There is something about supermarkets in other countries. You know that feeling when you go in and it doesn’t quite feel the same as the supermarkets you know and love at home. It is one of the only things I can think of that feels different, whatever the supermarket does and wherever you go. For example, in many bars, restaurants, hotels, airports you could be anywhere, at home or away. I have never felt that in a supermarket.
A supermarket should be a first stop for a modern day anthropologist. A quick browse in a new country and you can make pretty good guesses as to the local cuisine and the most popular products. In Mexico it is glaringly obvious because there will be rows upon rows upon rows of those things. I often wondered whether if you removed the tenth row of vegetable oil or tinned fruit shoppers would think “ooh I better not get those now because stock is running low, I’ll leave them for someone who is really desperate!”
These photos might give you an idea of what I am talking about…
Would you like some canned peaches or pineapple?
There’s plenty! Or how about fruit cocktail?
Excuse me could you tell me where the mayonaise is kept, I just can’t find it!
Tuna is very popular apparently…
There wasn’t enough oil on the shelves so we stacked boxes in front of them too
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others . Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.