather than going to the shelf to find nothing or very little in our hut to eat! Yes I know I have ruined your adventure and turned it into a Lenten thing! sorry but you did make me laugh and cry with the imagery of you darting about retrieving like a Golden with a stick and Deb leisurely meandering through the store. It’s like when I go to the Asian market and spend time scanning shelves and shelves of tea and rice choices of which most I cannot read the packaging labels but stll I take my time and give the respect due 75 types of rice and 50 varieties of tea. Someone’s son or daughter farmed it, processed and packaged it and I give thanks!!

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