regardless of what you may or may not think of whole foods, when you live in a frontier outpost like dayton, an actual whole foods is like an oasis of civilization.  today i introduced E to the wonders of the new (and only) whole foods in the area.  this one was like a mega-WFM, several times the size of the one in NJ.  E was like a tourist, wide-eyed at all the wonders of an alternate universe that she’s never experienced.  there weren’t even store guards at every aisle making sure no one shoplifted or camped out eating, as they do at places like kroger!  instead, there were very friendly, respectful people eager to answer our questions, something rare here but routine at WFM.

this store even had me, the jaded jersey girl, impressed.  omg, they had a microbrew bar, with growlers!!  not to mention a whole gallery of eateries–wood-fired pizza, sushi-bar, a full-service reasonably priced  coffee-bar (actual good latté), and several other culinary options.  at the cheese section they personally made each of us a sample delicacy of brie with all the fixings, which we savored surrounded by big wheels of unpronounceable (and unaffordable) exotic cheeses.  at the bakery they actually had real challahs, which no one else has even heard of around here.  when we got to the bins of beans, rice, lentils, etc. AND spices, we were ready to just move in.  the produce, as i had promised, was a revelation to E, with items we can never find at local stores.  and even the fish section, in this landlocked state, was very encouraging and the employees extremely helpful.   (WFM fish is almost all responsible/sustainable, plus fresher than the local alternatives.) even the prices, if you shop carefully, are very reasonable.

all in all, a positive experience.  E never got to enjoy such advantages growing up poor among ignorant people, so it’s a mix of emotions, like someone emerging from a bunker late in life and discovering a world she was denied.  for me, it reminds me all is not negative while we’re stranded here longer than expected.

oh, and there was an indian restaurant and grocery store down the street, so there will be another field trip in our future.

note the dramatically black and white radish for sandwiches, rarely seen at other groceries.

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