Online food shopping experiences - good, bad or ...?

Do you have nice and positive experiences with online food shopping? Or bad ones? Or neutral? Would like to hear yours.

I’ve been doing food shopping online for around 15 years. The place where I live is suburban, and no much good shops around in the walking distance. In the early years, when the big hypermarket we go now wasn’t built yet, and when I was busy with work, I ordered directly from online supermarkets, many times the vegetables came in sad states, I stopped. There was also a time I found a great online meat shop that delivered, they bought directly from farms, price and quality was good. Until one day the 200€ purchase was ruined by a late delivery, the meat was left in a non fridge van over a weekend. The owner of the shop from Paris came to my place to pick up the goods for refund. He looked painful at the total loss. I ordered a few more times from him but traveled to Paris to pickup the goods myself. After those few experience, I still do food shopping, but more limited to grocery goods than with fresh goods.

Yesterday, I ordered some vanilla pods online, from a new shop. Before they shipped out the parcel, they informed me with SMS, including the following photos.

For once, I have to say I’m impressed with this shopping experience. I haven’t received my vanilla yet, but will report back if the pods they sent are those on the photos.

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Another good experience I had with an online spice shop, they offered a free sample of the spice of your choice with the purchase. I asked for an expensive 20 years old Phu Quoc black pepper and they didn’t refuse. Also happy that they vacuum sealed all the purchased spices or grains individually in some resealable ziplock bags.

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:pleading_face:

I don’t have a car so I generally buy a ton of stuff online to save myself from having to constantly ask my sister or friend to get me to a store. Usually this is reserved for stuff that is hard to find locally. The experience is definitely more of a mixed bag to generally positive. The biggest knock is of course the ridiculous market up that comes with buying stuff online, but when you don’t have other options beggers can’t be choosers!

Some good or more positive experiences: wagyu from Costco that was surprisingly good, seafood online (this is a nice hurrah from the pandemic shopping experience) - especially for some hard to find cuts that I like, such as hamachi collar or hiramasa fish, and even a few jars of sauces or condiments (e.g., Peruvian aji amarillo sauce for my Peruvian roast chicken recipe). I even recently tried Goldbelly, which is a US online site that connects small or local food businesses with a more national audience, and was pleasantly surprised at how well some of the foods were packaged and could be refreshed for your meal at home.

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We purchased a four pack of Regal NZ smoked salmon during a cookbook author’s collab. Arrived frozen and within 2 days. The manuka wood was outstanding the other three were delicious too. You can buy one version or a multi pack. Their website is easy to navigate/communicate thru.

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Anyone give Green Salt a try yet?

I really like it as a sub for finishing salt. Has an mild herb/ocean flavor. Umami hit.

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I used to buy baby backs and briskets online but not any more. They were good experiences.

Booze is a food group, right?

I am a four time Grand Reserve Status member :muscle: at Total Wine so I frequently receive cash rewards of $15. I use the reward to offset the delivery charge. :sunglasses: That experience is usually :woozy_face:

This is so interesting, @Rooster - when I was growing up, this vegetable was used seasonally in place of salt.

I “rediscovered” it when Ottolenghi started writing about it…

Also reminds me of seaweed finishing salt, which I’ve been wondering about as a fish sauce / salt substitute…

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It has the brine flavor depending in how you use it. When I sprinkle it on say an avocado or add it to a bowl of soup, the flavor reacts differently.

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I was trying to find a small bone in ham that I found years ago, and stumbled on

https://wildforkfoods.com/.

They have SKIN-ON PORK BELLY STRIPS

4.7 star rating35

5-6 pieces pcs | approx 1.5 LB

$5.98 / LB

Anybody familiar? There prices are much lower than the ones I usually use.

I found this review,

but it looks like an ad.

I’d rather hear from Hungry Onions.

https://www.dartagnan.com/

https://www.snakeriverfarms.com/

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Their ads popped up a lot for me during the pandemic… didn’t end up ordering, though, so I’d be curious what you think if you do.

(Whole Foods pork belly is priced about the same, within a buck iirc. And TJs has it pre-cooked, which is always tempting…)

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Alas, we have neither TJ’s nor Whole Foods in my “city”. We have an Asian market that has pork belly, not always skin on. Next time I’ll ask them to cut it up like that. That might be useful.

I used Instacard to avoid in-store shopping in /20 and /21. While I growled about the additional cost, I did enjoy perusing the product availability of various markets in my area that I never or seldom visited. Particularly interesting finds in those with in-house real butchers.
Bi-Rite had great house made pancetta.
Sprouts, excellent house made sausages.
Superb Niman Ranch pork chops at Gus’s

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Here’s my un-boxed stuff from Wild Fork foods.


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From the name Wild Fork, I thought the company was selling wild game, but I see pork. Or it means the animals can roam wildly?

I use WalMart for pantry items. They’re cheaper than the local Safeway on many items, and while I have had a number of damaged goods from lousy packaging, it was simple to get credited for them (plus they have gotten better recently).

I also tried Omaha Steaks a year or two ago… pure crap!

While I’m pretty rural here (small mountain town), shortly after the CalDor fire the local Safeway now has delivery and curb side pickup… couldn’t be happier with it. Before that I had a great Lyft driver that would pickup my curbside orders from the Safeway down the mountain and deliver them to me.

My only issue with the local Safeway is they don’t deliver alcohol (whereas the Safeway I used for delivery when I was staying with friends in Auburn during the fire did). Not sure what is up with that.

But given that I am still a big fan of our local Safeway!!!

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I don’t know about the name, but this is what they call their story.

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Just saw this. I was going to say that skin on pork belly is often the default in Chinese markets at least. Pork belly strips are preferred for a lot of Chinese dishes (often sliced or cubed in braises and stir fried dishes).

Hope they turned out good for you! I’ve seen a lot of ads for Wild Fork too.

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Just ordered some Green Salt. Thanks for the link!

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr