Supermarket Tourism

Weird Al Yankovitch has a great song about visiting the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota. I know that some people visit Civil War sites. I have a friend who plans her travels  based on the mountains that she wants to climb. My parents used to plan their trips around beautiful houses of worship.


My husband and I love supermarket tourism. During post morning minyan breakfast on our first day in Cincinnati, ( The synagogue we attended served a big breakfast after services every morning.) we asked about great things to do in the area. We got lots of wonderful suggestions.  Someone laughingly suggested that we visit Jungle Jim’s. They explained that it was a giant supermarket that specialized in international food.


We live within walking distance of Fairway Market which one of my sister’s loves so much that she stops there on her way home from nearly every visit to New York. We also live within walking distance of Zabars, ( Although I would take a taxi or a bus home with all of my bundles.) Visiting Jungle Jim’s did not seem like a priority.

We had spent most of the weekend in Columbus and had returned to Cincinnati on Monday.  Tuesday we were trying to figure out how to spend out last day in Ohio. We discovered that museums tend to be closed on both Monday and Tuesday.


The sculpture garden north of town was open. The weather though was going to be hot and muggy. Not the best weather for visiting a sculpture garden, but we decided to go anyway.

My husband was driving and I had the maps and mentioned that we were an exit away from Jungle Jim’s. It was our moment to see the culinary wonder of the Mid-West.

As you turned into the parking lot this sign greeted us.


We were in the right place. I didn’t take pictures of the fiberglass jungle animals frolicking in the fountain in front of the store.

We went inside and discovered that we had stepped into a six acre food market. Fairway is great, but not  even close in terms of size.


There is a large standard supermarket array of food as you enter. But even there, we found some products that you can’t easily find here in New York.


Yes, we bought a canister for my daughter. Things started to get interesting in the International food section.


I had never seen fresh whole lotus root before.


The selection of Kimchi was impressive.


Would you care for some assorted burfi?


or some boondi ladoo? Or vegetarian haggis?


There was a large haggis selection.


There was an impressive selection of Asian food.


The green jelly actually doesn’t taste bad. The worst thing about it is the name. it’s actually bland and slightly sweet, like under flavored Jell-O.


Nice to see some Knoedel mix. I suppose one could was down the Knoedel with some Frooti.


You could choose which tilapia you were eating for dinner.


This was just one of the many shelves of English candies.



My husband did some price comparisons.



What did we actually buy? Artificially flavored bacon pop-rocks, some spices and bread and cheese and vegetables and a box of Bulgarian pomegranate juice for lunch, and as it turns out, it was our dinner as well.


After a great deal of looking and then eating, we went to the antique mall down the road and had a blast.


The prices were good, but given that we are still processing all of the STUFF from my mother’s house we proved that we actually aren’t hoarders and enjoyed just looking and not bringing anything home.


I had bought these very dishes when I was a college junior. They were .50 with each $3 purchase at the Waltham Supermarket. I think I had six of them.


I loved these Art-Deco sconces.They were a steal  at $17 each.


I know, this coronation mug was a giant bargain. We have a collection but it stayed behind. These are the ugliest images I have ever seen of this particular king and queen.


We also did not buy the truly ugly Gerald and Betty Ford plate or the Mamie Eisenhower cup and saucer. I am sure that someone else will provide a good home for them. 


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