Sunday, March 16, 2008

Life is a bagel field

So explain this to me. I used to do as much of my shopping in little bodegas as possible because big grocery stores have never made sense to me. It's not just that the big behemoths take an hour to walk across but the way they stock their goods is different in every damn store, even within the same chain. I mean one place puts cereal and granola bars in the same aisle, and another will put the granola bars in the cracker aisle. The fruit strips could be anywhere from next to the pickles to the toilet paper aisle. But you get used to it and just learn where they keep things.

This bagel question is bigger than that. Of all the puzzlements I've ever encountered in these places, this one defies comprehension and as far as I know, this is only grocery on the face of the earth that uses this strategy. But let me preface this by mentioning we're not talking about real bagels here. We're talking about the pale imitations that pass for bagels in these parts. The closest thing to a real bagel is a Brueggers in the big city and as any true bagel connoiseur knows, the only real bagel is from H&H in NYC. Something to do with that East River water I'm told. But I digress.

So the grocery store in question, an aging and rundown Food Lion where it pays to keep an eye on the expiration dates, is where I buy my imitation bagels and I noticed something curious lately. I can buy a six pack of Lenders in the frozen food section for a buck. They're usually about $1.20 but they've been on special forever. Over in the dairy section, lurking above the eggs, they sell the same package, unfrozen for $1.49. In the bread section, the exact same package, although it's unchilled by the egg case, costs $3.59 or so. And the store occassionally makes its own bagels that they sell for $2.50 but while they're the freshest, they're the worse imitation and I can't believe anyone who likes bagels would buy those twice.

So I wonder who would buy the most expensive ones when you can walk up half an aisle and get the egg case ones if you prefer them unfrozen and have already figured out the store baked ones aren't edible? As for me, since I freeze them after I eat the first bagel anyway, I've been going with the frozen ones. Why pay more when they suck anyway?

[graphic via]


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