Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Savages and Russian Grocery Reports

In the realm of typos: it is probably better for carpet to be lavish than for it to be lavosh. You'd have to replace the carpet an awfully lot in the latter case. So I changed that line.

Not in the realm of typos: I just wrote a check to "Waste Management Savage." There is a town called Savage, MN, not far from here, and they are the source of our trash and recycling collection. There are also signs that say things like, "Highway Cleanup: Savage Quilters/Savage Jaycees" or "Savage Presbyterian Church, next right." These signs are a source of endless delight for me. I imagine the Waste Management Savage as a middle-aged Minnesota blond guy, thinning hair, kind of sunburnt through his scalp, wearing or toting an amalgamation of everything mainstream European cultures have made up as "savage" stuff about other places. He sits at a normal desk in a standard grey cubicle processing the checks for the waste management company, but instead of pictures of his kids, he has shrunken heads and the machinery-beadwork some Native Americans pass off on the rubes. This is the kind of stuff I think about when I'm paying the bills.

The "Savage Lions Club" signs just don't delight me like the others. Savage Lions Clubs are normal. If it was a Tame or Cultured Lions Club, that would be notable. But I don't think Cultured, MN, is an actual place.

Which is maybe too bad.

Anyway, Minsk Market of Eagan, because I told kalmn I would. So. If you're up in Minneapolis, you head down Cedar over the Minnesota River, and you get off on Hwy. 13. You take a right on Silver Bell and the next immediate right on Cedarvale, and it'll be ahead on your left, past the useless Cedarvale Mall. It's a brown building right in front of the laundromat, open 10-8, and unlike a lot of stores, it doesn't have windows so you can see in, so you sort of maybe wonder if you have the right place.

The right-hand side of the store is a deli counter -- lots of meats, a fair amount of fish and cheese -- and the signs are mostly in Russian, so I wished kalmn or aet or David H. or someone had been with me to tell me what I should try. There's also a whole wall of Eastern European sodas and an ice cream novelties case. They had pastries, too, and I have no idea what some of them were, except that several of them were bursting with poppyseeds or apricots. They have Hungarian salami. I will have to look more closely to see if they have the paprika sausage as well or if we have to take our chances on Kiev Deli's intermittent supply of that. (Probably they have an intermittent supply because they expect to sell only a little of it, and then rabid Magyarophiles come in and demand the whole remaining stick of sausage. They always look at me funny when I do this at Kiev Deli, and they looked at me funny at Minsk Market, too, but now that timprov has a rival in Biggest Hungarian Salami Fiend of the Household, it's really not reasonable to just get an inch or two.)

The left-hand side is larger, and there are more cheeses in the dairy case, including turos if you want to buy it rather than making it. (We will probably end up trying some to see if theirs is any good, but I didn't get any yesterday.) They also have several kinds of premade salad in there, and kefir, and heaven knows what-all. Really someone who speaks Russian would be useful here, but on the other hand, I have the feeling that the people who work there will tell me everything if I'm willing to go over the store slowly with them. Oh, and frozen Russian raviolis, I forget the name, but I recognized it while I was in there.

The produce isn't a large selection, but they have happier-looking rutabagas and turnips and eggplants than Cub Foods, on a par with Byerly's. Lots of dry goods. Lots of candy. I picked up two pieces of candy more or less at random: one chocolate barrel-shaped thing in blue foil with a picture of blueberries on it, and one that said in English letters, "Orange Souffle." They were good. The blueberry thing is blueberry sort of gel/jelly, much tarter than American companies would attempt to sell in chocolate filling and much, much better as a result. The Orange Souffle thing was chocolate with green puffy filling -- alarmingly green, but after I tasted it, I didn't care what color green it was. I have to stock up on those blue things, though. Whatever you call 'em, I want some more.

Unlike the clerk at Kiev Deli, who gives me funny "What are you doing in here, Norwegian girl?" looks, the clerk at Minsk Market asked me something in Russian, and then asked, "You speak Russian?" I do not. She was still very friendly, and so was the random youngish Russian man who didn't seem to be working there or buying anything or going anywhere any time soon. He was flirty, and when I expressed my willingness to indulge household tastes for various and sundry Eastern European cuisines, pronounced me a "good girrul." I haven't been a "good girrul" since Uncle Rudy's mother died. I found I'd missed it. The other thing I was with Uncle Rudy's mother was "susha nice-a lilla girrul," but if this fellow thought I was one, he didn't think it worth mentioning. (Uncle Rudy -- my great-uncle-in-law -- is the son of Czech immigrants and the source of my streudel cravings. Nobody could make streudel like Grandma Minarovic. Dang, I miss that streudel. Cherry or apple, I don't care which.) Anyway, I have a feeling that if I'd been interested in wandering around the store finding out what was what, they would have been glad to tell me, so if you go and you don't speak Russian, you'll probably be fine.

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