Simply put, Foodland at Pasadena is an amazing, nay, a phenomenal place. Whoever thinks that going to the supermarket is dull and uninspiring clearly has never visited this shop. On arrival through the front doors, you are offered the choice of citrus-tinged or cucumber-mint water to refresh your palate – before you have even embarked on your shopping adventure. As you walk through the store all the senses are put into action. Taste from multiple free nibbles at the end of the aisles and smell from the fresh produce from local farmers, breeders and cheese-mongers. Your vision is drawn to the beautiful aesthetics of every section; from the sea world for the seafood to the meats curing on the wall in the butchers. Your sense of touch is heightened as you run your hands over the numerous weird and wonderful produce, beans and herbs that you never even knew existed. Perhaps, for me, the most magical part is that your hearing is bathed in the sound of live music from either the pianist or harpist playing. Does any other grocery store in the world have a live harpist?
I first went to this Foodland a few years ago when visiting Australia. Even then, before its recent renovations, I found it amazing. I can’t lie and say that my husband was the sole reason for my moving to Adelaide – this store also had a big part to play. I’d had many a donut from their bakery in the years gone past, but had not yet returned to see what changes they had made.
As you walk towards the bakery section of the store you pass rows upon rows of fresh fruit and vegetables, organic and raw, ushering you guiltily towards your destination. You pass an oval cheese counter, with wheels of cheese larger than a car tire on your left – and on your right, layers upon layers of cured meats, as colourful as the Autumn leaves. Eventually, you come to the bakery, which rather than looking like a typical store bakery with shelves of plastic bread, is more like walking into a French boulangerie. Beautifully crafted loaves of bread sit proudly on display, the smell of fresh yeast wafting up. You can wander amongst the bread to a display cabinet of macarons, croissants and fresh pastries which you can help yourself too. Straight ahead is a low display cabinet of cakes, desserts and most importantly donuts, colourful and aesthetically pleasing.
Freshly made in-store daily, the selection they had was beautiful and tempting. There was lemon meringue, mint chocolate, strawberry, black forest, Nutella-filled, plain, jam-filled, and I’m sure more I couldn’t name. One was $4 – but for four, it’s a bargain price at $12. I went for two: a mint-choc for me, and lemon meringue for my husband, but would have happily consumed more. The rating of the mint-chocolate is below, however, I feel that I can not write this blog without mentioning the deliciousness of the lemon meringue. I’m neither a fan of lemons or meringues, however, one bite of this donut changed my mind. A subtle lemon custard filled a soft and fresh dough and was topped by soft, fluffy and lemony icing with crunchy shards of meringue. So worth a try, go for the four and don’t be afraid to try new flavours – cause no doubt this bakery will do it well.