Here are 8 unusual items you could* buy in an Italian supermarket. *Could does not always mean should. Personally, one of my favourite parts of travelling is food shopping. We usually end up renting an apartment rather than staying at a hotel (sitting in a darkened hotel room while the kid sleeps is never an inspiring travel experience) and part of the joy of this is getting to shop for and cook local foods whether in markets, specialised grocers or just exploring the local supermarkets. There's something about the mundane setting of a supermarket that really highlights the foreignness of what's on offer.
Luckily my family is for the most part pretty tolerant of this enthusiasm, although there have been a few experimental meals when we lived in Japan when it was suggested that we try and work out how to call for a pizza instead of eat what I had made (more of that another day, but basically being able to Whatsapp photos of food packaging from the shops to my bilingual friend Nuria to translate was an absolute lifeline and meant that at least we never ate soap powder instead of sugar).
Anyway, we are in Italy at the moment, so I thought I'd share a few of the oddities that I've come across that mark out the difference between our local stores: upmarket Esselunga and good value Pennymarket and what's available back in the UK.
1. Ready prepared prickly pear
Now I'm not normally a fan of fruit imprisoned in a rigid plastic box. Its such a waste of packaging, and I just prefer to choose which fruit I want and the quantity we need. But this is brilliant. I really love prickly pears (and the kid, being a Jungle Book fan is at least in love with the idea of them) but after a few near suicidal attempts at gathering them in the wild, and discovering that they really do live up to their prickly name, I'm in love with whoever came up with this; prickly pears with the prickles removed. Thank you.