The first decision to make is where to shop for food. The biggest grocery store is in the department store about five blocks away. In addition to food shopping, you can get your hair cut, your teeth cleaned, and see a travel agent there. The closest option is a small Seven Eleven like chain which has most everything you need and is much cheaper than the department store. Our favorite choice is the local farmers market with meat, seafood, vegetable, cheese, olives, and fruit stands.
Your first assignment in the grocery is to get the milk for the cereal. You head to the coolers and search to no avail. What, a grocery with no milk? In Europe the milk is sold in paper boxes and is not refrigerated. The expiration date on the carton I am using now is November 1. Believe me when I say it took us a long time to find the milk the first time! Your next task is to find the skim milk and the lactose free milk with all Spanish labels. Grocery shopping can take a long time!
The Spaniards love their ham. You see dried pig legs hanging in most of the stores. They cut thin slices off of it by hand. I find it very fatty and tough, but it is extremely popular in sandwiches and plain as an appetizer.
You see quite a few things in the farmers market that you won’t find in Harris Teeter or Publix. For example: prepackaged mixed vegetables, pigs feet, rabbit, and live snails trying to climb out of their container.
PS. I got curious why the milk here doesn’t need refrigeration. They pasteurize the milk at a higher temperature and use aseptic packaging. This saves a lot of money by not having to refrigerate during shipment or in the stores and reduces waste from spoilage. The downside is that it kills all the good bacteria in milk as well as the bad bacteria. I am surprised Europe goes for it since they are more into natural, unprocessed foods than we are.