From the semester I spent in Graz, Austria in 1980, I knew that European refrigerators are small. Because of this limited space, grocery shopping is a near-daily experience, and, actually, I welcome it. It gets me out and about, rain or shine. It appears that there are two major “low price” grocery stores in our vicinity (and everywhere): Coop and Migros. I know there is also Denner, but I don’t see them in Fluntern.
Before we moved here, I checked to see how close we were to one of these and found the closest Migros, a 7-minute walk from our flat. We went there the first day, but we have not been back. It is very small and not well-stocked. Then we found the Coop that is very close to that Migros, and that seems to be our go-to close store. Then there is the Coop outside of the Hauptbahnhof which is really big with a nice “salad bar” for take-away lunch. H likes the Migros in the basement of the Hauptbahnhof the best of all.
(Underneath the Hauptbahnhof is the biggest mall called ShopVille. That will probably get its own blog post one day.)
I am discovering that each Coop does not carry exactly the same thing. For example, our nearby Coop does not have butter. At least, it isn’t anywhere where we can see. This morning I wanted butter, so I tried a different Coop – not as far as the Hauptbahnhof, but a nice walk from here. Thank goodness it had butter, as well as everything else on my list.
Here are some of our recent purchases:
Tomato paste (like mustard and mayo) comes in something like a toothpaste tube. We buy organic milk by the one-liter container. Our go-to bread is Ruchbrot – a loaf for about $1.20.
Oh, yes, I also buy the Coop brand bar of dark chocolate – only .6 CHF (about 66 cents). And I’m trying different cheeses every time. I haven’t found one I haven’t liked yet.
There are things that are hard to find, or very expensive here. No black beans. Apparently the peanut butter doesn’t taste good, so I haven’t bought it. I hear that sweet potatoes are hard to come by, and they had been one of my favorite foods this past year.