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