All right, class, find your buddy and take them by the hand…we’re going on a class trip to Australia to check out an Australian supermarket!
Surely there are better reasons to go to Australia, like the Sydney Opera House or kangaroos or Olivia Newton John, but as a lover of food and food shopping and grocery stores, I was fascinated to go into a mainstream grocery store today to see how it differed from its American cousins. And the one that I chose, Cole’s, was a perfect choice because it couldn’t have been more conventional. It is to Sydney what D’Agastino’s is to New York and Ralph’s is to California. It’s where normal people go to shop and, because of that, it’s easier to compare the differences. So hop into my cart and let’s see what there is to see.
First, we hang a left into produce and spy boxes of something you don’t often see in America:
I’m sure you can find fruit mince pies if you really want them (probably around Christmas) but there were several stacks of these near the tomatoes (pronounced to-MAH-toes, in Australia, in case you didn’t know that). Next up, look what they call the arugula:
Sure, when Australians (and the British) come to our country they probably say: “Look what they call the rocket.”
And, as previously noted, peppers are…
Here’s something I’ve never seen before (seems like a nice thing to have around to add some punch to things):
In the meat section, the obligatory…
More interestingly, ox kidney and ox heart. When was the last time you saw THAT at Ralph’s?
Did I buy anything on this jaunt through the store? I did, an edible souvenir to take back to America (I plan to try it there with toast and butter; hopefully it’ll go better than our Marmite experiment):
Hey what are NAPPIES:
Turns out they’re diapers.
I think Australia’s jarred fruit is a worse idea than America’s canned fruit because at least with canned fruit, you don’t have to see how disgusting (and syrupy) it looks.
Now on to Twilight Zone stuff: the cereal aisle. WHAT ARE RICE BUBBLES? WHY DOESN’T THAT SAY RICE KRISPIES?
AND WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH MY RAISIN BRAN?
WHAT ARE QUICK SACHETS?
AND ARE COCO POPS LIKE COCOA PUFFS? AND IS NESQUICK A CEREAL IN AMERICA?
AND WHAT IS THIS MILO STUFF?
Phew, ok glad we got out of that topsy-turvey cereal section. The candy section has some interesting, enticing choices, unavailable in America.
And it’s rather shocking that Australians, not Americans, came up with this (unless this does exist in America, in which case I stand corrected.)
Bitters in the soda? You don’t see that in America.
Kewpie mayonnaise (which you probably can get in America, though I’ve never seen it).
Seafood-flavored Cup O’Noodles.
And everyone’s favorite stocking-stuffer…
The dairy section offers up…
Ketchup isn’t ketchup, it’s…
Tuna in America is usually just fish in water or oil; in Australia? It comes with…
Never seen this!
When they say “globes,” are they talking about actual GLOBES?
In the freezer section, entire shelves are stocked with meat pies.
Why doesn’t America have more meat pies? On second thought, America probably doesn’t need any meat pies.
Hey who’s up for beetroot dip? (Oh me, I’ve made that before.) But what is Savion Salad? Does it have anything to do with tap-dancing prodigy Savion Glover?
The mussels here come already cooked.
And that, my friends, concludes our trip to an Australian supermarket. Now who’s up for a bowl of Rice Bubbles?