On shopping

We are not “one-stop” shoppers: we have found many different sources for the food items we use. Some are in our own neighbourhood, like the mainstream grocery store, the organic store, the excellent Middle Eastern deli and bulk store, and the little Asian grocery store. Shopping in these local stores allows us to walk the streets of our neighbourhood, get to know the local merchants, stop for a break at the Italian cafe, and do a variety of errands in an “old-fashioned” manner.

For other food sources, we must travel a little farther afield, as with the local farmers' market, our excellent cheesemonger, the Italian importers, and the little Latin American specialty shop. In many of these places, we have also become familiar to the merchants, and they to us; a friendly greeting and a brief chat make the shopping experience a more pleasant one, even when in a hurry. In this manner, we get the best products for the best prices, and feel a sense of connection to our community and to the sources of the food we cook. Even when the items have been imported, they are sold to us by familiar faces and, in most cases, relatively small businesses. Their products matter to us, and our business matters to them. In this way, the process of shopping and cooking becomes much more personal.

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