elb's hovel of thoughts

Friday, March 25, 2005

Read prices properly!

While at Selfridges, I was looking around the food halls for something to get - and I saw a slab of foie gras (sorry for the lack of accents, my keyboard doesn't do them). It caught my eye - 18.99GBP per kg! For the split second where one makes the choice to go ahead with the purchase or not, the words 'per kg' were embedded in my mind.

I gave to the person serving me the order to give me 100g of the goose liver, which he did and promptly gave it to me sealed. I took it and walked off. Seconds later however, I had the urge to check to check the price, so I gingerly lifted the sealed plastic box and bent my neck and tilted my head. 18.99 pounds! Goodness gracious me, there had to be a mistake, surely!

There it was printed alongside on the price tag, 18.99GBP per 100 grams. Arghhhh! (note: such a price is indeed acceptable for foie gras, at least in London. Michelin star restaurants excluded for very obvious reasons.) For some reason, I had fooled myself into believing that somehow I had spotted a real bargain (read: 18.99 per kg, not 100 grams). So I decided I had to be rid of it, especially since I already had purchased some (albeit in a much smaller quantity) at Harrods just an hour ago.

I considered walking down one of the several dry-goods aisles and dropping off the package somewhere inconspicuously. Which I did at first, but a minute later I felt very guilty (the enormous price tag probably had a lot to do with it, but of course there was the feeling of wanting to do something right); I then retracked my steps and picked it up, and returned it to the counter, informing the lady there (the earlier fella was busy) that I just couldn't buy it and that I was sorry.

Admit it people, most of you have done it before! (the dropping off of goods at various other points of the supermarket; i.e. packets of meat mysteriously appearing admist bottles of ketchup, bread amongst the female toiletries, etc). But how many of us actually bother returning the unwanted goods, either because that aisle was too far, or simply because we could not bring our egos low enough?

p.s. Foie gras is French for 'fatty liver', in reference to geese liver (I think duck/pork/chicken liver is not allowed to used to the term foie gras), an expensive delicacy with an acquired taste. I'll blog about my first experience with foie gras some other time.

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