Friday, February 25, 2011
Good food has lousy shelf life. That means to cook fresh food and drink wine at home regularly means you have to go shopping a lot. Even if -- like me -- you think going to stores is not recreation, but a big pain in the butt. To cope, I think of my shopping excursions as conversations between me and the market. "Hey, this looks good," or "Here's a good deal for you," it tells me. "Whatever," I yawn.
Hence, I offer this question: If Whole Foods and Trader Joe's were people, who would you want to hang out with?
My answer is Trader Joe's, hands down. I think that place is made for non-shoppers like me who love a bargain and a story. It's the only chain in these parts that is almost as interesting as my favorite neighborhood markets.
Why? They screen what they offer me, to weed out the crap (First-rate fish, peanut butter, bananas, chocolate, etc.) And they make it easy and cheap to eat healthy -- without lecturing or scaring me about bad ingredients. Plus the wine selection gives us tons of choice for everyday Porch wine, including tasty, local brands. Pity they don't have a tasting room.
In all, Trader Joe's feels like a worldly, practical, witty pal. While Whole Foods, in contrast, seems a bit snobby, judgmental, humorless -- more of a friend to upscale nesters rather than to scrappy explorers.
With exercise, the trick is to find something you love to do and do it often. Same with stores, I guess. Your favorites?
Now, if TJ's was only within bike distance from my home......