I love travelling + I love shopping + I love food = I love food shopping while travelling. Wait, what?

Ladies, it’s time I confess one of my strangest habits: I take an immense pleasure in grocery shopping, especially while I’m travelling. This sounds silly, but it wouldn’t be an uncommen sight to see me browsing the aisle of a french Carrefour supermarket, rather than shoe shopping on the Champs d’Elysées*. Why? Because you never know what treasures may be lurking on those jam-packed shelves.

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When we travel, we typically try to soak up as much local cuisine as possible – this could entail eating tapas in Barcelona, croissants in Paris, fish & chips in London or a spicy curry with chapati bread in Delhi. However, I’ve discovered absolutely delicious foods in foreign supermarkets that were everything but traditional or typical for that country or region – and yet I haven’t found them anywhere else.

I’m thinking about the dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, which among so many other delicious (and less healthy) products, sells the best pre-packed salads I have ever eaten. Or Carrefour in France (and Spain) that is home to delicacies such as salmon-flavoured cream cheese. When we think of Poland, we may think of Pierogi or Barszcz – but certainly not of scrumptious chocolate-covered waffles, also known as Prince Polo. And last but not least – the best thing you can get in an American supermarket is not a box of Oreo’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – it’s Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal (at least in my humble opinion).

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I’d prefer these goodies to traditional souvenirs any day!

My all-time favourite of curious supermarket finds is the Swedish pear cider Rekorderlig. It is sold in small cans or glass bottles and often uniquely flavoured. I would not have been surprised to find this beverage in Sweden – yet I came across it in a tiny beach kiosk (which barely deserves the name supermarket) in… Barcelona! I picked up two cans on my way out, only reading the “strawberry & lime flavour” bit on the label and thinking it was some kind of fancy soda pop. Only when my friend and I, tanning ourselves in the midday sun, suddenly started getting a real buzz on, did we realize we were drinking alcohol. That obviously didn’t make it any less tasty, and I can only recommend a refreshing cold can of Rekorderlig for anyone having a beach day in sunny BCN (or Sweden… ha!).

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My ingredients to a perfect day at the beach: sunshine, Rekorderlig – and maybe a local boy wearing speedos?

So girls, let’s hear it – am I the only one with a strange liking for foreign food products? What was the best – or weirdest product you found in a foreign supermarket?


(*author’s note: I may have fibbed a little – who would turn down shoe shopping?)