I just went grocery shopping and wanted a sweet snack, so I pulled a lusciously-red red delicious apple from my refrigerator drawer. I anticipated the crisp sound as I bit into it, but instead I felt mush, and instead of a juicy white inside, I saw brown. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me with apples purchased at a grocery store in New York City. So much so, I thought, why don’t I write about this? I know this is a city of take out and dine out. It’s also a city with a drug store and deli on every corner. Add in the street vendors and farmer’s markets, and the grocery stores have some stiff competition. Is it just that stuff on the shelves doesn’t move?
How many times have I bought stale crackers and cookies? Ice cream that has that iciness where you can tell it melted and refroze? Milk that spoils days before its expiration date? Shelled nuts that were green molded inside? Not to mention the dates just nearing their expiration. When I take it home, it spoils so fast. What’s going on? Where do I shop? Pretty much at Food Emporium, Gristedes, D’Agostino’s and Amish Market. They are the closest to me. I don’t go to Whole Foods or farmer’s markets because they are far. When you live in NYC, you look for convenience because you are carrying home whatever you buy. Either that, or doing one big grocery shop with one of those granny carts, which is still a big production, especially if you live upstairs. Some people talk about buying from Fresh Direct, but it’s hard enough for me to get mail and packages in NYC, that another delivery is just another hassle. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I like picking out my groceries myself. Have you noticed how many finger nail marks there are on apples? I want to pick ones that don’t have those marks. I like grapefruits that are fleshy because I know they are more meaty. For a city that has everything, something is wrong.
When I first moved to Manhattan in 1997, I fell in love with Balducci’s. Balducci’s had the most beautiful produce and meat department. How did it go out of business? Mostly, I shopped at the Grand Union and had no complaints there. I’ve noticed this trend in rotten and expired food in recent years. It’s got me wondering why. I’d like to know if others experience this too. I’m wondering if it’s just Manhattan or if it’s the outer boroughs too? Maybe it’s my neighborhood. I live in a very touristy area and maybe stuff on the shelves doesn’t move because tourists go out to eat?
I’m not sure what it is, but I’m tired of spending above market prices just to have things be rotten when I open them or turn rotten in a few days. I recently got a new refrigerator and it works. Trust me, something is rotten in the city of New York, and it’s not at Murray’s Cheese.