In Berkeley, Foodie Heaven Comes With Side of Fisticuffs

Shoppers brave adverse conditions for their pick of 40 types of tomato
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2008 4:07 PM CDT
Checking out at Berkeley Bowl.   ((c) justin)
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(Newser) – No risk, no reward, right? That’s the mentality of those who brave critical, even violent, fellow shoppers and draconian rules to browse the famed produce section at Berkeley Bowl, the most popular grocery store in the colorful California college town. Cart fender-benders are frequent as shoppers bolt down packed aisles, and line-cutters have been the target of punches and unripe avocados, the Los Angeles Times reports.

And if you happen to sample the wares before buying, you’re likely to face a permanent store ban. “They treated me like a thief,” says one shopper caught in the act with some apricots. But the Bowl is foodie heaven: It features 20 varieties of apple and 40 types of tomato, for example. “The produce section's like an orchestra,” says one local chef.