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A Trip to Southall

by Krista

Southall sign

Date of Last Visit: Sunday, July 11th, 2009

The Victims: Sarah, Bernard, Arielle

The Damage: £7 for the tour.

The Background: Sarah (she of Freebiegate) texts me on Saturday night and says, “Do you want to go on a walking tour of Southall tomorrow?”

If you’re a London food blogger, Is there any other answer but yes? No. There is not.

The Entrance: I meet everyone at the train and the tour begins. We stop in front of this building. I think it is a sign from God. I briefly consider leaving the tour to register. I think I’d make someone a good wife. Besides for the cooking thing, of course. But I’d learn. I promise.

Southall marriage bureau

But now is not the time to dwell on my love life. Or lack thereof. We move on. To Quality Foods.

Quality foods sign

Inside Quality Foods, I see a lot of things. I see a lot of things I’ve never seen before. Like these vegetables.

Quality foods veg

And then these peppers…

Quality foods peppers

And then I spot all these paper plates, and I know that next time I’m throwing a party, I’m going to Southall. Because I can hardly ever find large quantities of paper plates, cups, forks, knives, spoons, etc. in this country. Check out the selection! Some of them even had little compartments.

Quality foods paper plates

After I take the photo of the paper plates, I think, “Man, people must think I’m weird, taking photos in the grocery store.” But then I see these huge El Paso cans/tins, and how could you NOT take a photo of this??? I’ve never seen this in America…and hey, at £3.99…now that’s a good value.

Quality foods jalapenos

I wander around for a while and I’m impressed by the spices. There are two whole rows of spices, I think. Lots and lots of spices.

Quality foods spices

Those are very small bags of spices though. Those would only last you a a couple of months, I suppose. Maybe you should buy these bags instead…yes, those are 5 kg bags of chilli powder, curry powder, etc. But really, what would you do with all of that?

Quality foods spices more

The Verdict: Fun. Really fun. Is that odd, for me to say a grocery store is fun? Maybe. Or maybe not.

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gastrogeek July 23, 2009 - 10:42 pm

excellent post! I love Southall, and spent endless hours hanging around in these shops as a kid while my mum got her supplies.

Kavey July 23, 2009 - 10:56 pm

I LOVE pottering about unfamiliar supermarkets, especially those specialising in cuisines I’m not so familiar with.

Most holidays (except safaris out in the bush) I make a point of visiting at least one local supermarket or grocery. I love it!

Mike July 24, 2009 - 9:57 am

Not far from where I’m living, across the border in the Lancastrian town of Nelson, there’s a store called Maria’s Cash & Carry that sells spices loose in barrels and in bags that make your 5Kg ones look like snack packs. What do you do with it all? Feed a large hungry family, I guess. I just buy small quantities myself.

Chris July 24, 2009 - 11:36 am

Haha the ad on this post in my Google Reader was for Dating Direct. Coincidence? 🙂

them apples July 24, 2009 - 12:27 pm

Man, that’s a lot of chillis.

Enough to cause somebody an injury, I’d bet. There should be some sort of warning sign.

Krista July 24, 2009 - 1:21 pm

gotta love context-sensitive advertising!

Helen July 24, 2009 - 2:04 pm

oooh interesting vegetables! Might have to schlep out to Southall.

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