Some days, without inspiration, you just step out into the streets of opportunity and can’t think of anything to do.
Today, that's what happens to me - In the distance, destiny moos and I hear it.
In an apocalyptic mood, I walk into "the" middle class supermarket and look at the bank of sandwiches displayed in front of me for my middle class delectation - pretty colours, all very neat, uniformity - no imperfections. Like some brave new world, all across the country there are about 280 branches all selling the same thing. A brave new world of choices that are all the same.
That is not a sandwich made with love. That is a production line. And where do the ingredients come from? How do each of the sandwiches taste the same as their comrades in stores around the country?
I see some baguettes and pick out a prosciutto ham, cheese, mayonnaise and salad sandwich in granary bread. You can’t go wrong with prosciutto I think and time is marching on – I don’t want to regret leaving the decision too long and run out of my lunch hour. I stop pondering and get on with things - in a self referential whirl I think that I can ponder this later when writing a blog post.
Back in the office, I tuck in. Prosciutto is delicious in this sandwich. Salad still works like salad – maybe the tomato was a bit soggy and the leaves were a bit boring. But I’m missing the important bit here. The dynamics of eating a sandwich made of granary bread.
Now then - granary. Should be malty. Not too much fibre. But this bread is purgatory. Any good and bad experiences my taste buds have had are neutralised by this experience. It removes the flavour from the other ingredients. While your taste buds are battling with the paper like flavour, the cardboard like texture and the various seeds and crumbs, the rest of the ingredients just get lost. You have the occasional flash of delicious prosciutto and the mayonnaise does its emulsified egg magic, but really, it’s all about the cardboardesque bread. And that is not much to be about. The only things to look forward to were the sweet caress of two standards - Dr Pepper and some really sugary chocolate for dessert.
I like the fact that Waitrose is run a bit differently from other supermarkets with “partners” instead of staff and they sell interesting sounding ingredients. But then it is all so sanitised. These people sell ready-chopped garlic. And I think that kind of sums it up for me. It's convenient. And that's it. New ideas shouldn't be convenient (unless they are new ideas about convenience) . They should be exciting, they should challenge you. And we all go into the shop, see the exciting ingredients neatly arranged and nicely packaged, buy what we want and walk out again without getting our hands dirty and seldom thinking about it.
Waitrose is a bit like its own glossy magazine (in the case of the baguette in texture as well as concept) – pretty, not much substance and a little bit disturbing.
Change from a tenner: 4.66
Time out: 10 mins
Stepford wives: 8