At The Grocery Store: You Say Potato, I Say Bosc Pear

A conversation in the checkout lane in which I once again educate the youth of today, a boy child, about the produce one finds in ye olde Kroger…

Cashier Kid: What are these?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: They don’t look like pears.

Me: They’re pears. Bosc pears.

Cashier Kid: What’s that?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: Really?

Me: Yes. Look them up on your list.

Cashier Kid: How do you spell it?

Me: Bosc with a B.

Cashier Kid: Huh,Β they’re here, BUT THEY DON’T LOOK LIKE THE PEARS MY MOM BUYS.

Me: Uh huh.

Cashier Kid: What do they taste like?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: Why are they so brown like potatoes?

Me: Because, like apples, there are different types of pears. There are golden delicious apples and red gala apples and green granny smith apples, right? Well, there are different kinds of pears.

[Long pause while cashier kid glares at my bag of Bosc pears, presumably thinking about what I said. A learning experience?]

Cashier Kid: Hmmm…

[Second long pause while Cashier Kid stares at me as if he thinks I’m pulling some kind of con on him and the entire Kroger chain of grocery stores.]

Me: These are Bosc pears.

[Finally accepting my explanation of the pears in question, Cashier Kid weighs them so that I might be permitted to buy them.]

Cashier Kid: Bet my mom wouldn’t like these pears. She likes the green ones, THE REAL PEARS.

And so endeth the conversation about pears…

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

121 thoughts on “At The Grocery Store: You Say Potato, I Say Bosc Pear”

  1. Geez, even Mecca has a chart at every register with little, tiny photos of what each item of produce looks like. That said, with my knowledge of fruits and veggies, I’d probably stare glassy eyed at the chart were I responsible for actually checking people out and eventually conclude you were trying to pass off potatoes as some kind of phony pears. Who knows, maybe the potatoes are cheaper…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. evil, Cashier Kid was sincere in his confusion about pears. Potatoes are cheaper than Bosc pears so if I was pulling a con I would have told him that I had potatoes in the bag. Which I did not. πŸ™„

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  2. The REAL pears, bwahahahahaha!
    I had a similar experience, over soy sauce. I like Indonesian soy sauce (called ketjap). For some reason it is 10X more expensive than regular, but worth it in my opinion. Grocery clerk had to point this out to me – you know this is $10 right, and you can get a huge bottle of soy sauce for $0.99? Yes, I do know and this is the soy sauce I like. I think he was quite intrigued and I have a feeling he tried some for himself, later.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, don’t you love it when you get in these unexpected *odd* conversations at the grocery? I don’t know of ketjap, but now that I do I’ll look for it on the shelf. Is it the REAL soy sauce? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t know about that, Ally. I grew up eating Indonesian dishes as my parents were Dutch and Indonesia was a Dutch colony in the bad old days. It is a sweet soy sauce and Indonesian food likes to mix hot, sweet and spicy together. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This soy sauce sounds tasty to me. I don’t mind some of the odd conversations I have in the grocery. What drives me bonkers are the people who leave their carts in my way while they’re shopping. Apparently it’s their store and other shoppers don’t exist. 🀨

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I can actually visualize Cashier Kid as he strains to process the information. A learning experience indeed. I hope.
    I also hope the pears weren’t bruised in the process – I love me a good, crisp Bosc pear.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh how cute! I can only imagine the conversation he had with his mom later.

    “Hey, Mom, have you ever heard of these brown pears they have? They look like potatoes. Gross.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. nance, you’ve nailed what I believe could be his conversation later. He didn’t seem taken with Bosc pears, but he was trying to understand them and I appreciate that.

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  5. Seems like cashier kid is being exposed to the big wide world via Kroger’s produce section!!!!
    Next time, grab a Bosc pear that has one of those teeny stickers on it…that way it’ll provide the proper code to the checkers and ‘prove’ your point as well as facilitate a smoother check-out!!!
    At our Harris Teeter, I always get what are labeled as simply, “hot red peppers” (it’s the South, remember? anything different is confusing) They are really ripened red serranos, but have no # assigned to them and always cause confusion upon checking out. So while I tell them what I know, they always do one of two things – either give them to me free (!) or put in the cheaper jalapeno pepper code.
    At least I get my ‘hot red pepper’ fix!
    πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. laura, strange as it may be, I think you’re right about Cashier Kid. He’s seeing foods that apparently are new to him. Plus he seemed interested in learning and that’s good.

      So you score free, or discounted, peppers? Aren’t you a rascal! I sometimes wonder about signage in grocery stores. I mean, they’re selling something they don’t know what to call? Seems goofy, but if it works in your favor, then hey.

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  6. I’m glad you were there to educate. Too bad he’s so young and already prejudiced about pear skin tone. All pears are equally delicious to me!
    A few summers ago, a young woman at the store asked me the difference between zucchini and cucumber. I still think about it and hope she’s eating her fruits and veggies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joey, you’re right he is a prejudiced about skin tone. And for what? Pears. I’ll admit that a zucchini and a cucumber are similar, on first glance. But to not know the difference? Well, that’s interesting. I suppose we all have to learn somewhere– like through you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. teacherturnedmommy, you can only hope that he, or his mother, will try a Bosc pear now that he knows about them. It seemed to me that I wasn’t buying anything unusual, but you know they weren’t REAL pears. 😁

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  7. I kept waiting for “SLAP” – “Please ring up my pears!”

    Maybe next time you can try the “real pears” Or, just hold another night school class on produce from outside the city limits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, I was patient. Cashier Kid, while woefully under-informed about pears, seemed like a good kid, trying to learn. You make a good point about buying green pears in the future. Might be faster.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Geesh… what were you thinking? Buying fake pears that look like potatoes.
    Next thing you know you’ll be buying Grapples and forcing that kid to work at McDonalds where nothing whatsoever resembles actual food..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marian, I couldn’t get upset with this kid because he was trying to understand. He seemed sincere, just not too aware of pears. The most difficult part for me was not laughing. The whole convo was absurd.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Roy, what a great line: Fear no pears. I grew up with foodie parents so until this happened it never occurred to me that some of these kids working in the grocery are just now learning about new foods and flavors. As evidenced by my conversation with Cashier Kid. 😊

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      1. I’ve had to change my attitude about kids, who once were stupid but now are just amazingly young and inexperienced, as my own childhood recedes farther and farther into the distant past. I remember a job I had as a janitor at a fancy motel in the Bay Area (SF) when I was in high school. There was a cryogenics convention there, and I found myself in an elevator with one of the participants and asked him what cryogenics was. He very kindly explained it to me in a way I could understand it, and since I never have, I thank him now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Isn’t that something that you learned about cryogenics from someone who was involved in it? I’m glad you asked and now have the opportunity to thank this person.

          I think you’re right that Cashier Kid was young and inexperienced. I mean if you’ve not heard of or experienced something, then the only way to learn about it is to ask [or read about it]. We all didn’t know lots of *normal* stuff at one time.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Just made me think of something–to learn about anything from someone who is actually involved in it is to also experience the excitement and enthusiasm that is transmitted. A good reason to actually “go outside and talk to people,” as someone once said.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder if his mom laughed when he told her. She probably doesn’t buy bosc because they are brown and she’s afraid her son won’t eat something that looks dirty. On another but similar topic. I buy red grapes. Always. It’s from years of eating the green ones which were always tart in my youth. I have a friend who doesn’t eat red grapes because they are wrong. A result of her childhood (which must have had sweeter green grapes than mine). Don’t tell the wine industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I wonder too if his Mom only bought the REAL pears because of him. I do hope he tells her about this experience which was rather funny to me, but I didn’t laugh in his face of course. I think red grapes are better than green ones, but prefer white wine to red wine. Go figure, huh? We each have peculiar palates.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Shouldn’t the cashiers have some idea of what they’re selling in the store. Seems like they need something like “Spend the day with a ________ at Kroger!” feature for their front employees. Let them be a produce manager for a day, or restock pet food, or mop up spills in the deli…
    He doesn’t sound like manager material to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I like your idea of how to teach these cashiers about various departments in Kroger. Maybe they do that already and Cashier Kid zoned out during training? I have no idea how far he’ll go at K. Roger, but if nothing else he was pleasant to me even though he was confused. It was kind of funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Just as well they weren’t Packham Pears – he may have thought you were ordering him to pack ’em pears. BTW – a delicious pear, sweet, juicy though they take ages to ripen. Thinly sliced pear in a salad is a treat or just pear, gorgonzola and walnuts … my pleasure Ally Bean …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, I’ve never heard of Packham pears. If they’re available around here I’ll get some. I like pears any way a person can eat them, although suddenly I have a hankering for a salad with pears, gorgonzola, walnuts. I wonder why? 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, you don’t like pears? Gracious good golly! Around here Bosc pears are more expensive than Bartlett pears, but I prefer the texture of a Bosc pear. It’s not like they’re unusual so I’d think that Cashier Kid will be seeing quite a few of them.

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      1. I know…. and so many things went they my mind as I read this – like I know those pears – I thought of how they taste – how they almost look paper mache ish – and then I remembered a skit (think SNL) where the cashier was over inquiring about each item being purchased – it was funny – and so I wondered if this cashier was over inquisitive

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, excellent point. He’s of the generation in which things didn’t happen if there’s no pic of them happening. I wish him well, and hope that he never encounters a kohlrabi. That might send him over the edge! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your posts always trigger the most interesting comments afterwards. I too laughed at the “REAL” pears comeback, but then I suddenly realized that I don’t think I’ve ever had a Bosc pear. I know! The horror!

    … at least I know a Bosc pear when I see one. The thing is, pears aren’t really my thing. I rarely buy them but I feel the need to fix this omission.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I liked this kid because he was polite and trying to understand, but those Bosc pears had him baffled. His last comment about my purchase was priceless.

      I like pears and try to buy the Bosc ones because they last longer than the Bartlett pears. After reading all of this the next time you see a Bosc pear you’re going to smile. I just know you are.

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  13. The Real Pears πŸ˜€
    Sounds like junior AND his mom need to get out more; there’s a whole world of different and delicious pears out there waiting to be discovered. Next time go back and get some Japanese pears and really freak him out πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norm, I wondered about Cashier Kid’s culinary experiences as I bought these Bosc pears. Maybe he’s fussy or maybe he lives in a family that’s not into trying new foods. Pity either way because Bosc pears are tasty.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. L. Marie, this kid was trying hard to do his job, but apparently Bosc pears were not part of his training &/or culinary experience. I didn’t laugh, but I wanted to.

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  14. Hmm…not been big on pears myself, but I should try them again while I’m on this trying-to-get-healthy kick.

    Most kiddos don’t cook or know anybody who cooks or preps food in front of them (unless they’re in a restaurant). I bumped into one cashier that didn’t know what cauliflower was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chatty Introvert, that’s a good point. I grew up with foodie parents so I knew all about food, but many kids don’t know much about cooking. That being said, a cashier who didn’t know what cauliflower was? Now that’s amazing.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. I don’t remember, but only that she was so disgusted with him, and I found it so funny that it stayed with me. I guess from a male point of view, they were both round, so he might be forgiven! It’s strange to look back on those years when (many) men seldom ventured into the kitchen.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. That Cashier Kid was serious and stubborn! Sounded like he knew every single item in the store…which is impossible. Personally I am not a pear person. I do like kiwis, and there is the commonly known green kiwi and the lesser-popular gold/brown kiwi. Once I had a gold kiwi and really didn’t like it so now only buy green kiwis πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, we’re just beginning to see gold kiwis in the grocery. They’re a kind of fad but I haven’t tried one. I’m not crazy about kiwis, but we all can’t like everything can we?

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      1. Maybe if the gold kiwis go on sale, you can try some. True, we can’t like everything and if you buy food you don’t like, chances are you aren’t going to enjoy it and end up wanting to eat more.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I wonder which green pears he thinks are the real pears. I saw you mention Bartletts somewhere in these comments. But what about Anjou or Concorde? I say you go in and buy a whole variety of pears. Get some red ones. And some of those that are kind of half red and half green. And of course some green ones and your Bosc. It seems that you were kind to him. You didn’t make fun of him or verbally slap him. I hope I would be so patient.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, I’m guessing that the REAL pears are Bartlett. We have Anjou but not Concorde here, so I could try Anjou next time. I think, maybe, that the brown color of a Bosc pear is what confused Cashier Kid. You’d be patient, he wasn’t being annoying– just baffled.

      So, how ‘ya been?

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  17. “The real pears!” – Love that line and I’ll just bet Mom got an earful about Bosc pears that night as well. Better not buy heirloom tomatoes as that would also be way out of his league given their sometimes funky-looking appearance.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. At least he didn’t put the pears in the bottom one the bag under the cans of beans and other things that might smoosh and squish them on the way home like Cashier Kid at my grocery store did. Kids!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam, oh I hate that when the bagger makes a muddle of it. I can understand about not knowing about unique [?] pears, but there’s no excuse for not understanding how to pack a grocery bag. That’s just common sense: heavy on the bottom, light/delicate on the top.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelley, I don’t know when I’ve seen a kid so confused about what seemed to me to be something kind of normal. But like he said, they weren’t the REAL pears so what do I know? I wonder if he bought one to try… πŸ€”

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I wonder what he would have done with broccolini. I imagine there’s some confusion when he has to figure out whether it’s cilantro or Italian parsley, too! Still, it’s good to ask questions…as long as there’s not a line. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. waywardsparkles, good point about cilantro versus Italian parsley. Those two herbs look about the same to me and I know they’re different. Cashier Kid was trying, but oh my… he was baffled.

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