Archive for February 4th, 2007

Food shopping

February 4, 2007

In a British supermarket you will find:

• One aisle with baked beans
• One aisle with sliced bread (comes in two different colours: white and brown. Brown is apparently the healthier option)
• Not one but two aisle of crisps
• One aisle of cereals
• And for people that don’t have a deep fat fryer at home there is one aisle of chips

Here is a typical British menu:
Monday: beans on white toast
Tuesday: beans and chips and a packet of salt and vinegar crisp
Wednesday: chip butty*
Thursday: beans on brown toast, and prawn cocktail crisp
Friday: Indian take-away
Saturday: Chinese take-away
Sunday: Sunday lunch at the pub

Try to avoid buying cream as there are too many choices and you may end up staying an hour staring at the cream shelf just trying to figure out which cream to buy. As a Swedish person you might have thought it was only ‘cream” but let me tell you about the options you can choose from:

• Thick cream
• Extra thick cream
• Aerosol Cream
• Single cream
• Crème Frâiche
• Chantilly Cream
• Light cream
• Double cream
• Whipping cream
• Sour Cream
• Clotted Cream

As a well-educated Swede you would put all your groceries in a neat row and the barcodes facing you when checking out. This is to make it easier for the cashier to scan the item and save time having to turn the bag of crisp a hundred times searching for the bar code. When shopping in England – don’t bother! Here you pile up as much as you possible can on the belt, the person with the highest stack wins!

And now to the part that stresses me out the most: packing. When the item has been scanned and put to the area where you pack your items into carrier bags, you will have a massive queue staring at you since you not packing fast enough. The cashier will, polite as they are, ask you if they can help. You might be temped to say yes to this nice offer but beware they will put one item per bag so you’ll end up with 30 carrier bags, and the environment suffers.

In Sweden there is a clever divider that divides the packing area into two separate areas so when you have paid you have plenty of time to pack your items as the cashier can start scanning the next customers items straight away and the next customers items will end up in the packing area next to yours.

In Sweden over consuming of carrier bags is not a problem since we pay for carrier bags. This is a clever way of making people bring their own bag and save the planet.

*Smörgås med pommes frites