Live a Lidl,Love a Lidl.A Lidl goes a long way with a Lidl less snobbery

Beautifully photographed and styled;a recipe from the Lidl "mais" magazine
You used to be able to tell a lot from a shopping bag, but it’s a little harder since plastic  recycling became de rigeur. Is yours a stout plastic number from Waitrose? Or an organic cotton thing, hand-knitted from a Gaelic-speaking vegan co-operative? The weekly shop it seems has become a pointless form of particularity; a concern with food that ignores real issues of sustainability and embraces bespoke snobbery.Class used to be about jobs, accents, fee-paying schools and the house you lived in. Now it appears to be about your lifestyle and whats in your shopping trolley.
In one of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads dramas,I can´t remember which one, someone exposes themselves in a branch of Sainsbury's. "Tesco's you could understand," says an elderly woman tartly. It's a remark that neatly sums up both the British obsession with class and its almost tribal attachment to specific supermarket brands. Tesco, the implication goes, used to be for commoner people who were slightly more likely to drop their trousers in public than Sainsbury's shoppers. Waitrose, on the other hand, is for those more likely to have second homes in the Algarve than the first two.There can be no doubt that Rupert and Fliss or Flick as her Made in Chelsea friends know her, are lured there  by the smart house style and livery, Conran grey with aureolin accents; What about Asda then? Asda is for people who aspire to have a second home anywhere but probably never will; Ahh Iceland, I hear you say,who shops there? People who have never heard of Waitrose perhaps;Budgens is for Huw and Gwenda who affect to have never heard of Aldi and have opted for a more rural lifestyle in very flat Norfolk or sedentary Suffolk.
As for who shops at Aldi or Lidl,that leaves us with a pretty broad demographic.You are just as likely to see as many Audis at Aldi as you are Land Rovers at Lidl.Four- by- Fours might look really dinky on the driveway and ab fab in front of the wine bar,but they will also pull in next to a beat up whatever or camper van outside Lidl.Oh yes, trailer trash even make a temporary home nowadays in a Lidl car park.The transient population is even offered designated camping areas at Lidl.
Wayne and Leanne and Lee and Noreen would normally shop at Morrisons when they are at home in the UK, but when in Portugal escaping the weather and Brexit they can be seen shopping at Lidl a fair bit, as they would at Kwik Save,and Netto back home.They are not however the typical Lidl demographic either.Lidl is no longer about a quest to get your pennyworth, although bargains always abound.
I have written before about the odd phenomenon that is LidlI.Is it just my local branch that’s always a hothouse of weirdness? The bizarre selection of random merchandise (sports bras one week, childrens wigwams /tents the next, and fishing tackle the next) all sitting alongside the food.I really dont feel comfortable doing my foodshop next to a packet of lady leggings or extra large mens pants .So at first glance, it’s possibly not the kind of place where you’d go to pick up the ingredients for a chic dinner.  But… surprisingly, you can find some rather good continental goodies there.Endamame beans, Wasabi peanuts John Dory fillets,Bresaola,Pecorino Romano,Amaretti cookies to name but a few of my favourites.
Already a household name across Europe, from the United kingdom to Portugal to Sweden, Lidl, like Aldi, is not known for its charm—you go there because of the prices. Load up your cart and get out. Bags are an extra charge, you won't recognize a lot of the brands, and the only thing you can really be picky about, if you're going to shop there, is saving money.So what is the main reason for shopping at Lidl? The following is an abridged extract from a newsletter published by the Portugues jornal "Agricultura e mar" in 2016
"Lidl focuses on fresh produce from local producers"
Lidl is a food distribution chain of German origin, which dates back to the 1930s. It is active in more than 29 countries and currently has about 10,000 stores in 26 countries with more than 200,000 employees. For more than 20 years in Portugal, Lidl currently has 241 points of sale and 4 warehouses.Lidl Portugal "increasingly focuses on the quality and freshness of fresh produce with an exclusive distribution system, choice of fruit of the season using local producers.
"The commitment to the freshness and quality of Lidl products and the principle of maximum quality at the lowest price are part of the company's DNA", adds the same source, saying that the company "supports its position in the market through a systematic work, where quality, a fundamental requirement, is worked from the source, from partnerships with suppliers and trading partners, through the distribution system, to the store. ""At all stages of the process are guaranteed maximum quality and freshness that meet the criteria and standards of demand of Lidl customers.Lidl guarantees that it has the daily delivery of fruit and vegetables in all its 241 stores, its distribution seeks to reduce the time from picking to the customer's home to the minimum, and that Lidl Portugal's suppliers "meet strict criteria of certification, as is the case of Global GAP which ensures safe and sustainable production. "The supermarket chain also ensures that it has a purchasing policy that favours the local purchase and whenever possible the local producers. Currently about 70% of the available supply of fruits and vegetables is bought locally. "The use of local producers allows shorter delivery times, causing several products to have a producer / store circuit less than 24 hours after harvesting in the field," the company says.On the other hand, Lidl highlights the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Products, "which guarantees quality and promotes local development. As an example, Lidl Portugal is the distribution chain that most packaged apples from Alcobaça bought and sold during the 2014/2015 marketing year for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Association of Producers of Apple of Alcobaça (APMA) . This year's campaign reached 2.5 million kg of Apple of Alcobaça, equivalent to 20,000,000 apples, almost double the sales of the previous campaign, says Lidl.there is a spirit of partnership and innovation with our commercial partners, where we highlight the specific product lines, such as the apple of Alcobaça and Pêra Rocha in mini format for the youngest. Or the export support of Pêra Rocha do Oeste to Germany, which in less than two years of partnership with Portugal Fresh saw the volume of exports double (2,500 tons in the first year and 5,000 tons in the second), reaching 7 , 5 thousand tons. This volume is equivalent to 54 million units of Pêra Rocha, and makes an average Pêra Rocha to each German home (40 million households in 2014), "adds Lidl.

Muffins de salgados from the Lidl lifestyle magazine "mais"
Makes 18 or 36 mini muffins
2 large eggs
100ml cold milk
125g pot of yoghurt
25ml olive oil
1 teaspoon Flor de sal Salmarim
1Tablespoon piri piri chilli flakes
1 small onion finely chopped
1 handful flat-leaf parsley chopped
150g chouriço corrente ( cooking chouriço)
150g smoked ham, paio de lombo or smoked bacon
275g mixture of grated mozzarella and grated cheddar or flamengo
275g grated courgette
275g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder.
Pre-heat the oven to180ºC /390F / Gas mark 6. Lightly grease each mould of your muffin tray with vegetable oil.Chop the meats into small cubes and set aside in a bowl.In a large bowl, beat the eggs well with the olive oil, then stir in the milk and yoghurt and beat a little more to combine.Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the flour and baking powder. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold through gently, then spoon
the mixture into the prepared muffin trays almost to the top.bake for about 25 minutes until puffed and golden.


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