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Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Old Dec 5th 2008, 9:33 pm
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Default Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Having just seen weakening GB thread go temporarily off topic and discuss supermarkets, I thought I would set up a thread just for that.

So, where do you find it easier to do you supermarket shop...UK? or Spain?

Here is my opinion to begin:

I HATE SPANISH SUPERMARKETS WITH A PASSION.

I've been in Spain almost 7 years and having to go supermarket shopping drives me to distraction. I've tried them all...Carrefour, Hipercor, Mercadona, and the cheap and nasties too.

I accept that there are certain things that are better in Spanish shops, and the fish counter is the one that springs to mind. But where's the bloody fresh milk? Finding a "non" Spanish cheese is hell (Ricotta being my most recent failed attempt).

I like to cook, but dread taking a recipe list with me to the supermarket as I just know that I will only find SOME of the ingredients. so that means painstakingly walking up and down all the aisles putting ingredients into my shopping trolley, getting to the end, realising I don't have everything and the recipe is rendered useless, so then having to go BACK THROUGH ALL THE DAMN AISLES AGAIN returning the ingredients that I do have to the shelves and then go home having WASTED HOURS OF MY TIME.

Please don't suggest I stick to "traditional Spanish" cooking. If anyone put a nice Puchero or Guiso in front of me I think I'd puke.

So there. I've vented. Now over to you.
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

smell off the bread mmmmmmmmm , supermarket shopping like it but try to do it when no ones around early , its has up and down , do miss think frm home , so when back in the uk i would by thinks cant get here
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

I think this might end up in TIO
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

I just hate shopping. No matter which contry i am in.
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by Jerezgirl
Having just seen weakening GB thread go temporarily off topic and discuss supermarkets, I thought I would set up a thread just for that.

So, where do you find it easier to do you supermarket shop...UK? or Spain?

Here is my opinion to begin:

I HATE SPANISH SUPERMARKETS WITH A PASSION.

I've been in Spain almost 7 years and having to go supermarket shopping drives me to distraction. I've tried them all...Carrefour, Hipercor, Mercadona, and the cheap and nasties too.

I accept that there are certain things that are better in Spanish shops, and the fish counter is the one that springs to mind. But where's the bloody fresh milk? Finding a "non" Spanish cheese is hell (Ricotta being my most recent failed attempt).

I like to cook, but dread taking a recipe list with me to the supermarket as I just know that I will only find SOME of the ingredients. so that means painstakingly walking up and down all the aisles putting ingredients into my shopping trolley, getting to the end, realising I don't have everything and the recipe is rendered useless, so then having to go BACK THROUGH ALL THE DAMN AISLES AGAIN returning the ingredients that I do have to the shelves and then go home having WASTED HOURS OF MY TIME.

Please don't suggest I stick to "traditional Spanish" cooking. If anyone put a nice Puchero or Guiso in front of me I think I'd puke.

So there. I've vented. Now over to you.
Well its no suprise to you to know I disagree, and I can only assume you lot are deprived down there

In our local supermarket we have two long counters and a deli with cheeses from all over the world. But my question is ...... why not buy Spanish cheese. A lot of it is tastless to me as I like strong cheese, but by asking we found a strong Spanish cheese that is lovely called Flor Esgueva.

We dont have too much of a problem finding ingredients for cooking or baking. We have a big choice of supermarkets and local shops and know where to go for what.

This is an historically agricultural area and we can get local produce at the local market which is full of taste and I can tell the difference both in size, taste & quality when I return to the UK.

I was in Tescos in Birmingham and in Sainsburys Birmingham a week or so ago and I can confirm that the choice in Spain at Carrefour, Mercadonna is far better. We dont shop for everything in one place, thats the trick. We shop from Carrefour down to the local shop, so we can get most anything we want ..... but we very very rarely but British produce as theres normally a Spanish counterpart
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Up here, the Spanish Supermarkets are far superior to those that we used in the UK, in quality, choice and price.
I London, we had Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons all close by, the best of those was Morrisons. Here we have Carrefour, Al Campo, Mercadona, Dia and Consum, and they are all fantastic in comparison. Maybe it's a regional thing?
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by valenciatim
Up here, the Spanish Supermarkets are far superior to those that we used in the UK, in quality, choice and price.
I London, we had Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons all close by, the best of those was Morrisons. Here we have Carrefour, Al Campo, Mercadona, Dia and Consum, and they are all fantastic in comparison. Maybe it's a regional thing?
I think it is a regional thing. However in England we have some great supermarkets. Typically we buy some certain items from certain supermarkets.
Having shopped in Spanish and German supermarkets, I have found the English ones give more variety.
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

I'd love a Tescos or Waitrose here, not to mention a M&S food hall. One of the problems here is having to go in about 3 supermarkets to buy what I want. Food shopping here is soooo boring. (unless you like spicy sausages, ham and cheese)
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by jackytoo
I'd love a Tescos or Waitrose here, not to mention a M&S food hall. One of the problems here is having to go in about 3 supermarkets to buy what I want. Food shopping here is soooo boring. (unless you like spicy sausages, ham and cheese)
I totally agree. I work full time and don't have the luxury of being able to spend hours trapsing from shop to shop looking for the best ingredients. I need a one stop shop.

If I lived in a small coastal town I would understand that produce would be limited, but I don't. I live in a large city where there are several so called "hypermarkets", but all selling the same crap. If all you ate was ham, cheese and fish you'd be sorted.

Mitzyboy - re your suggestion of buying Spanish cheese....have you tried cooking with it? It's hopeless. This weekend I'm trying to make a Spinach, Ricotta and Chicken lasagne. If I can find the ingredients I know it will turn out great. Wish me luck!
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by jurdyr
smell off the bread mmmmmmmmm , supermarket shopping like it but try to do it when no ones around early , its has up and down , do miss think frm home , so when back in the uk i would by thinks cant get here
Bread smells nice, sure. But there's nowhere near the variety that I would like to see. Where's the pan with semillas?, dark bread? bagels? nice wholemeal bread with lots of whatever those crunchy bits are. There's a limit to how many barras I want to buy in my lifetime. When I think of bread....I think of Germany. Now THEY know how to make bread.
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by Jerezgirl
Mitzyboy - re your suggestion of buying Spanish cheese....have you tried cooking with it? It's hopeless. This weekend I'm trying to make a Spinach, Ricotta and Chicken lasagne. If I can find the ingredients I know it will turn out great. Wish me luck!
Seriously ... seek out the cheese I suggested, the wife cooks with it all the time
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
Seriously ... seek out the cheese I suggested, the wife cooks with it all the time
But can you make a Spinach and Ricotto lasaña with it?

You describe it as a "strong" cheese - I need one that is mild with a yoghurty texture.
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Don't have any complaints here. I do miss some of the different flavours of crisps I could find in UK supermarkets but I don't eat crisps any more so I'm really not bothered.

In any case, I like Spanish food so have no problem finding what I need. I'm sure if I wanted to make a quality paella or guiso back in Kent I'd have similar problems finding the right ingredients.

Bread? Have you even bothered looking in a bakery that's not in a supermarket?
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Old Dec 5th 2008, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

Ah that age old battle, that noble fight, that place where heros are made and enemies fall, the debate over what's better, British or Spanish.....
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Old Dec 6th 2008, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Supermarkets...better in Spain? or in UK?

I have to be honest, there is a greater variety in English supermarkets mainly the ready meals if that´s the sort of food you want. Fresh milk has been readily available in Spain for years and we have at least six outlets reasonably close by. I can understand the frustration of trying to source ingredients for an English recipe, no doubt a Spaniard would have the same problem in GB trying to source ingredients for a Spanish recipe. In the end it is still the same old story, we chose to live in Spain.
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