I found out last night that Rammy was going to be making the 45 minute drive to the Carrefour in Mulhouse (France) this morning so that she could buy some turkey giblets for her Christmas gravy, so I invited myself to come along for the ride in order to keep Rammy company, buy a few things myself, and...silently chuckle to myself while watching Rammy driving her little Audi TT with her seat pulled up all the way forward with her little body (all 4'11" of her) pressed against the steering wheel so that her feet can reach the peddles.
Oh...I know what you're saying: Those must be some damn good giblets if somebody is willing to drive 45 minutes in order to get 'em. And my response would be: NO!
The reason why Rammy is driving 45 minutes into France to buy turkey giblets for gravy is because after living here for seven years (Rammy - 14 years), we have yet to find any source for turkey giblets in Switzerland.
Yes, you can buy a whole turkey in Switzerland. However, they don't come with the giblets!
I've even asked for them when I've ordered a turkey at the butcher, and the butcher just tells me "Nein!". "But...I'll pay for them," I plead. "Nein!" I'm not sure what really happens to them all, but I'm kind of thinking that they all end up in France because they sure have a lot of them at Carrefour. Hearts, gizards, livers...whatever you need.
Along with the giblets, the Carrefour in Mulhouse also has a bunch of wild birds flying around the store. Yes, I'm talking about REAL, LIVE BIRDS. When you walk into the store, you hear them chirping. Then, you look up in the rafters and see them sitting there. Occasionally, one will just fly by you as if it's flying from one tree to another. Obviously, the Carrefour employees leave a window open at night or something because there are literally dozens, maybe hundreds, of these wild birds flying around the store.
Ummmmm....isn't this...oh, I don't know...some kind of health code violation? I mean, I saw bird shit on the floor!! Normally, animal crap doesn't bother me. I did, after all, always have to clean up after our dog and I do clean pounds and pounds of it out of King's litter box every week. But I have to say that bird shit by food that I'm going to consume kind of makes me...CRINGE! Am I being overly sensitive about this? Amazingly, Rammy, who's fairly picky about things, doesn't seem to be the slightest bit bothered by the birds.
To tell you the truth, it kind of freaks me out to the point of not wanting to shop there. But...shop there I did, because Rammy needed giblets and I went along as a passenger on the "Giblet Express".
What do we have to do to get some turkey giblets in this country, for god's sake?
And for that matter, Carrefour also has Doritos (we don't!) and Smoky Bacon, Jalapeño, and other assorted flavors of Pringles that we don't have here in Switzerland.
What's up with THAT?
The selection at the Swiss grocery stores has gotten much better in the time that we've lived here, and Rammy tells me that it's light years ahead of where things were when she moved here 14 years ago. However, there are still a lot of things that are available at Carrefour that we can't get here.
I want turkey giblets, Doritos, and Smoky Bacon/Jalapeño Pringles at my local Coop NOW!
...minus the bird shit, of course!
birds....grocery store....oh yeah, I can see that happening now in my local Dominick's....there'd be people screaming and suing over here!
ahhh the misty water colored memories of carrefour in mulhouse...did you ever do Cora? ten times more ghetto...
now we just do Carrefour in Ferney.
Coop in Geneva does have a better selection than coop in Lausanne (and in Zurich as I recall)...mroe French brands and so on. Better yogurt.
michael - You're absolutely right! Now that you mention it, I'm sure that my old Dominick's in Lake Zurich would have been shut down by the health department in about five minutes if had been infested by a flock of birds.
dp - Aaaahhhh...memories of shopping at the Signy Centre when Mrs. TBF had her apartment in Nyon. The selection of French products was great, and the quality of the produce was significantly better than the stuff here in Basel. Plus, I managed to meet the challenge of making myself understood with a combination of very bad French, German, English, and charades. Who needs Berlitz?
Oh my gosh, that is so unhealthy! Seriously, wild bird droppings can transmit occasionally fatal, sometimes serious, always gross diseases. As they dry up, they turn into airborne dust which people inhale and that allows fungus like histoplasmosis or other diseases to infiltrate your body. Ick!
avianmaven - I went to your blog. Wow! You sure seem to know a lot about birds.
Eek! I don't think you're being overly sensitive. There must be other (bird-free) stores in France to get giblets and Doritos!
Well I guess if you are used to have a wide choice then you miss it when it's gone - even when you actually only buy a fraction of the goods that is in stock.
Me, I always get a big headake when I am in a US supermarket and there's a trillion different products. Plus I have to walk for kilometres (or miles that is) to actually find the stuff I want. The worst are those coffee shops where you have to answer a dozen questions in oder to get a coffee. I just want a plain coffee, no sugar no milk, thanks!
cs - I prefer, and normally go to, the bird-free Géant in Mulhouse. I just went along with Rammy for the ride.
swissguy - The only problem with ordering a black coffee at a non-specialty coffee shop in America is that the coffee will most likely be awful. You need the milk and sugar to mask the taste.
Also, the huge variety at grocery stores is needed in America because of the cultural diversity of the U.S. population. Plus, the population is so huge that it can support many different products. My favorite is the toothpaste aisle; there must be at least 25 different types of toothpaste.
Hey... We've got Pizza Hut and Dominos, too! Do they have those en Suisse?? Also, to go along with the chips... there is no dip... so we make our own fresh salsa and gaucamole!! --Leesa
maybe you should join a crime circle smuggling illegal giblets into Basel...
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