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Interesting Things I’ve Learned

Fruits and Vegetables–They come in many more varieties in Spain such as radishes that look like our radishes but also look like carrots and come in lots of colors. You don’t touch them, health rules forbid it. You put on plastic gloves in the super market to pick them up or at the organic section as at the Farmer’s Market, someone picks them out for you, weighs/prices and wraps them for you, wrapped, by the way in a heavy paper rolled into a cone with the top folded in to enclose the package.

Meats–Lots of choices, and if you like ham, the sky is the limit, both in quantity and price. Some of the cured ham, a Spanish specialty, can cost $100 a pound. The cheaper ones are around $30 a pound. You buy it paper thin sliced and it is really good. I bought $4 worth today of one on sale.

Farmer’s Market–Imagine the fresh meat and fish case at Kroger and multiply it 25 times with individual sellers at each case section and you have the Farmer’s Market. It is inside an area under the gigantic Parasols which were built over the ancient Roman ruins. The cases are thematic–all chicken/wild fowl/rabbit, all pork, all fish (eight cases), all fruit/vegetables, all bread/olives/candy, all herbs, all beef and all frozen foods. The meats are all on ice and easy to view and reach, but you do not touch–Spain has high public health standards with signs out. We bought a chicken breast meat and it was walking around clucking only a few hours before–I know, since as a kid we did that kind of thing at our home.

Retail Stores–Lots of specialty shops scattered along streets and byways. We happen upon them by accident as we walk about. Since people are densely packed in apartment living in the core of the city, they simply walk to the store they need in their neighborhood. It’s easy and we have picked it up quickly. Restaurants of all kinds are everywhere. You stop when you are hungry and get a snack or Tapas or pastry and a beer. The evening meal is eaten late and is the main meal of the day. The average people of Seville dress better than the average person at home, by that I mean more formally, even elegantly. If you bring in packages from other retail stores into the supermarket, you place them into a large plastic bag provided by the market and use a hot bar to seal the bag and then you carry it into the market.

I always pay with credit card and they ask to see your passport. At the supermarket, the checker I seek out is used to asking to see my passport in a little game we play. Today, I paid with cash and handed her my passport. She laughed out loud and wagged her finger at me. She now has a story to tell about her crazy American shopper. WEG

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11 Comments

  1. Nancy McCollum says:

    Seems like an adventure just shopping for groceries. I think I would enjoy walking through and looking at every item. Interesting that you don’t touch, and I like the gloves idea!

    • wgraumann says:

      Hi, Nancy! (This is Kathy). It is fun going to the grocery store, shopping there, and just observing what is offered. I love being able to purchase everything fresh that is needed just for each day’s meals. It is amazing being able to purchase some of the local wines so inexpensively that cost so much more in the States. It is also pleasant being able to walk to the store just a few feet from our apartment, never having to get in a car. People dress nicely here In public. It is not unusual to see a woman in a fur coat shopping for groceries.

  2. Nora Maloy says:

    Ahhh, yes, I remember picking up an apple and hearing NO TOCAR yelled quite loudly at me.

    • wgraumann says:

      Hi, Nora…Kathy again. Shoppers carefully follow the rules of sanitation with no touching of the fresh meats, cheeses, or produce. It’s pleasant seeing the clerks in aprons and latex gloves responding to your choices.

  3. Nora Maloy says:

    Oh yes, and seeing rabbits and pheasants hanging from the ceiling, still wearing their fur and feathers…now that’s fresh.

    • wgraumann says:

      Yes, Nora, (this is Kathy), it is quite fascinating as is also seeing freshly-caught octopus available. Only as much of the octopus you want is cut off for you. The calamari is fantastic as it is offered whole or sliced into large rings the size of a peanut butter jar lid. We bought some calamari, took it home, and Wayne sautéed it with onion and garlic. It was fantastic–not rubbery like the fried calamari that is typically served in the States.

  4. Elaine says:

    Sounds like u guys r having sooooo much fun! Love reading all about it!

    • wgraumann says:

      Thanks Elaine, we are! Today was a slower day and 70 degrees in bright sunlight. We are training to Granada tomorrow for a few days. We want to see the Alhambra, Spain’s greatest architectural treasure, before we leave Seville for Florence.

    • wgraumann says:

      Hi, Elaine! (This is Kathy.) It has been fantastic. We are actually sad when we think that our time in this beautiful city is coming to a close. It has been good for us to have an extended time together in one place. Tomorrow we visit Grenada and return to our apartment Monday evening. We love our time together.

  5. Greta says:

    I would be banished from the stores, I touch, feel, smell everything that’s fresh before I put it in my cart. Are you going to try any of the wild fowl?

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