So you might have noticed, Expo International Supermarket as you drove along Charlton Road recently, partially because of its load up of kitchen roll in its otherwise empty windows not all that long after a kitchen roll shortage
Or you might have noticed the piled up crates outside the front.
or on a good day, you might only have noticed the huge wedges of watermelon inviting you to cool down during the recent heatwave.
I am truly divided on my view of the supermarket, because what it is, is very well stocked with all sorts of things that a home-cook might want to buy. ALL the spices, ALL the pulses, and without the sort of, aren’t-I-a-posh-out-there-cook prices to match. The meat counter at the back is magnificent, although somewhat scaled back since opening as I think we all failed to take the hint. (Eg. I should buy that sometime, mmm,… how much are those eggs…?)
And any place that sells halva and balklava is all good with me.
The interior is very clean. But those crates outside just look grotty, and those staff who don’t know what social distancing is, despite it being clearly labelled on the floor. And who really wants to see kitchen roll in the windows of the main road when there isn’t a run on toilet roll.
Intrigued to know other people’s thoughts. I know its got its fans….
There’s a standing joke in my family that involves an in law, two freezers that are large enough for my very tall husband to stand in, and the bungees used to hold them closed. The joke mostly involves eye rolling with the phrase, “working down the freezer” with a hint of “like that’s really gonna happen…”
Well, I’d say supermarket evasion techniques bring on the best time to set the example for said in-laws and I’ve started to empty my own freezer. But the reality has proved distressing. Many labels had fallen off my frozen meals, worse – some revealed old labels with more tasty delights indicated, such as chicken curry (I make a mega chicken curry) that actually turned out to be red bean paste from a vegetarian phase. Seeing as I have two very distinct memories of indigestion from kidney beans, I binned this dish straight away. Wouldn’t want to end up in A&E with indigestion right now.
Some beans are welcome. For me, slow cooked baked beans (with whiskey, bacon, rosemary, whatever’s lying about really) are a weekly staple, eaten with eggs they are bizarrely-head-scratchingly affordable. At least they were until this crisis and every supermarket in the world seems to have run short of borlotti beans. To these nouveau-borlotti- purchasers, i ask, are you actually eating them, or turning them into necklaces with your kids? Undeterred, I ventured into online bean sellers and ordered a wonderful brown packet of wholesome looking beans. I was thrilled, looking out for the postman every day, who’d give me shifty ‘don’t come near me’ looks over her face mask. Then I did the math (bean counter, see?) and discovered my wholesome cheap eat was four times the price of its normal level.