Funny Things Europeans Say About Food
“They put fruit next to the cash register because they want people to eat it”
Last night I was breaking out my wallet to pay for groceries at my neighbourhood supermarket when the clerk said something that made me question my Spanish —
“You know if you spend 35 euros and if more than 10 euros of your bill is spent on fresh fish, fruit and/or vegetables you get 10 euros off your entire bill? Your bill is 28 euros, and most of it is fruit. If I were you I would go back and get some more groceries, because you will have more food, and your bill will be less.”
I am guessing this is the first time you are hearing these words as well, so let me break it down for you in simple terms — At my local grocery store, if you spend 35 euros, and 10 euros is spent on fresh produce, you only pay 25 euros.
I will be the first to admit that I have not lived in the US for the last eight years, and when I am home, I tend to not spend my time learning supermarket trends. But when thinking about how I have been able to keep off the 60 pounds I lost shortly after moving to Catalunya, I could not help but think that I have a huge advantage over people in the US regarding staying healthy.
If you currently live in the US my intention of this post is to not wave in your face how easy it is to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, it is to get you thinking about making healthier choices going forward.
To break it up from your standard, “Do this, not that,” article, I have comprised a series of quotes that I have collected over the last eight years (some from people as young as three years old) that got me thinking that maybe these people are onto something regarding not only how to live a healthy life, but also how to live a good one.
“Do you want more?” — Me
“No. I feel good and I don’t want to ruin that.” — My three year old son
“Ice cream? On a Tuesday? Oh God is it your birthday?” — my wife being dead serious on our second date
“Look at him. He’s putting pasta on top of bread. No wonder he has a belly.” — My eight year old nephew not whispering during my first holiday dinner because he thought I could not understand Catalan.
“What kind of salad dressing do you have?” — Me
“Olive oil and vinegar.” — The waitress
“Why is there fruit next to the cash register instead of candy bars?” — Me
“Because it’s on sale and they want people to eat it before it goes bad.” — My wife
“On the way home can you stop by the bean store and get some chickpeas?” — My wife
“Sure but what’s that?” — Me
“The little round things used to make hummus.” — My wife
“I know what chickpeas are. What’s the bean store?” — Me
“The store that sells the beans.” — My wife
I would later learn the place is only open from 10am to 1pm Monday through Saturday, and the line out the door I found when I went, was short. So essentially a store thrives just selling beans being open while the whole world is working.
“Are we going to be sitting in here all day talking?” — Me
“You got something better to do than eat good food and talk to your friends? You might want to try slowing down.”— My wife
“My God what do they do to these beans?” — Me
“They take a spoon and scoop them out of a bucket and then put them in a plastic bag to weigh them.” — My wife
“No, I mean, what do they do to make them taste so good?” — Me
“They’re just beans man.” — My wife
“I didn’t know you smoked?” — Me
“Only a couple a day.” — A high majority of people I speak to
“How do you do that?” — Me
“I smoke when I want one, not when I think I need one.” — A high majority of people I speak to
“Where are we going to pre-game before the game?” — Me
“What does pregame mean?” — My buddy
“It’s the party before the game where people get drunk.” — Me
“Why would you do that? You would miss the game?” — My buddy
“This vegetable soup is incredible, what’s in it?” — Me
“Vegetables.” — My wife (seeing a trend?)
“It’s time for dessert. Who wants mixed fruit?” — My mother-in-law
“Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.” — My son and his cousins
No complaining. No where is the ice cream. No not again. But rather kids who have for all their life considered fruit to be dessert.
“This cake is good but it is missing the icing. You think they have any icing?” — Me
“Please don’t embarrass me.” — My wife
“Do you have any BBQ sauce?” — Me
“Is there something wrong with your steak?” — Most waiters
“Is there anywhere in town to get a big breakfast with pancakes?” — Me
“Why would you want to be tired after you wake up. Are you depressed?” — My mother-in-law