a tale of two cities

In the last few days we've visited two vastly different supermarkets, and they really represent the ying and yang of living in New York City.

The first was Dean & Deluca, a supermarket chain of the gourmet variety. To call it a chain is a bit misleading - when you step inside the heavy double doors of D&D SoHo, it feels less like you've walked into a grocery store and more like you should check in with a maitre d'!

Here you'll find handmade licorice, imported cheese, truffles and caviar competing for shelf space with freshly baked pastries, jars of grilled veges and slabs of wagyu beef. Playing softly in the background is classic orchestral music, to help you relax while you mull over the pro's and cons of a $15 jar of olives.

We bought some brioche bread and croissants to have with the Brunette Praline spread we picked up last week, but with a little more time and money I could have walked out with bags of produce.

And then, there's Walgreens. In the US there are "drug stores" like Walgreens, Duane Reade and CVS selling cut-price wares on every corner. They're like a cross between a supermarket and a pharmacy in Australia: you can find everything from toothpaste and lipstick to cereal, milk and bread, and you can get your prescription filled, too. They're super cheap and best of all, the never seem to close.

Walgreens is where I went to buy cereal this week, having run out of the box of Raisin Bran I bought on my first day. It's hard to buy cereal in the US because most of the cereal boxes actually contain candy treats disguised as breakfast food! Check it out:

Golden Grahams. Reese's Puffs. And Cookie Crisp!

Cookie Crisp is literally a bowl of chocolate chip cookies. It was apparently created to recreate "the great taste of chocolate chip cookies and milk” in a breakfast cereal (?!). When they launched in 1977, their tagline was:

"You can’t have cookies for breakfast, but you can have Cookie Crisp!"

Seriously! No wonder more than 63% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Still, I think I have to try them.  But for dessert, not for breakfast!