Privet European Food and Bakery

Hello to European groceries in Salem!
By Lavachickie
(follow on Facebook)
Our usual Saturday routine was disrupted by the rain, so we decided to head down to Donut Cafe to give them a try. (KandN and Liseanne's first hit of the place tempted us. See what Scot and I had to say about it. ) Afterward, as we tooled down Commercial Scot pointed out somewhere we'd not taken notice of before: Privet European Food and Bakery. In the same shopping center overlooking Commercial as is Salad Express and Papa di Vino Wine Bar, it's easy to miss it because, well, it's UP a bit. We're embarassed, for they've been going strong for about a year and a half!

While dodging raindrops we pulled in for a look see. The space is small, and positively jam-packed with amazing goodness! There is a wide selection of European import foods, from olives to sodas to grains. The shelves are very orderly and overflowing with things both strange and familiar (lots of unique seasonings by Knorr, a lot of never-before-seen sauces by Heinz, etc.).
The highlight, however, is the massive selection of sausages. There's also a good selection of cheeses, and the pastries are adorable and to die for. Check out this scrumptious looking roll cake; the decoration on top are little toadstools with little cookie-tops.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, but only if you asked; they did not hover or hound, and I appreciate that. Exploring a foreign grocery turns Scot and I into little kids, squealing with delight over what others may see as the simplest of things. We love food, we love how different cultures market to themselves (and one another), and we love how design and packaging is different from region to region. We're constantly touching, turning things over in our hands, thinking about traditional and non traditional uses... we look like children in a toy store.

So take a slice of your grocery budget, and spend a few moments taking a little cultural jouney through the jars, packets, and bottles.

Scot models the Heinz Exotic Sauce. Exotic is such a subjective term... what is exotic in Britain is probably different than, say, Morocco. This sauce is a little vague.

We scored a selection of items to try. The baked-fresh-daily-bread was still warm as we picked it up; we tore into it in the car! (The evidence has been cleaverly hidden in this photo via the art of presentation.)

17 comments:

tracylee said...

I've stopped in there a couple of times after visiting Papa Di Vino and picked up tinned fish for Norm. He loves the stuff. They have a huge variety.

Lisa Anne said...

Looks quite a bit cooler than then one I found out near the N. Companion Pet Clinic. I'm totally the same way about new and unusual grocery stores. I love Asian grocers and European, and gourmet stores and organic stores. I giggle and squeal way too much while browsing too!

Jonathan said...

Sweet. I wonder if they carry Smarties (not those chalky things American know). We had a place like that in Cincinnati called Jungle Jim's people would drive from as far as West Virginia to shop there. http://www.junglejims.com/about/index.asp
I would love to see this place turn into a JJ's!

Anonymous said...

I love Privet! We stumbled across it in a similar manner last summer... we were taking a walk, saving some gas and getting some exercise, otherwise I think we never would have noticed they were there. Love the staff, love the goodies, love to go there as often as possible for anything and everything we don't really need but really want to nibble on!

~ jen said...

Love this place. Now I don't have to travel too far for Curry Ketchup and a fun variety of mustards.

lavachickie said...

OMG, I have been to Jungle Jim's! We lived in Bloomington, IN and we would go over to Cinci now and then. That place was foodie HEAVEN. We found a great stash of Oregon microbrews there.

For those that haven't had the pleasure, imagine a HUGE place like Costco. Long, huge isles for each country, amazing stuff including fresh produce you'd never before seen. It was awesome!

Anonymous said...

I have been a customer of theirs for a long time now and love them. They have added so much, but did away with some too, that I was so happy to find there. However, if you are looking for something specific, just ask them. They did get me the "Mondamin", which is a sauce thickener for dark and light gravy. It's very fine and not "floury" like the American stuff. The Wieners (packaged, in the cooler with the Heinz sausages) are awesome! Love the Heinz Spicy Curry Ketchup! Missed that from Germany and finally got it again here. Always wondered why Heinz doesn't sell it in the US in regular stores!

Anonymous said...

The Privet bakery is a dream of a place. I was U S air force,stationed four years in Europe from Norway to Spain and loved "on the economy" bread and pastry. Privet's black German bread is the best and the Polish ginger cookies melt in your mouth. Much more, but discover for yourself. Go south on Commercial, just past Jack-in-the-Box make a left turn & there it is on the right. South Salem is indeed very lucky to have Papa's wine bistro and Privet's side-by-side. Let's keep it that way and spread the word!

Anonymous said...

Yea the people that own the store are my uncle and aunt:) very good candy:D

DeeDeeDiner said...

Just got home from a "seeded bread" run to Privet and want to put out a reminder (OK, OK, "plug") to patronize this place! No other customers were in there which always makes me worry. We certainly don't want to lose a unique store!

The seeded bread is truly fabulous---sometimes they run out so call ahead if your heart is set on it. BTW, their phone number is difficult to find in our local phone books or on the Internet. It's 503.779-1550. They're open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

[PS To the "Didn't-want-to-be-Anonymous" poster who couldn't figure out how to insert a name---I had the same trouble. Where it says "Comment as," and "Select Profile," go to the second from the bottom option that says "Name/URL" and type in whatever name you wish (Ignore the URL box)then hit "Continue."]

Anonymous said...

Follow us on FaceBook

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Salem-OR/Privet-European-Food-and-Bakery-Salem-Oregon/139451199406020

Amber said...

Mmmm, their pierogies are so good!

Anonymous said...

I love their pirogies! Coming from a German/Russian family--these make me go back be being a small child when my grandmother made something very similar.

The candy selection is really fun too. All kinds of things you don't see in America. Especially love the Kinder candy: Chocolate eggs with a little "prize" inside for the child--saw these in Europe and my kids loved them.

Chuck Bradley said...

Since October I have been looking for Molinari and Sons (of San Francisco) Dry Salame. (I know, but that’s the way they spell it on the package!) The sample I had in deer camp was from a Costco Store in the Bay Area. The local Costco folks explained that they couldn't get it as it is a regional product. I've asked around and have been answered by (in effect) blank stares. Then I chanced upon Pavel Kotenko, co-owner of Privet. He wrote my information down and said he would see what he could do. The next time I walked in, he said he had checked with his suppliers with no success. The guy really tried. How refreshing! Today I bought a pound of his Salami. It's not exactly what I wanted, but I appreciate and reward honest effort.

DeeDeeDiner said...

Chuck, You can order it online: http://www.molinarisalame.com/
Cheers,
DDD

Chuck Bradley said...

Thanks Triple D!

Mutuelle sante said...

I was looking at some of your content on this website and I believe this website is rattling informative! Keep posting.