Hello to European groceries in Salem!
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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.)