Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In the aisles

Since so much of what is sold in regular supermarkets is so remarkably uninspiring, I found this article in the NY Times particularly intriguing. The author challenged himself to find the best-tasting non-gourmet, non-organic food sold in regular supermarkets. In our quest for good food, Josh and I have found ourselves cherry-picking grocery items from a variety of stores. We shop Trader Joe's for pasta, cheese, canned goods, cereal, dairy, snacks, chicken, frozen fish and wine. Produce, deli items and fresh meat come from the somewhat chaotic but infinitely affordable Caputo's, and Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) and Jewel suffice for last-minute runs.

I recently read that Jewel and Dominick's, the two grocery chains that dominate the Chicago market, rank near the bottom nationally in terms of value, service and freshness. I find myself wishing for a SuperValu, Harris Teeter or the new Sunflower Market, which just opened in Chicago (but isn't at all convenient to Oak Park).

What about you? How many stores do you shop? Do you seek out organic or natural items? Avoid processed foods?