While everybody these days is star struck watching film stars at IPL matches, I have been distracted by a different sort of packaging.Walk into a modern day grocery store, say a place like Le Marche - very up market, very plush, the floors are so smooth you feel almost disoriented as you glide your cart smoothly along the aisles while ogling at glossy packets with stunning labels. They all seem to be beckoning you to give them a glance, a moment of your time. The sheer scale of gastronomical variety is astounding. " Excuse me, can I know where your biscuits are", I asked dwarfed, by the scale around me.And you're bombarded by biscuits made from every grain that exists on planet earth. If you're a diabetic, there are biscuits that are low on the glycemic index. If you're constipated there are whole wheat packets. If you want to eat oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies, you can take your pick amongst a dozen makes from a dozen countries. They even keep Pepperidge Farm cookies, the softest sweet bakery goods in the world.Then of course, there are food items that have become fashionable..whether its because they are now easily available, or whether some smart cookie decided to bombard the market with so many varieties, they would get noticed. Take crackers for example. Till a couple of years ago, if you wanted a packet of crackers, you would have to travel to Khan Market or Modern Bazaar. Today, you choose the size, shape and flavour -- rye, buckwheat, crisp, German made or Swiss manufactured, sushi or wasabi, Italian pizza or smoked barbecue are some of the new age flavours off the shelf. Go to the cold section, and as a cheese glutton, I can consume feta, fresh mozzarella, get mascaporne for tiramisu, the best parmesan for Italian. Whatever my little heart desires.I have to admit I am a bit star struck. I often find myself just gazing in utter fascination at the packets, the colorful labels, the flavours, nutrition value...for a foodie, its never been more bountiful.Aha, but all this star gazing is all very well...but like with everything else, you do end up paying a price for it all. Every time I stand in line to pay up for my groceries at these fancy stores, the earth shakes a bit underneath my feet. The length of the bill matches the loaf of my bread! With the frequency of my trips only increasing with the size of my family, I decided to take a hard look at what all I was buying and the price tag.
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