I ran to Trader Joe's today to buy some organic/local bread.
I walked back with two loaves of bread - Trader Joe's "Artisan" fruit and walnut, and some sort of whole grain bread. Not 100% whole wheat, and definitely not local/organic.
Over four years ago, I felt like Trader Joe's sold only organic/local/fresh/not-much-preservatives food. This is not true. I suppose I should take back my grudge against Wholefoods. So now, I'm not sure how I feel about supermarkets vs. open markets. Evidently, Trader Joe's does give the vibe of homeliness (with the bells and the handmade (?) signs, but in the whole bread shelf, there were only a few brands of organic breads. The others were made by various companies, including Trader Joe's own San Francisco (?) brand of sour dough and normal bread. I'm not really sure what my politics are on Trader Joe's, but the prices really surprised me.
At Fresh Grocer, a loaf of bland whole wheat bread (the kind available at every Shoprite/Costco) is around some $4.59, and there isn't much variety. The bleached white bread can go to around $1 I guess, but who wants to buy that?
At Trader Joe's, the whole shelf is pretty much some sort of wheat blend (I did not find a 100% whole wheat bread...), and there are "freshly baked" loaves of ciabatta, foccacia, and baguettes (:D). For a city store, Trader Joe's pricing is pretty good! It's actually comparable to that of suburban-towny-Shoprite! $1.99 for a baguette at Trader Joe's = $1.99 for a baguette at Shoprite.
So, I find it kind of weird.
The cheese was also better priced... a chunk of Wisconsin cheddar for $2.50 vs. a chunk of orange cheddar for $4 at Wawa.
Why is the
grass greener - I mean - cheese cheesier across the river? Why is stuff on and around Penn's campus so overpriced?
The (purple and golden) raisin and walnut bread crust was really good, and I find the toasted/baked walnut really delicious.
So, my updated list of Food Places to Buy Inexpensive-ish Fresh Food
Chinatown: eggplant, 白菜 (bak choi), cherries
Farmer's Market @ Clark Park: fruits and vegetables
Wawa: skim milk, low-fat milk.
Fresh Grocer: carrots.
The Spice Corner: juniper berries, dried coconut, teas!!
Trader Joe's: cheese, bread, corn/flour tortillas