I love shopping "properly" for food! (Does a Tom Cruise stylee jump on the sofa!)
Yes there are huge shopping centres and big supermarkets too but if you lament the loss of a great butchers and a friendly fishmonger on the British High St, then Melbourne doesn't disappoint.
Melbourne has some fantastic markets; South Melbourne, Prahran and The Queen Victorian to name a few. Browsing stall after stall oozing with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, dried goods, spices etc is a passion of mine. They also have lots of cafes and all sorts of entertainment too like cookery schools and food festivals.
I never understood my Dad's fixation with DIY/Hardware stores. He would browse through rows and rows of nuts, bolts and screws much to my disdain. "A screw is not just a screw, there are round heads, flat heads, all different sizes, lengths and they all do different jobs" he would explain. Dad I get it now, I could apply your logic to a Chili just the same!
I love walking to my local High St and going to a real butcher or fishmonger for fresh meats and fish. Often they ask me what I am cooking and I enjoy sharing recipes and cooking methods with them and there is always a bit of banter, of course!
The fruit and vegetables here are not only abundant in variety and at peak freshness but taste absolutely delicious. I had forgotten that a tomato and an apple don't taste of water after all.
I love the diversity of food too. I can buy orange, red and white sweet potatoes, passionfruits, pomegranates, persimmons, paw paw, mangoes and avocados straight from paradise. The lemon grass, galanghal, ginger and garlic not to mention the chillies are so fresh and pungent, less is definitely more!
The diversity of food in Melbourne is also wonderful. Whatever your taste, there is a restaurant for you - not far away. There's Italian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, French, African, Portuguese even Croatian (comes up for air) and of course delectable Seafood too.
We are just a bit spoilt and the added lbs are testament to that!