Supermarkets are the New Cathedrals

We didn’t go to church yesterday. Instead we went to our nephew’s 7th birthday party. On the way we stopped off at a supermarket. It was incredibly busy. It’s been a long time since we went to a supermarket on a Sunday, and we avoid Saturdays too, whenever possible. For the first time, I’ve seen queues at the self-service tills. Isn’t it sad. This is what people spend their weekends doing.

Last night I watched The People’s Supermarket on TV and got cucumber envy. Last summer our next door neighbour gave us a home-grown cucumber. It tasted wonderful! It tasted like cucumber. I had forgotten that cucumbers have such a distinctive taste. Now we are back onto the supermarket mass-produced cucumbers and their nothing taste.

A few years ago, we stopped buying ‘value’ tomatoes. I was sat at the kitchen table one day, eating a tomato, when I realised that if it was the only one I had ever eaten, I wouldn’t like tomatoes. From that day I have only bought vine ripened tomatoes. Today a similar thing happened. That vine ripened tomato tasted just as insipid and bland as the value tomatoes had a few years ago. Now, I know it’s February, and I know that I shouldn’t be able to eat tomatoes in February. Do I decide to go without until summer?

I always thought my children were very fussy. There are many foods they won’t touch, which I think are delicious. Now I wonder whether I’ve been feeding them second-rate, tasteless food, relying on my childhood memories of how nice it should be. If they had only eaten cucumbers that tasted of cucumber, or tomatoes genuinely sun ripened while still on the plant, or strawberries still warm from the June sun, would they like them?

Now many people spend a large proportion of the weekend in the supermarket. I think it’s such a shame to spend so much of our valuable free time on something which, in the end, results in something so unsatisfying.


About planetcoops

Living a busy family life in a beautiful place with a hundred and one things to be achieved.
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2 Responses to Supermarkets are the New Cathedrals

  1. Laura says:

    I was just talking about this to my friend, just the other day. I buy my meat from the butcher, the bread from the baker, fish from the fish market, and our cheese, some produce, other dry and canned goods from the Costco warehouse. We are lucky to have two other grocery stores near. We also have a vegetable garden in summer.

    The reason we got a garden plot was to have the fresh grown taste…it is the same reason the Havarti I buy comes from Denmark, and Jarlsberg from Norway! It is also the same reason I cook almost everything from scratch…which means the kitchen is always a mess.

    • planetcoops says:

      I think you’re lucky here if the supermarkets haven’t killed off your local high street. But I think part of the problem is my expectations – I now expect to be able to buy anything all year round rather than waiting until it’s in season. We plan to grow jalapenos, tomatoes and cucumbers for ourselves this year!

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