A few days ago my mother called and told me about a problem that left her in a pickle. Actually, the problem was a pickle and the problem left her with a pickle of a problem.
You see, my dad is a person of routine. For as long as I can remember, he would set a routine, he followed that routine, and he rarely found reason to change it. He’s still the same person. Mom makes his late-night supper. It’s pretty much the same every night: bologna sandwich with mayo and bread and butter pickles.
Dad doesn’t get out much since he can barely walk, and Mom doesn’t get out much, because…well…Dad can barely walk. But every once in awhile, they need food or something, and she will make her way to the store to buy whatever it is. Occasionally, that thing is a jar of bread and butter pickles. Not just any bread and butter pickles. Dad likes Mt. Olive brand. (ughh…give me Vlasic…I guess it’s ok to be picky about pickle brands because…I’M picky about them, aren’t you?)
So, not too long ago Mom went to the grocery store and picked a pack of pickles. OK…a jar of pickles. She doesn’t like the larger jars because they’re heavier and every night she has to lug the jar out of the fridge without dropping it.
What she didn’t know was that in central Florida the demographics of grocery store shoppers has changed the pickle inventory. The state which has a Spanish name has been becoming more and more a Spanish state, partly due to quite a number of Mexicans who have a taste for spicy foods.
It wasn’t until she got home from the store that she realized that the only small jar of Mt. Olive bread and butter pickles on the shelf came with a strange flavor: Chipotle (except she pronounced it in her impeccable rural Midwestern English “Chi-po-tee”…the “l” must be hard to see which it probably is).
She didn’t know bread and butter pickles came in flavors (I didn’t either), and she had no idea what “Chipotee” pickles tasted like. She tried one. Oooo-la-la! Spicy. Too spicy for her taste buds. She said she could probably get used to that but why?
Now she was left in…hate to say it…a pickle. She still needed bread and butter pickles for Dad’s nightly eating ritual and so she’d have to go to a different grocery store to get his pickles. She managed to get to another store and finally bring home the all-important jar of bread and butter pickles. But wait….
Yeah…you guessed it. She got home and read the jar: “Chipotee.” Oh no. Not again! So, if any of you are in central Florida and would like a free jar of Chipotee bread and butter pickles, I know where you can get it. It’ll be unopened when you get there. There’s an open one you can have too. You can trust them.
Pickles are pretty hard to come by here in Mexico. Sam’s and Costco carry an off-brand that is so acidic the pickles literally burn your throat trying to get them down, and they leave sores in your mouth. I avoid those.
Ironically, our Mexican supermarket chain called Soriana has been introducing an American generic brand for an assortment of unrelated items throughout the store. We like to go there from time to time to go on a sort of generic-product Easter egg hunt to see if there is some American generic food that we haven’t discovered yet. This week we picked up some fake blueberry muffin mixes and a bag of Big Dippers Corn Chips (which were delicious until the bottom 1/3 of the bag and then the rest of the chips were oily…it was tough to eat those, but I managed!).
Guess what else I found there this week? Yup…and not even Chipotee-flavored!
So, you may not be able to find plain ol’ bread and butter pickles in central Florida because of all the Mexican shoppers, but here in central Mexico, you can get them because of at least two American shoppers!