Well, I have learned my lesson. Never again will I wait until Friday morning to go to grocery store for the weekend. You see, as a reminder, Jerusalem pretty much shuts down from about 3 p.m. on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Everything is closed, including movie theaters, restaurants and of course, grocery stores. So, this means that the world (it seems) makes a last minute ditch to the grocery store on Friday mornings in order to stock up on food for the weekend. For some reason, we haven't yet made a Friday morning trip to the supermarket (probably because I keep the house organized), but this was a first....and last. Though I can handle the crowds, I do not want to accompany Rafi again as his stress slowly builds while attempting to push a grocery cart slowly and impatiently through a meandering sea of people. Regardless, I thought it would be fun to take you guys on a little trip with us to the grocery store to see what you might find here instead of your local supermarket at home.
On our way to the supermarket we could not help but stop and smell the sweet and savory scents of freshly baking melt-in-your-mouth pastries and sink-your-teeth-into-them burekas:
So, yes, we did end up stopping (as we usually do) and picked up a handful of bite-sized burekas to snack on before entering the grocery store. And of course, some baby chocolate croissants to go. There I am eating my delicious cheese-filled bureka, a small croissant-type of pastry filled with delicious, melted cheese. On the right, you will see the dozens and dozens of hummus options greeting you when you come into the store:
But, even prior to grabbing some hummus and pita, you will first encounter vendors trying to sell you fresh flowers every Friday for Shabbat. Also, upon entering the store, you will be welcomed with racks and racks of fresh challah:
After making it past the flowers and braided challah, you will walk right into the fresh fruits and vegetables that line the entry aisle in the store. Don't they look delicious? It actually makes me want to cook, which I am slowly learning to do:
I am a sucker for last minute purchases. We saw this sandwich toaster below for sale in the grocery store and I just had to have it! Ladies and gentleman, you have NO idea what you are missing out on if you don't already have a sandwich toaster. It's the easiest thing and do and it tastes like a professionally toasted cafe sandwich. Just grab some bread and cheese (look at the tasty cheese options below, yum yum!) and pop it into the grill for about a minute. Out comes a perfectly toasted sandwich, warmed through and through, with grilled lines on the sandwich and melty cheese that stretches for miles when you took a bite. It's heaven in a sandwich! I promise to make you one if you come visit:
Once we got back home, we couldn't wait another minute to try out some of our new treats. Everything went into the fridge and onto the shelves except the pita bread and the accompanying pesto hummus and hatzilim (at least I think that's what it's called):
When I can, I like to go to the store with someone who speaks Hebrew because you have no idea what it is like to be standing in front of a wall of soup, for example, and to not have any idea in the world which one is the chicken soup flavor. The pictures on the cans, if there are any, never really help. Same thing goes for tomato sauce flavor, the meats and cheeses in the deli, yogurts and juices and a plethora of other items in the store. Usually, I just cross my fingers and hope for the best. It's really hit or miss! All in all, I do miss items from back home, but at the same time, I love the fresh quality of all the grocery items here, in particular the yogurts, fruits, pastries, breads, cheeses and dips!