Grocery Shopping

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The Soviet history hiding in plain sight at Toronto’s Yummy Market

Photos: Yummy Market

When I was growing up, my parents sometimes read aloud letters from my grandmothers about the endless food lines that marked their days in Leningrad and Lvov. Some 30 years later, their great-grandchildren navigate the packed aisles of the Russian grocery store Yummy Market in wonder and awe: For them, Russian food means abundance and excitement. This isn’t the world my parents envisioned when they fled the USSR in 1979.

Yummy Market opened in 2002 and now has two Toronto locations — yet the Russian market bills itself as a “European food experience” — a rebranding that’s common across “Russian”…


An owner of this Philly shop reflects on the closing of a passion project

Photos: Green Aisle/Instagram

On Veterans Day, 2009, Grub Street wrote about the opening of a new food market specializing in local, organic, and gourmet foods on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. The shop was called Green Aisle Grocery, a 260-square-foot boutique painted the colors of key lime pie.

“It’s everything I like in one spot,” the owner told Grub Street. “It’s great for milk and eggs and bread or for more esoteric items that I’m all geeked out on, like dried hibiscus blossoms.”

That owner is me, and if you can overlook what I huge dweeb I sound like, the hibiscus bit…


While ‘The Irishman’ failed to highlight the benefits of unions, a Florida grocery store showed Americans why socialism sometimes works

Photo: Niko Tavernise/Netflix

Like it or not, we learn our history from the movies. Steven Spielberg, who long-ago appointed himself America’s seventh-grade history teacher, understands that. Maybe because he’s trying to reach 13-year-olds, he doesn’t credit the audience with knowing or understanding very much, and ends every movie with a superfluous coda in which the point of the story is explained. And yes, Spielberg’s version of “The Irishman” would have ended with a patronizing monologue about how we “forgot about da workin’ man” against the backdrop of a tattered American flag drooping in a low breeze above a shuttered factory. …


Turns out, connecting with a community IRL still makes a difference

You’d probably drive right past Horton’s Supermarket if you weren’t looking for it — and, honestly, why would you be?

It’s in a small, squat, not exactly gorgeous building plonked down just inside the city limits of a small town in the mountains of rural southwest Virginia. There’s often a car or pickup truck in every spot, and when you go through the front door, past the community bulletin board, you’ll walk smack into a wall of assorted Little Debbie cakes, located across the aisle from many loaves of white bread and zero loaves of pumpernickel or rye, around the…

Heated

Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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