In Search of Grocery Gems

“After a summer wallowing in fresh produce and farmers’ markets, it’s always a shock to come back to the supermarket. Many of New York City’s supermarkets are a thing apart from the well-lighted, spacious havens found elsewhere in the country, and like many in the city I avoid them by cobbling together a food supply from Zabar’s, bodegas, the Internet, Whole Foods and the like. This year, instead of skulking off to my local fancy food store (where the high prices can bring tears of pain at checkout), I embraced the assignment of learning to love my supermarket: grimy aisles, shelves of overprocessed food and all.”