Tag Archives: minimarket


Refusing to bow to heavy political pressure from UKIP, this is the latest in my sluggish tour of the EU migrants of the biscuit world; a journey that has veered widely from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Išleri + Eurocrem, despite sounding like an Eastern European trance combo brandishing this summer’s big floorfilla, certainly falls squarely in the former category. It is probably the best ‘continental’ minimarket biscuit purchase I have ever made.

The not-quite-hard-not-quite-soft sandwich style biscuit is nice enough but nothing too special. However, Eurocrem, whatever the hell it is, is a sensational addition. Sweet, nutty with just a hint of the ethereal, it bangs your biscuit right up to borderline stratospheric levels.

At £1.59, this is not a budget minimarket option – but a luxury well worth shelling out for.

The EU Referendum Yes vote campaign should feature these sweetmeats extremely strongly, as a clear indication of the benefits an open, honest and downright innovative European biscuit market can bring.




Hypocrites, you may call us; getting all fancy with our Lavazza coffee on this here blog purporting to support down and dirty mediocrity. You are wrong.

The nebulous nature of average consumables means that somewhere you need a benchmark, and that benchmark is the local mini market. If it’s sold there, it qualifies. Lavazza coffee qualifies.

By happy chance, it’s also better ‘real’ coffee than almost any that’s projectile-puked out of a big machine anywhere: the £3-plus corporate foam/sugar combos, the £4-plus organic, in-season, roasted-a-really-specific-way coffee, all of that stuff.

It’s solid, it’s basic, it claims nor provides any sort of exotic complexity, transcendental experience, or feeling of ethical superiority. It asks no more than to be accepted as a sound beverage that gets you a tad hyped, helps you tolerate human company, and has a pleasant aftertaste.

The Lavazza slogan is ‘Italy’s favourite coffee’. If this can be proven scientific fact, then them Italians have taste, if you ignore the occasional preference for tight white jeans. Visit Italy*.

If the cheap laminated Lavazza sign flaps in the breeze outside a cafe, then, and only then are you safe to enter. But if that’s a little too much humanity-at-large for you, those home coffee-making pots can be acquired for a few quid down your local miscellaneous homeware store. Then, naturally, to the minimarket!


*We are open to lucrative sponsorship approaches from the Italian Tourist Board/ Lavazza/ Both.


random meat

Don’t deny that you’ve spent at least a quantum of time admirably upon the pink area of a local mini-market; the altar of the lover of random, plastic-covered meat.

The meaty temptations are almost endless: Silesian sausage, all the other central European ones, chipolatas, Chorizo, turkey-based Halal salami, Peperami, pseudo-Peparami, ham off-cuts and much, much more. I just dribbled on my keyboard – not saliva. No, actually, it was saliva. No, actually it was merely a dramatic flourish on the page and nothing more.

If this is not a temptation microstate within the minimarket temptation island enough, try adding a vegetarian Significant Other to the mix.

I have been with a vegetarian for over three years, and although this experience has overall been very much to my satisfaction, thoughts of Random Meat Sections enter my brain at least three times a day; up from 1-2 times prior to this era. Imagine how that impacts on real-world scenarios. No, actually don’t – I’m going to tell you.

The scene’s set: it is decreed that you must pick up some spring onions, some dark soy sauce and a pack of tofu on your way round, and the most convenient betwixt-venue minimarket has a larger-than-average Random Meat fridge. The eye wanders, the feet wander, the soul wanders in tow.

There are occasions where no Random Meat purchase is made, when I can beat my soul down, but there are more occasions when a medium-sized pack of non-specific preserved flesh is ravenously consumed within seconds of leaving the outlet’s door, salty water dribbling onto my overcoat.

I do not anticipate my rising love of Random Meat to curtail its pace – and sadly there is a chance it will at some point equal my love of the vegetarian; some would say it simply is a matter of time. In such a scenario it would remain to be seen whether she could love the man and the Meat (Random). It will surely be a test for the most patient human, as there may realistically come a point when I spend most of my waking hours ogling a food area which fair resembles the b-list selections of Dr Frankenstein’s lab. MMM, Lovely frankfurters.

ALL RANDOM MEAT – 9/10 and rising


The quality of minimarket apples can be variable; no-one’s in denial about this.

That said, while very rarely does the British minimarket get a mention in top fresh produce outlet lists, the staff of UK Supermarket, Stamford Hill should take this as at least something of an affront.

While the minimarket Royal Gala* apple of legend is pock-marked, of indistinct colour and flavour, and mixed in with tomatoes, radishes and any other item in a tray outside the main body of the shop with a reddish hue, UK Supermarket’s option stands above, haughtily looking down on your cheap stereotypes.

On top of appealing visuals, a decent but not overly-challenging crunch, juiciness without requirement of a napkin, and no unexpected disgusting brown bits below surface level were found – making this a stand-out choice. Service was about as to be expected for one buying a single apple, but not unfriendly.

*Although unstickered, the apple reviewed here was presumed to be of this type. It could have been a Braeburn at a push.