Sollie in the lens.
So I thought it would be fun, from a beginner's perspective, to share what I've been learning in the grocery aisles these last few weeks.
- All kinds of spices exist in the world to make food taste so much better. See, for example: turmeric, curry powder, curry paste, fish sauce, ground red pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, ground ginger, thyme, and even cinnamon.
- There are so many different kinds of vinegar: rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and, of course, balsamic vinegar.
- None of these have anything to do with distilled white vinegar, as far as I can tell.
- And then, of course, there's dry sherry and marsala wine. These perform wonder-working miracles on your meals.
- Produce used for cooking (such as cilantro, parsley, onions, garlic, etc.) is usually quite reasonably priced.
- Produce used for snacking (such as bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, and oranges) can get quite pricey, especially when out of season.
- You might as well go ahead and purchase a huge box of chicken stock from Costco, rather than ones-and-twos-ing it at the local grocery store, as it's used like crazy for cooking.
- Watch out for tricks the local grocery store tries to play on you. For example, take popcorn -- the real kind, not the microwaveable kind. In the snack aisle, there are just two options, both encased in plastic containers -- Orville Redenbacher and Pop Secret -- and both offered for about $4.29. But in the produce and nuts section, hidden on the very bottom shelf of an already somewhat concealed area, you'll discover bags of Jolly Time for $2.99.
- The same goes for other items, like nuts. In the cooking aisle, a small bag of pine nuts costs $6.99. In the produce aisle, you can find a larger bag of pine nuts for $4.99. (Either of these seem exorbitantly priced to me, however.)
- Surprisingly, the three-to-a-pack garlic bulbs are of much better size and quality than the individual bulbs sold out in the open on the produce shelf.
- In case you are wondering, sundried tomatoes can be found in the produce section.
- Canned mushrooms are found in the canned vegetables section.
- Canned olives are stored near the pickles and condiments.
- Claussen pickles, however, are placed in the cold dairy aisle, near the eggs.
- Ricotta cheese can be found next to the sour cream and cottage cheese, rather than the other packaged cheeses.
- Apple cider is shelved with the fruit juices.
- Frozen pie crusts and refrigerated pie dough are not the same thing.
- Anything packaged (cereal, cookies, chips, etc.) is, without fail, way overpriced and way undersized, not to mention way un-nutritional.
- Coffee creamer is expensive.
- Fresh fish is expensive.
Is there anything you would add to this list?