Grocery Stores in the USA

Napoleon

Registered
Ummmm, I really realizing how ridiculous the USA is.

I went to a Whole Food this evening. There was more amazing and different kinds of cheeses there than 5 Queso Queso's + JUMBO in Palermo + Casa de Queso combined! And there were free samples of an absolutely creamy & tasty Van Gogh Gouda just sitting there with no one around. About 60+ cubes of cheese at 8:45pm and no one to even give a damn if you took 5 cubes.

3 to 4 different kinds of shrimp and only one didn't come from the US coast. (Honduras). At least two types were raw and I'm sure would have been delicious. And tons of other amazing looking fish as well.

The butcher shop?... more expensive than Argentina for sure, but newspaper ad quality cuts of beef, buffalo, chicken, lamb, and pork. And behind the butcher there was a huge container where they were drying aging massive slabs of beef for either 14 or 28 days. I'm not sure if this concept even exists in the land of Quilmes.

Spices? Don't get me started.

Mustards? Probably more than 50. Vinegars, hot sauces, BBQ sauces, Lea&Perrins? Large size bottles for much less than small bottle in Disco.

Maple Syrup? 100% Organic 32oz bottles for US$20. Grade A or Grade B, whichever your preference.

They even had 16oz cans of some "Guayakí" brand Yerba Mate tea. "Enlighten Mint" & "Lemon Elation" with certified USCA Organic & FAIR TRADE marks on the front.

REGULAR Grocery Store:

PG Tips 40 bag box of tea was about US$4.30. Just sitting in the regular aisle like it was nothing special. (I bought all three boxes that they had left.)

MORE 100% Maple Syrup. Organic & regular.

Peppers? Are you kidding? About 6 to 8 different types. (And that doesn't include BELL Peppers.)


My point?

My point is that sometimes you start to question what the hell is going on in the city you live in when you realize how easy it is to eat tasty foods at an affordable price in the city that you're from.

Just venting because it's easier on the skull than banging my head against the wall.
 

ssr

Registered
Hm, I don't really get your closing point, but I do agree that our high-end supermarkets in the US are just ridiculous. In the NY area, we have Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fairway and some other smaller chains and all of them are just incredible. Frankly, for someone like me who likes to sample just about everything, there are too many options. I recently made the mistake of walking into an enormous Fairway market in New Jersey while I was hungry; it was just overwhelming.

I have heard good things about supermarkets in Germany, Russia and, surprisingly, Medellin, Colombia, however. My friend from Moscow insists that they have the best supermarkets. I'll have to get over to Russia someday to see if he's full of it.

And Argentina? Ugh. As it is with most things, Argentines just don't have a clue.
 

Napoleon

Registered
Amargo said:
Probably it's better this way. To consume what is locally available is surely not bad for the Earth.
While I agree with this, you don't have to take what's locally available and then make such mediocre food.

Other places take lemons and make lemonade. Sometimes I think that in Argentina they take lemons and... then put salt on them.

Is making good cheese too much to ask?

Tomorrow I'm going to be smoking brisket and spare ribs and they are going to be amazing. If I just had a place to put a smoker, I'd be doing the same thing in Buenos Aires. And I could even make an amazing BBQ sauce (if you really thought that the brisket & ribs needed sauce, which they won't), but I don't think that I can find one of the key ingredients. "TOMATO SAUCE" in a can.

The 8oz cans of Tomato Sauce were going for 3 cans for 1 measley US dollar. (With Club Card) In Argentina you couldn't buy one can for AR$20 because that's not a product that is made in the breadbasket of South America.

Just frustrated. I'm becoming more and more of a foodie. Not just eating it, but preparing it as well. And the attitudes about ingredients down south are starting to get to me. (This thread does NOT need 300+ responses.)

I'll post pics of the finished product. They'll be exceptionally tasty looking.

-Nappy
 

Amargo

Registered
I agree that the food quality in Argentina is mostly not so good, with some exceptions like wine or beef. Argentina has a climate range which allows growing almost anything, so it is a pitty your ingredients are grown there.
But there is a reason - which is not always ignorance - for the lack of certain products. BBQ sauces are an example. It is almost considered a shame to put anything on the beef, not because goes against certain traditions, but because Argentines just dislike it. I have tried beef in many countries, with many different sauces, but still would stick any day to 'proper' beef without any sauce. The same goes for pizza, I tried it in Rome, NY, Napoli, yet I prefer the Argentine.
Not because the Argentines have a different taste should be tagged as primitive or backwards.
 

SaraSara

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Amargo said:
It is almost considered a shame to put anything on the beef, not because goes against certain traditions, but because Argentines just dislike it. I have tried beef in many countries, with many different sauces, but still would stick any day to 'proper' beef without any sauce. The same goes for pizza, I tried it in Rome, NY, Napoli, yet I prefer the Argentine.
Not because the Argentines have a different taste should be tagged as primitive or backwards.
Same goes for smoked meats: Argentines don't like anything that interferes with the natural flavor of fresh meat. Fresh, not aged.

Kansas makes good smoked pork ribs with barbecue sauce, but from what I've seen most people order steak. Fresh, unsmoked.

When it comes to vegetables, the selection is pitiful compared to what's available in even the smallest Safeway in the States. Here we make do with what's in season. The good side of that is that they are much tastier than the stuff sold in the US, which has been carted long distances and kept refrigerated. Here, tomatoes are not red decorative "things" but fruits with real taste. Strawberries come in around this time of the year, small and flavorful and smelling of strawberry. The ones sold year round in the US are large and deep red, a beauty to behold but almost flavorless.
 

ssr

Registered
Amargo, try to reflect a bit on what you wrote above. Like this, for example: "It is almost considered a shame to put anything on the beef, not because goes against certain traditions, but because Argentines just dislike it." I couldn't even generalize about what the people on my city block here in NYC like or dislike, but you are somehow able to make a sweeping generalization about the tastes of 40 million people.

Argentines have a very difficult time "thinking outside the box." What I find most uncomfortable about life in Argentina is just how fearful Argentines are. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of strangers, afraid of the opinions of their peers, etc. Most Argentines desperately cling to, and vehemently defend, their comfort zone. It's all they've got.

So, Amargo, I think you're missing the point here. There's a big amazing world out there and the 7 billion or so people in it eat lots of different kinds of food. In the US, immigrants from every corner of the globe bring their cuisines with them and domestic things, like BBQ, continually evolve, so, responding to demand, US supermarkets sell an increasingly varied assortment of ingredients. And lots of US supermarkets, particularly high-end supermarkets like Whole Foods (or, as it's commonly referred to, "Whole Paycheck"), sell really top-quality stuff.

When it comes to food (and many other things), Argentina is just a very stifled place. There are a few highlights here and there, but the average Argentine just doesn't eat much beyond the few bland Argentine staples. I certainly couldn't imagine choosing to narrow my options like that but, well, to each their own.
 

jp

Registered
The US hasn't always been a mecca of exotic foods. Go back a few decades and it was a paradise of bland, processed foodstuffs.

Its a little trite to suggest that argentine fearfulness is the explanation why you can't find a 24 hour whole foods store on every corner, supplying imported everythings at rock bottom prices. These are the trappings of wealthy, sophisticated consumer economies. Argentina isn't there yet. Give it another couple of decades, and you might well see people gleefully wasting their money on imported organic elk milk and ethically produced dragonfruit.
 

erocifeller

Registered
jp said:
The US hasn't always been a mecca of exotic foods. Go back a few decades and it was a paradise of bland, processed foodstuffs.
Exactly. Growing up in Vancouver in the 60s was no doubt far different than the Vancouver of present were over 50% of the population will be new immigrants in the next 5 years.

Just as a further example in Vancouver (I am impartial to my birth city), the South Asian population makes up 9.94% while the East and Southeast population makes up 27.88% of the population.

While I cannot find the demographics of Bs As, the whole of the country has a East Asian or other non-white groups population of merely 4%.

Therefore, as a further influx of populations immigrate to countries like Argentina from areas, such as Asia, Africa, etc, there will be no doubt be a strong correlation of more 'exotic' foodstuffs. Already, there are new Indian mini super markets and Chinese stores here since the last time I lived here. It is the slow inevitable process of globalization (good or bad ...).
 
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