Warning: Unashamedly self-indulgent post ahead.
Do you know what’s underrated in my book?
I genuinely take pleasure in wandering around a loud and busy supermarket spending my hard-earned baht on whatever whimsy happens to take my fancy that day. Maybe it’ll be some fresh baked charcoal buns, an overpriced avocado – or maybe even some bacon-flavoured chicken snacks for my dogs.
That’s right – bacon-flavoured chicken. For, you know, when your dog fancies some chicken but prefers the taste of bacon. Or something.
Confession time: I actually prefer buying groceries to clothes shopping.
Gourmet Market is my top grocery spot – there’s a wide selection of products; it’s more convenient to get to than Big C or Lotus; and it’s marginally easier on the old bank balance than Villa Market – and so you can catch me on a jaunt around the EmQuartier branch about once a week.
I’m the crazy-eyed farang getting overly excited at the sausage sample counter.
Anyway, if you’ll pardon the self-indulgence, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I picked up from my latest Gourmet trawl, which range from the utterly banal to the plain weird (green fish eggs, anyone?).
It’s always fun to see how other people spend their money, right?!
Without further ado, enter the contents of my shopping bags…
So I’ll start with the fresh produce – a couple of grass-fed Australian striploins (together totalling around 250 baht), some imported tenderstem broccoli, a not-yet-ripe avocado (for an eye-watering 89 baht!) and some garlic cloves.
I’m pretty sure buying the garlic pre-peeled reduces the strength of its flavour but I do love the efficiency of not having to peel it myself. Not to mention that buying it like this ensures there’s no stinky fingernails!
Next we’ve got a salad bowl which I’ve filled with grilled onions, mixed mushrooms, tomatoes, olives and some fennel. It’s priced by weight and this one came to around 150 baht – it would be much cheaper if you filled it with leaves, fruits and dressings like a normal salad-eater.
The salad station, with its wide selection of produce and fill-it-yourself policy, is definitely one of Gourmet Market’s best attractions and frequently the busiest counter in the store.
If you’re after free range eggs, Gourmet Market should be on your radar. This box here was around 70 baht and promises an antibiotic- and hormone-free omelette.
The rice was around 60 baht and comes up trumps in the old rice cooker although I’ve no idea whether its slogan – “more natural and healthier” – has any basis in facts.
This 99 baht juice ended up in my basket because I was so tickled by its name – No No Blow – which I assume is a reference to its powers of reducing flatulence and indigestion. Sadly, I was so distracted by this that I totally forgot to ask what fruit it was actually juiced from.
Regardless, it promises to be 100% raw with no added sugar – always a winner, in my book.
Staying on the drinks theme comes a couple of beers from Scottish craft brewery, BREWDOG.
I used to knock back a few of these when I lived in the UK so it’s nice to get my mitts on some in Bangkok.
Gourmet Market have a great selection of international brews, stretching from other European suppliers to ones much closer to home. I think they’re yet to stock Beer Lao Dark, however, unfortunately – one of my favourite SEA beers.
Next comes the grocery shopping wildcard – the so-called The Sea Grapes.
This 89 baht tub is actually full of green fish eggs which turned out to be surprisingly delicious – less salty than caviar but with the same refreshing moisture burst when you bite into them. Highly recommended!
Here we’ve got an organic coconut body cream for 199 baht – I love its rich, passion fruit aroma – and a tiny 75 baht container of cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil which I’ll use for oil-pulling purposes.
This sumptuous looking cakes – Strawberry Shortcake and Salted Caramel – aren’t actually from Gourmet Market.
They’re from the RADI counter just outside.
I made the executive decision to include them after demolishing them just now. They are utterly delicious – light and fluffy flavoured sponge with a velvety cream topping.
Undoubtedly the best way to end a grocery shop at Gourmet Market.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever bought at Gourmet Market? Does anything beat bacon-flavoured chicken dog snacks?