I’m in Berlin right now, for the first time in many years, for a quick visit with Jens. While I’m here, I want to research the grocery stores of the city. There are some large-scale markets that sell Mediterranean food to restaurants and ordinary people, and obviously, this interests me. So, yesterday I went to Mitte Meer at Invalidenstrasse. It is a useful store, and I really mean useful. It’s not inspiring, and many of their offerings are rather generic: the to-be-expected items from Spain, Italy, France, and so on. I searched for wine from my region, the Northern Italian Alps, and they didn’t have any. That’s just an example: they specialize in the things that the greatest number of tourists is likely to have encountered.
That being said, it is certainly nice to be able to buy proper pasta, olive oil, mozzarella, Mulino Bianco cookies, and so on, for reasonable prizes in the middle of Berlin. But on the whole, it all leaves me a bit depressed: Berlin Mitte seems to cater, quite generally, to tourists, in each and every way, be it tourists in Berlin, or Berliners in their nature as Mediterranean tourists. Two stars. **