American convenience food! The enormous grocery store is full of things in packets, and the variety of those things in packets is astounding.
The variety of fresh produce is a little less astounding. For every aisle of fresh produce and fresh food, there are about four aisles of Things In Packets. All I want is some fruit and veg and rice and noodles and flour and eggs and beans and soymilk (I am somewhat intolerant of lactose, too much milk does unpleasant things to my insides) and meat and fish – you know, things that don’t have to come in packets. (I think we give our local supermarket very bad profit margins.)
Instead there are 200 varieties of cereal, another 200 varieties of cookies, things in cans, things in packets, things in jars, things in boxes, frozen things in said packets… People rave about Trader Joe’s, but they’re raving about things like Trader Joe’s premade pizza dough, Trader Joe’s organic snacks… I like popcorn and chips as much as the next person, but they’re not that special to me. I guess if you’re going to eat popcorn and chips they might as well be organic?
Occasionally we also hit up the pan-Asian supermarket (like a pan-Asian supermodel, only larger). There, at least the packets are familiar.
At the same time, online shopping!! is the best thing about being a consumer in the US. I don’t have to set foot in a shop if I don’t want to…