Things I've Learned in the Grocery Aisle

Sollie in the lens.

Sollie in the lens. 

As you now know, I'm pretty obsessed with learning more about cooking and bringing more homemade meals into our home. And I've been learning so much!

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. There are so many different kinds of vinegar: rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and, of course, balsamic vinegar. 
  3. None of these have anything to do with distilled white vinegar, as far as I can tell.
  4. And then, of course, there's dry sherry and marsala wine. These perform wonder-working miracles on your meals.
  5. Produce used for cooking (such as cilantro, parsley, onions, garlic, etc.) is usually quite reasonably priced. 
  6. Produce used for snacking (such as bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, and oranges) can get quite pricey, especially when out of season.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. In case you are wondering, sundried tomatoes can be found in the produce section. 
  12. Canned mushrooms are found in the canned vegetables section. 
  13. Canned olives are stored near the pickles and condiments. 
  14. Claussen pickles, however, are placed in the cold dairy aisle, near the eggs.
  15. Ricotta cheese can be found next to the sour cream and cottage cheese, rather than the other packaged cheeses.
  16. Apple cider is shelved with the fruit juices.
  17. Frozen pie crusts and refrigerated pie dough are not the same thing. 
  18. Anything packaged (cereal, cookies, chips, etc.) is, without fail, way overpriced and way undersized, not to mention way un-nutritional.
  19. Coffee creamer is expensive. 
  20. Fresh fish is expensive. 

Is there anything you would add to this list?