Monday, December 12, 2016

A Shared Hobby

Michelle the Cook and I have a unique shared hobby. We like going to new grocery stores when they open in our area. Not just any old store, such as, “Didja hear? Food Lion has a new store opened up over on Hampton Blvd. Let’s go!” They have to be stores that are brand new to our area.

To be honest with you, I’m not sure why we do it. These places, for the most part, are far enough out, they aren’t going to be enough of a draw to get us to stop going to our usual grocery stores. I think it’s the interest in a new business and what kind of new stuff they might carry. In the past, we’ve visited the local Piggly Wiggly (a dark depressing place, that was the opposite of what you envision when you watch Driving Miss Daisy), a Kroger Marketplace and a few other ones in there. We made the venture out again today.

Aldi recently came to our area so we finally got out there to visit it. It was more of a morbid curiosity on my part. I hadn’t been to an Aldi since I was a kid in elementary school, because my father preferred their prices. The Aldi back home was a dingy, dimly lit store that seemed to have as many empty spots on the shelves as it did product. And it felt like a small box of a store. Not the kind of place I would take my time in, and for some reason, I enjoy grocery shopping (no shit, right?). In the past, I’d used my solo shopping trips as times to call my mom and talk with her on the phone while I took my time shopping.

Anyhoo, this new Aldi was getting rave reviews on Yelp and in the local media about it’s selection of products. I was intrigued, and Michelle and I agreed we needed to go. I figured there was no way an Aldi could be this great. Hell, we even had to take a toll road to get there and home again. But when we pulled up, I grabbed one of my reusable bags, just in case.

It really is that good. I stand corrected. Within getting three/fourths of the way through the store, my arms were full of crackers and cheeses I’d never seen before. The crackers alone might enough to get me to stop there the next time I have to be on that toll road. Hell, Michelle was laughing at me but she got caught up with some bread she likes and didn’t knew they carried. I did think she was going to hurt herself laughing when we turned down the seasonal aisle and my geek eyes spied a 31” tall Star Wars Ep. VII C-3P0 figure for only $25. Look, on Amazon Prime, he’s $35. I had to get him.

One of the other things I picked up was a wedge of Irish cheddar cheese with Irish Porter (it’s got Guinness mixed into it) from Happy Farms. I ate some yesterday when I got home and it was good. And I grabbed it today and threw it into my lunch bag.

I think having it unwrapped but open for a bit yesterday, and then put into a container, did something to the cheese’s flavor. It was better and stronger today than it was when I opened it yesterday. I’m not a beer drinker and I might have only 1-2 drinks a year, but today, I could smell the beer in the cheese as I was eating it, and it was good. It was almost like it was the essence of the beer, more than anything else. I put a bite of cheese in my mouth and inhaled (all of a sudden I found myself a little short of breath, but that’s not really the point). When I inhaled like that through my mouth, with the cheese in it (thank God I was sitting alone at the time), there was the Guinness, and it was good. Hell, I killed that wedge by myself in two days.

Turns out, next year, Lidl is coming to our area too. We’ve already made plans to visit it when it opens. I might need a cart and an extra bag then.

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