Sunday, November 14, 2004

End of a quest

When you move, nothing is where it used to be. This goes not only for your belongings (the book that used to be on the third shelf of the hall bookcase now is in some box somewhere) but also for your foodstuffs. Sure, any general grocery will have staples like sugar, milk, bread and eggs, to name a few; many groceries will even have soy sauce, udon, coconut milk or fish sauce (especially if you live in an area with a big Asian community). But there are always a few odds and ends that you routinely picked up at various stores in your old town that go missing when you try to find them in your new town. Only when you fail to find them do you realize how important they were to you.

Cut to the chase: I’ve finally located a store that sells Journey’s Borealis Birch Beer. The soda is something of an acquired taste; search for reviews on the internet and you’ll find raves interspersed with reviews claiming it’s undrinkable. I probably tried it in the first place because I’m a sucker for the Arctic, and the label with the shamanic deer figure and northern lights looked cool. When I first tasted it, I didn’t know what to make of it, but it was intriguing enough to keep me buying it. To make a long story short, it grew on me.

When the Whole Foods in my old town stopped carrying it, I was pretty upset. I kept wandering into the soda aisle and looking longingly at the shelves that should have had a full array of Journey sodas. No dice. I know I could’ve asked them to start carrying it again, but I’m not the most assertive person. I guess I just hoped it would turn up again. After all, the bonito flakes eventually did (but that’s another story).

Time went swiftly by (as it does in moral, instructive tales), to misquote Roger Angell. I moved and began to explore a whole new array of grocery stores. My new health food store became Wild Oats, which did not carry Journey sodas either. Then, a few months ago, Whole Foods opened up a huge new store on Rt. 1. Last month, I checked it out. I came home with too many goodies, but still no Journey sodas.

Last night, I was visiting with some friends and happened to mention my Journey quandary. “Black Forest Acres,” said one. BFA is a local family-owned health food store with two branches, one relatively near me. I made a scouting trip this morning and came home with two four-packs of Borealis Birch Beer. Life is good.

Now I just have to find those chicken chimichangas I used to get at Kings and I’ll be all set…

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