Reluctant Capitalist

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Here’s the curse of an open market economy: Too much choice. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling totally paralyzed in most grocery stores now. As I scan the aisles of laundry detergent, or dry pasta, or canned tomatoes, I find myself gripped by a kind of shopper’s paralysis. Organic? Sustainable? No Fragrance? Whole Wheat? I think that’s why I really like finding a favorite brand and sticking with it. I’m a loyal shopper. I’m also a loyal diner. When I find something I like, I have a hard time deviating from it. That’s why I will always order French fries and fruit crisp at Universal Café, and the Vietnamese crepe at Sunflower. Creature of habit, I guess.

At Bi-Rite creamery, I remain steadfastly loyal to the salted caramel ice cream, and I know I’m not alone. That flavor makes people raving mad with joy and love, so blinded that it’s hard to venture out and try another flavor. So I was actually happy when, at the conclusion of my dinner at Gialina last night, their compact little dessert menu featured two Bi-Rite flavors, neither of which were salted caramel. Last night’s options were two I never would have ordered if it weren’t for the lack of SC—strawberry balsamic and mint chocolate chip (OK, maybe the mint, but never the strawberry). But I was in a dessert mood (I am nearly always in a dessert mood) so we got both. The surprise winner—and the runaway favorite of the table—was the strawberry balsamic. Ah, that’s right—change is good, isn’t it?

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