I walk through the front doors. My cart rattles as I push it through. A blast of cold, sweet scented air hits my face. The store is like a zoo today. Salsa music blares over the speaker system. A voice interrupts to announce something in Spanish, then announces it again in English. People chatter to each other in English and Spanish. I walk to the panaderia to snag a piece of broken cookie, which is slightly stale but wonderfully sweet. As I amble through the produce section, sprinklers turn on and I am awash in the misty spray as I select a package of celery. I head through the dairy case, passing a mother having stern words in Spanish to her desperately wailing little girl. I ignore them to pull a jug of milk from the cold refrigerated cabinet. At the carniceria, I try some chorizo they are sampling today. It tastes warm and spicy. I walk on past to the tortilleria and snag a rustling plastic bag of freshly made flour tortillas from the shelf and put it into my cart. I walk past the little deli and choose a tub of crema Mexicana. Then I’m off to checkout.
For those who don’t already know, Fiesta Foods is a real grocery store, but it’s themed for Mexicans. Generally speaking, all the employees are bilingual, there are televisions attached above the heads of the customers almost everywhere you go and they are all tuned to Univision, which is a Spanish language TV station, they usually play different kinds of Spanish music over the loudspeaker system and all the different sections of the store are named in Spanish. Unlike so many other grocery stores I’ve been to, the bakery is almost smack dab next to the front door and after that is the produce section. It’s also a great place to go to pick up more Spanish. So, believe me when I say, I didn’t make this one up. I only recounted it.