Time vs Serendipity

January 31, 2019

Yesterday, I decided to buy some ingredients for Shakshuka, a groovy sounding middle eastern breakfast.

I had most of what I needed already in my fridge, but I was missing a crucial component: Harrisa. 

According to wikipedia, harrisa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste. You usually pour it into stews and curries or smother it over meat.

Alright. So where is it? I stop by a large supermarket on the way home from work to investigate. It’s a Safeway. Definitely not known for international foods, but surely good enough. I wander around for a bit, hungrily eyeing some soft cheeses (yes I know that’s how supermarkets are designed), and finally end up at a japanese sauce section. I ask a salesperson who’s stocking the shelves if there’s any harrisa. He’s never heard of it, and asks another guy who takes me on a tour around half the supermarket, only to come up with nothing. 

I had a feeling this was going to happen, and decided to check out a nearby Whole Foods. I ride over, park my bike and venture inside. Another wander around, and I end up at an aisle with some barbecue and chili sauces. Getting warmer. Finally, I spot it! There’s one tin of Harissa. Not much of a selection, but it’ll do.

Was this a success, or a terrible waste of time. The next day, I decide it’s the latter. What was I thinking? I had no idea whether either supermarket had the product, and although they were close together, and on the route home, it could have taken even longer.

A quick search on Amazon, yields no results either. 

But I think if it had shown up I would have packed my bags and signed up for Amazon Fresh. 

You lose the serendipity, but maybe it is worth the cost.