Walls of everything!
You name it, alcampo’s got a wall of it.
Alcampo is basically a gargantuous department store in Spain which stocks everything you need for the home, including groceries! It was one of the first places we went to for the basics – kettle, toaster, ironing board and to stock up the fridge. (Yes I used the word gargantuous).
With our list in hand and a red plastic trolley waiting to be filled, we marched down the first aisle – and this is what we were confronted with:
I have never seen so many different types of olive oils in my life. I didn’t even realise this many different brands, flavours and varieties actually existed.
This photo doesn’t really do it justice – it only captured a tiny portion of the aisle.
How on earth are you supposed to choose!?! What is the best oil for salads? For frying meat? For frying veg? Do the different brands really have a significant taste difference? I know the ones with additional flavour – garlic and chilli obviously do, but ‘plain’ extra virgin olive oil? Are they made differently? Clearly my uneducated pallet was about to be challenged.
And so would my sanity. I found myself agonising over every decision.
And it didn’t stop at the oil.
I give you the wall of jamón:
Jamón (said ham-on) is Spanish cured ham and it is delicious. It can also be quite expensive with some of the accessible ibérico going for 20 Euro for 100gms in the touristy areas…. You can imagine the cost of the rare jamón sold to the elite!
It is already a part of our weekly lunch/dinner routine – usually on a crusty white roll with cheese – bocadilla con jamón y queso.
Apparently carving the long thin strips is an art form and always entertaining to watch.
And then there was the wall of mayonaise:
Do we really need that many choices of mayonaise?!? Really? I’m embarassed to say that I went with Heinz. The brand is familiar and I did not want to agonise over another product!
And the walls and walls of products continued. There are over 40 aisles in alcampo.
You could spend days in there – if you had the time or inclination.
The alcohol aisles were equally interesting and cheap compared to Australia.
Bottles of Smirnoff for only 1 Euro a bottle. They are about 7 dollars a bottle at home (I think). Aussie tax on booze…. we can have a huge debate about how effective it is in managing Australia’s alcohol problems – but I’ll save that for another time.
And my personal favourite: red wine in a poppa….
No I didn’t buy it. But I was tempted.
And one last quirk… in the massive aisle of brand upon brand of toilet paper – I found:
YELLOW TOILET PAPER!
Can anyone tell me?
Why do they make and sell yellow toilet paper!?!
No I didn’t buy it!
But I was tempted.
I could have used it to bogan up a green and gold Australia Day celebration.
Can’t think of how else I’d use it….
Those who know me well will attest to my complete adversity to grocery shopping…. I’m bad at it, I find it boring at the best of times…The only wall I’ve ever been interested in is ‘The Wall’ guarded by Jon Snow and his fellow men from the Night’s Watch… but I’m willing to give alcampo another shot…