One of my favourite ‘tourist attractions’ in any city is their supermarkets. For me it’s one of the best ways to see what’s different about a place. After all, cuisine is a major part of culture.
German cuisine is perhaps not all that different from the British menu, a meal often being comprised of meat and two veg; with stodginess as one of the most defining characteristics. But what is different about the German food experience is that German supermarkets tend not to be very luxurious or even pleasant. In Britain there’s a real spectrum, from the poshery of Waitrose and M&S down through Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda; and toward the cheap and nasty Lidl and Aldi.
Of course, Lidl and Aldi are German companies, so I expected that they would be in Berlin, but I also thought that there would be local equivalents of the more upmarket British brands. There is Kaiser, which you see Alessandro G posing in front of, but I would call it Morrison’s at best (not a compliment). And of course there’s the food hall at the top of KaDeWe department store, but that’s like saying that Harrod’s is but a grocery store.
Obviously I was only in Berlin for a week, and I was busy shooting, not touring grocers. Also I was in East Berlin, which could perhaps be more utilitarian. Still, my certainly ignorant conclusion is this: German supermarkets are awful but inexpensive, and this is why Germans are so rich!
Alessandro G didn’t make it into the final cut of Elska Magazine Issue (02) Berlin, but you can see who did by picking up a copy, available in select shops worldwide or for order online. See www.elskamagazine.com
Also available is an exclusive outtakes Elska Ekstra e-zine of Alessandro G,: http://www.lulu.com/shop/liam-campbell/elska-ekstra-02-diego-s/ebook/product-22408352.html?ppn=1