Grocery notes from the UK

Just a few quick things about groceries…

1) People in the UK are really into tomatoes. I don’t mind — I like tomatoes too — but I don’t require a boiled tomato for breakfast every morning, or tomato sauce (Ketchup) on everything. My favorite evidence of this near-obsession was when I was exploring the large M&S in Inverness. I went down aisle after aisle, and eventually came to the produce section. There was a ‘fruit’ aisle, and a ‘salads’ aisle, and a few general ‘vegetables’ aisle… and a ‘tomatoes’ aisle. Yep, an entire aisle dedicated purely to tomatoes — the only one, as far as I could tell, devoted exclusively to one thing. Impressive!

2) Alternate blog post title: Exploring World Culture Through the Lens of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Dear America, are you aware that no one else in the world recognizes ‘ranch’ as a flavor? It’s true. So last year in Norway I found ‘Cool American’ Doritos, and this year in Scotland I’ve discovered ‘Cool Original’ Doritos. Whatever works, I guess; they all taste pretty much the same.

UPDATE: on the way out in Belgium I discovered another variation: ‘Sweet Paprika’ Doritos, which is probably the most accurate description yet.

3) Can someone please explain to me why the mini grocery store in the Manchester airport stocks refrigerated raw meat? Like, what, I’m going to buy a couple of steaks and fry them up on my camp stove while I’m waiting at the gate?! Even IF it’s there as a convenience for the tired traveler who just wants to pick up some bacon for breakfast on their way home, I still find it questionable.


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Black Pudding, Brussels-Style

Day one!

Mini-posts because we’re traveling as a couple for most of this holiday so I don’t have piles of mildly-lonely time to fill. It stresses me out to not have fully-crafted posts, but I’m going to try to relax about it. Here goes!
Landed in Brussels and took the train in. Have only explored the city center so far, but having fun. Tonight we ate at a restaurant that offered black pudding, Brussels-style, so of course I had to try it to compare with Scotland, because I liked it there soooo much last summer.
Here it was good but way different – thick, rich, soft, loaded with big chunks of garlic. Good, but I preferred the thinner, harder, bloodier one I had before. I’ve only tried the two, though, so we’ll see how the next compares.
Now we’re drinking beer, because it’s Belgium and that’s what you do. I’m drinking Lambic because it’s delicious and it comes from here. Yay!