Are you familiar with Aldi? We just recently got one in St. Augustine, about 40 minutes from where I live. About a month ago, several girlfriends, my mom and I decided to go on a field trip to check it out.
Aldi pride themselves as being different than other stores. If you've never been to Europe then it might feel weird, but I just felt like I was shopping in an Italian supermarket.
One thing that is different is that you pay to use a shopping cart. You put a quarter in the cart and then when you return it, you get your quarter back. That means that store workers don't have to go around the parking lot gathering up carts. Because if you're lazy and abandon your cart (and your quarter), you can bet your coin purse that there'll be someone who will return it and make a quarter! (*cough* mom)
Another thing you'll notice, when you check out, they only accept cash and debit cards. No credit. And no bags. You either bring your own or you can purchase a reusable bag.
While you're shopping you'll see items that look vaguely familiar but they won't be your conventional brands like Nabisco and Kelloggs. The packaging is identical except for the name. (I bought Peak Bars rather than Cliff Bars.) And you'll also be able to get in and out quickly because the store size is significantly smaller. Rather than stocking 30,000 items, they only carry about 1,400 of the most popular products.
On my trip, they had some seasonal items so I bought a nice 4-pack of mustards imported from France. Unfortunately when I got home I found one of the jars had broken. So it then became a trio.
|Trio: the one that got away was basil mustard|
When cooking dinner the other night, I decided to use one to make a mustard vinaigrette. Since I had just purchased raspberries and wanted to add them to my salad, I decided to try the Black Currant Mustard. Success!
It was super simple. First I took a teaspoonful of mustard...
Then I added champagne vinegar (but any wine vinegar would do) and extra virgin olive oil. Added a couple of pinches of kosher salt, gave it a good whirl and BAM! Deliciousness!
A perfect accompaniment to a salad of greens, feta, pecans and raspberries.
Try it! Fresh ingredients, no preservatives, super fast. Why wouldn't you? I'll try the same thing with the other mustards I got too: honey mustard and tomato and olive mustard. Don't those sound like they'll make lovely vinaigrettes?