My husband and I have just moved to Brussels, Belgium from the Atlanta, Georgia area. We're embarking on this new adventure with little-to-no knowledge of the languages or the city, but we know we have the support of friends and family. And how hard can it be to move to a place with great beer, chocolate and frites and whose city mascot is a little peeing boy?!
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Thursday, February 16, 2012
There's a petting zoo in my grocery store.
The other day, Brett and I did a whole bunch of shopping. Nothing glamorous, but usual, essential stuff to take care of the house and stock the fridge. We've visited the big, the small and the really small grocery stores here but ,yesterday, we went to the good store--the Super Target of Brussels. It's called Carrefours Planet. The dry goods (clothes, household stuff, etc.) are on par with a Dollar Store or, maybe, WalMart. Cheap Chinese crap. However, the grocery store is better than any Whole Foods that I've ever visited with a few exotic exceptions. We have tried to get the photos to come out right, but we just failed so turn your head or your computer to the left.
First, there's a petting zoo in the store. There's a pony, a little lamb, a baby goat, little baby duckies and a whole bunch of bunnies...BUT THEY ARE ALL DEAD. The Belgians evidently like to eat a petting zoo.
Here are some of examples.
The Filet de Cheval...little bit of Flicka, Mr. Ed, Black Beauty. Nooooo!!!! This did not go in our grocery cart. (It was a buggy in Georgia, but it's a chariot in Brussels.)
Here we have a demi-chevre or half a baby goat. What's for dinner, Mom? Oh, boy, half a baby goat. The issue is that the Europeans are must more familar with their meat as meat. Not like Micky D's or Chick-fil-A but here one sees the whole animal, looking very much like an animal, and, lately, the vegetarian stuff is pretty appealing.
The lapin is a bunny. People here eat bunnies. I do not eat bunnies. One of my first sentences in French is "Je ne mange pas le lapin. Je l'aime le lapin." or "I don't eat the bunny. I love the bunny." I find it really upsetting that my favorite furry forest friend is in the meat market at my grocery store.
However, there are some good qualities as well.
The Fromagerie.....hundreds of different and beautiful cheeses. Cheap and tasty and exotic and wonderful and a huge variety of cheeses. Brett and I have been trying a lot of the cheese that isn't sold in the United States because it isn't pasteurized. We have suffered absolutely no ill effects from this cheese unless you count the excess calories and becoming a little "bound up."
Then, there's the BREAD. This is Brett on one side of the Brett aisle and the next picture is part of the other side of the bread aisle. You go to the store and buy FRESH hot bread. All kinds. We have a favorite--a big square loaf of crusty country bread. And with the cheese...incroyable!!
Le poisson, le poisson, how I love the poisson! Such a sweet little delicate crab! We have a full-on fishmarket in our market. I have (nor does Brett) no idea how to cook these fish with their heads and tails on. But we will learn. The North Sea is only an hour away (north, of course) so we will have the best sea food ever.
Finally, there is a beer-tasting and cheese-tasting at the grocery store. With all due respect to Costco samples (which were pretty wonderful), this store has beer and cheese. Of course, it took Brett three or four glasses (full glasses) of beer and a bunch of cheese to decide which beer he liked. We bought all three. The beer here is about 10% alcohol so that may have had some influence on his decision.