In my 10 Cures for Boredom When Abroad post, I said that you should go to the supermarket when you’re in a foreign place. A farmers’ market is great too but supermarkets are easier to find and no-one really takes any notice of you if you pull funny faces.
Why a supermarket? Well, for one, you can save money by buying a few staples instead of eating in restaurants, BUT my favourite reason for going to a foreign supermarket is looking at what foods are popular with the locals. Think about all the foods that you sort of take for granted – they’re not weird are they? But what about to someone from a different country? People always mock British cuisine, especially the names of some foods – I love to see those blank faces when you mention ‘toad in the hole’, ‘cream tea’, and especially ‘spotted dick’.
On my travels, I always spend an unusually long time in supermarkets trying to figure out what some of the stranger things are and deciding whether I’m brave enough to try them. I recommend checking out the chocolate and alcohol aisles because you probably love both and each country usually has their own famous brands that can be cool to discover. And look at the magazines, even if you don’t understand them!
Here are some of my finds in supermarkets, mostly in Poland and Ukraine: