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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Grocery shopping

Prior to our departure from Baltimore, I went into Seven Mile Market to get some nosh for our return trip. Last night I went to our local kosher grocery store. How depressing!!! The contrast is stark.

Seven Mile was well lit and crowded with people (clearly of varying hashkafos), saying, "hi" to each other. Ours is dimly lit, and all ten of the people there were either looking down trying to avoid eye contact, or blatantly looking everyone else up and down with out so much as a "hello."

I couldn't buy the cheese that I wanted because every single package was moldy (and you don't have to have a sharp eye to find the mold), even though the expiration dates were several months in the future. Once I pointed that out to B, he was looking for expired products. He found a dozen throughout the store. In the freezer section there is NO variety to speak of, and once you get your products home you ALWAYS find ice crystals, implying that these products defrosted and were refrozen at least once (this is thankfully no an issue in the winter).

Yesterday was no exception to the norm, and I had to keep revising my menu throughout the trip to the store because many of the ingredients I needed were not in stock (and probably wont be for months).

The worst part is the prices. The Jewish community of Motown is a VERY frum community, and the people here have very large families. Money is an issue, even for many of the professionals in the community. I really marvel at how some of these families manage (and yes I know many of them get public assistance, but many don't. Besides, that's an entirely different issue I have with Chelm, to be addressed in a future post perhaps.)

Whenever anyone tries to get to the bottom of all of these issues, they are always blamed on the poor financial management of the former owner, the size of the community, or the fact that our food is shipped all the way from NY (another big why??? Where is Chicago getting their food from???)

So if you live in a community with easily accessible, edible, somewhat affordable kosher food, consider yourself lucky. In the meantime I will consider my self tested by Hashem (G-d), because it's a real nisyona (test) to keep kosher in a town like this.


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