Saturday, March 04, 2017

Nicole Locke: Where's the Choice?

There’s a poem I read years ago. It was about ice cream and a little girl. When presented with a choice between two flavors, the girl replied, ‘Both!’ If anyone knows of this poem, I’m desperate to read it again.

I’m not desperate about grocery store choices. Holy Moly are there a lot of food choices in America. And for a person who doesn’t like to shop, I am deeply flummoxed with the food here.

For example, I went to the store for coffee. There were 50 brands staring back at me. I’d like to say thank you again to that kind lady who approached me slowly, and now that I reflect on it…a little warily, and suggested a brand though I never asked her. Did she see my panic? Did she wonder if the store would close and I’d still be there?

I’d also like to say, I’m not crazy Mr. Laughing-At-Me in the candy aisle. Yes, every woman talks to herself while choosing chocolate bars. When did America get so many choices in chocolate bars?  Did I want chocolate with natural mint, with quinoa and black rice, with bacon? No, I simply wanted plain dark chocolate, but that was in a different section altogether. And let me tell you, you don’t want natural mint in your chocolate. There were leaves in it. Leaves!

Don’t get me wrong. I understand about different flavors. And in that, I want choice, but when the choice means there is bacon in my chocolate bar, I think we’ve gone too far.

Or have we? Should there be limit on choice? Because, obviously, marketing was done with a panel of people. They liked chewing leaves while chocolate melted in their mouths. So maybe choice is okay.

Maybe it’s not the novelty foods I find the most frustrating. Maybe it’s just that all the novelty foods have replaced the staple food.

It’s not the choices of food I’m missing, but the variety. Why does my store have 50 brands of coffee, but I had to find a clerk to show me where the green lentils are? I’ve been to many stores. Either the pulses are on a shelf in the back on the bottom and covered in dust (true!), or they are put in fancy bins.

Why are spices so limited? Where’s the yogurt? And why is staple food in bins with gasping prices?

I’m not a gourmet cook. One of my favourite ‘recipes’ is spaghetti, butter and marmite with parmesan cheese (thank you, Nigella). I’m not picky. I’ll happily eat those eggs and ham.

I simply want to be like that girl with the ice cream. Not with two choices of ice cream, not with only novelty, I want staple food like it used to be, too. But I wonder if I’ll ever get that choice….

I know I’m new back to America and shopping, but what's the strangest food you've come across?
Nicole :-)
To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.


Celebrating the Release of The Knight's Broken Promise, the first book in the Lovers and Legends series!



Anonymous said...

I've had alligator here in the States. It tasted like chicken. For ice cream, I had a love affair with chocolate with whiskey. I found it in Whole Foods. They stopped selling it a few months back. I hope some day I will find it again. Good luck trying out the coffee. If they sell MacDonalds coffee in your store, try it. I know it sounds bizarre, but it is really good and smooth. - Laurie Benson

Nicole Locke said...

Hi Laurie!
Chocolate with whiskey is a combo I would love. I used to dish up vanilla ice cream and top it with stem ginger and a splash or two (or twenty) of whiskey. I'll search for the chocolate with whiskey here....