The Fresh Market Fetish

1 May

From our bountiful produce and high quality meats to our convenient prepared foods and gourmet cooking ingredients, you will find that we are commited to variety, freshness and, above all else, quality. The careful selection of our buyers ensures that only the best can be found at The Fresh Market.

Sounds good, right? Add to that the fact that everyone’s doing it . . . and I had to experience the Fresh Market fetish for myself. I went and bought one week’s worth of groceries. Now, I’ve eaten most of those groceries and have had a chance to reflect on my experience.

Initially, I expected that everything would be overpriced. Things were more expensive, for sure, but only some things were overpriced. I discovered that there are things that are totally worth buying and things that really aren’t worth the bigger price tag.

Totally worth buying:

  • fresh fruits – oh my god. Deliciousness. I bought apples, pears, mangoes, and oranges. The oranges were so-so, but everything else was amazing – crunchy, juicy apples, soft, juicy pears, and firm, juicy mangoes. Notice a pattern? Sometimes when I shop at my normal grocery store, the fruits taste like they were not quite ripe. The only time the pears are soft is when they’ve gone bad. The Fresh Market fruits had the taste and texture of perfectly ripe fruits (with the sole exception of the oranges . . . not sure what happened there).
  • Veggies that you’re going to eat raw – I bought broccoli and the taste was so much better than what I normally get from the grocery store!
  • Some specialty items – I bought Garden of Eaten (Paul loved the pun) blue corn tortilla chips and they were amazing! They were thick enough that they didn’t break off in dips, and perfectly salted. Paul loved the dried fruits and veggies, especially the Wasabi Explosion.
  • Fresh bakery items – we bought bagels and they were amazing!

Probably not worth buying:

  • Veggies that you are going to cook or combine with other things – I just didn’t see the quality difference here. I had lettuce and tomatoes on my sandwiches – they were nothing special. I used some spinach and tomatoes in chicken saagwala and I couldn’t tell the difference.
  • Most meats – not all of the meats there are organic, but I feel like you pay organic prices for them anyway. The only meat that we purchased that I would recommend paying extra for was the salmon.
  • Canned goods – the one excellent thing about their canned goods is that they have very low sodium content. However, you can pay less for low sodium canned goods at the regular grocery store.
  • Fruit juices – I am sure if you go the organic, fresh squeezed OJ you would notice a difference, but I just could not bring myself to pay $7.50 for a bottle of OJ.
  • Any items that are the same brand as what you would buy at the regular grocery store.
  • Cheeses

I noticed while I was shopping that most people were not filling up their carts like I was, but rather were purchasing only specific items. I think that I will adopt that method and only get what items I know are worth the extra price.


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