There’s nothing like going to the local supermarket to remind you that you’re in a foreign country. Even one where we speak the same language.
It’s a slow trawl through the aisles with my list dangling from one hand and the boys trying to grab it, each other and any sweet treat from their pole position in the front of the trolley. As we navigate our way to the cashier, I realise that my list has very little in common with the food in front of me.
The problem is that prawns are called shrimps, creme fraiche doesn’t exist, a request for stock cubes caused the helper to give me a strange look and coriander is called cilantro. And that’s just the start of the differences.
Having been meandering through English supermarkets throughout my adult life, I didn’t realise that I have a subconscious British logic when it comes to the location of food items in a supermarket. And American supermarkets don’t correlate.
My lists need to change, my recipes need to be adapted and I need to remember that oils are next to pancakes and fruit is the last thing you come to.
But it does mean that these trips are an adventure, and are accompanied by a lot of ‘what’s thats’ and ‘whys’ from my little racing car drivers as we career from Mexican salsas to corn breads via a gallon of milk.