SUPERMARKET HEAVEN


I love anything related with food, from the perfect cuts of meat, spices, cookbooks, utensils, recipes anything to which you can attach the word epicurean.

My first stop is a large supermarket with lines of multicolored fresh produces. I see white asparagus, perfectly round red tomatoes, arrays of cheeses from the world, packaged food of ingredients I forgot existed, shelves of wine with names from magazines and trays of sea food with clams, mussels, scallops and prawns.

I reach an aisle with frozen products on each side.  The doors open to treasures of cheese cake, microwave boxes of exotic dishes and biting of things making your invitation a success.
I hear a familiar voice, look up, that’s my mother.
I see her at the end of my treasure aisle, she breaks my intimacy and shouts “let’s go, I am done.” Her hands gestures “hurry up!”

No! That can’t be, so soon. I live in a country where these things do not exist. I make everything from scratch; I cannot buy jars with the perfect blend of spices. I make the bland of spices.
I want to stay, I want to dream, I need more time to live my moment.
My mother is intransigent; she does not connect to my osmosis plea.

I get in her car and she decides to go to a Mexican supermarket. My heart is still in the frozen food section but who knows… I know Mexican food but “nunca en mi vida” been to a Mexican supermarket.
A Mexican supermarket in Durham, North Carolina, pfft!
So far from Mexico, that’s a joke!

On the right inside of the sliding door, I see a section of large trays with chocolate-brown shrivel up things inside.  I get up close and cannot believe.  The trays are full of different type of adorable chilies; guajillos, chile secos, pasillachiles, mulatos, habanero, poblano, serano and jalapeno.
I know a few but the others are from pictures in cooking books, they are here, breathing in front of me and I even hold some in my hands.
The top of my head and the skin on my face itch, I sweat from the dishes my thoughts are eating with these chilies.

The dry bean section is an assortment of small red, white, gray with lines or black pebbles. I have not seen or tasted black beans in 15 years. I love black beans.
Where is the rice? I want to explore the rice section.

I feel a tap on my shoulder, turn around and meet my mother’s eyes. She cannot read my look with a ‘Please, can I stay a bit longer!”. Without a word she nods her head towards the exit and starts walking.

What is going on! She is heading to a third supermarket. My mother is torturing me; she makes me love then divorce without my consent.  I decide to act blasé by not venturing too much inside this supermarket. I stay by the entrance and let her do her errant.  My feelings are tired.

No! Is that sushi?
A man and a woman inside a small island are preparing sushi and sashimi take away. The outside of the island has shelves full of bite size edible fish art displayed in trays. The sushi man looks at me with a smile. I smile back with a nod of approval. 

Within less than five minutes, I see my mother, Speedy Gonzalez, at the checking out counter. I signal that I will be waiting by her car.
I keep quiet all the way back to her house.

Patrick-Bernard

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2 responses to “SUPERMARKET HEAVEN

  1. Hi, am happy for you that your mother can still be “Speedy Gonzales” Enjoy your treep and pass my regards. Cheers

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