I always think it’s neat to check out local grocery stores when I’m traveling, especially if it’s abroad. It’s intriguing to see what’s on the shelves, how it’s presented, how much items cost, and so forth.

As I mentioned before, the first month in Norway was like an extended vacation. However by the second month, I found myself missing previously must-have grocery items such as cheese sticks and Auntie Mae’s macaroni.

Nevertheless, it was a fun challenge to try to find other foods that my kids would love as much. This is why I spent a ton of time at the grocery store, which was an adventure within itself.

I gotta say, the best part of grocery shopping in Norway is the bread slicer. Yes, they have sliced bread here, but it seems that only losers buy it. The Norwegian bread section is vast and mostly consists of hearty, fresh-baked bread. You pick out your loaf and put it in the bread slicing machine. The machine works its magic and you have to carefully get the newly sliced loaf in a plastic bag that’s near the bread slicer and then you slip that bag of bread back into its original paper bag. The plastic one keeps the slices from tumbling out of the paper bag.

It’s stupid, but every time I use the slicer, part of me wants to do a happy dance. I really get a kick out of it. (Side note: I have to get this off my chest. I’m trying desperately hard not to use the “better than sliced bread” cliche or any bread-related puns.)

Other grocery store tidbits:

  • I discovered that Heinz Co. makes even more sauces than I thought possible. Other than the ketchup and barbecue sauce, the shelves here are lined with other varieties such as Heinz garlic sauce, aioli and even curry mango. No, I haven’t yet tried them.

There are at least seven varieties of Heinz Co. sauce that I never knew existed. Among those not pictured are the sweet chili sauce, the jerk bbq, and the peri.

  • Nearly all the vegetables are wrapped in plastic. Bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, parsnips, all wrapped in cellophane. Considering how green and healthy people are here, I find that very odd.

Plastic, plastic and more plastic.

  • Driscoll’s berries are just as common here as they are in the states. Logan loves all berries, blue, black, raspberries, strawberries, everything. I was so stoked (and stunned) when I spotted the Driscoll’s brand all the way over here. Granted, here you have to eat them within a day or so of purchasing them because they get moldy. After accidentally buying moldy berries, I now stridently inspect them before buying.

Thank God for Driscoll’s.

  • You have to bag your own groceries. Norwegians are very self-sufficient and extremely practical. Why would you pay someone to bag your groceries when you can do it yourself? I figure if I ever need a job back in the states, at least I’ve now got experience as a bagger.

Have you guys been to grocery stores in countries other than your own? Did anything surprise you?



The joys of grocery shopping in Norway — 12 Comments

  1. Yes. In London their eggs are not refrigerated and when I asked about half and half because, coffee, no such thing. After being there for awhile I got used to it. It was an experience. 😁

    • When I first saw eggs that were not refrigerated I was like, huh!??!! But now I think that it’s interesting in that eggs sold in the UK would never be approved for sale in the US and vice versa. I hear you on the half and half. Also, another thing that I miss here is baking soda. I used to be one of those people who uses it for everything and now, no more! But still, this living abroad thing is pretty damn cool. 😉 Thanks for your comment!

      • Eggs on display in stores in Germany are not refrigerated either. As an American, this used to weird me out, but I finally learned why. Eggs come out of the hen with a protective natural coating that acts as an insulator and preservative. US egg poducers always wash eggs before displaying them in stores, so the coating is removed and the eggs will spoil quickly without refrigeration.

    • Done! Man the Norwegians LOVE their aioli and they know how to do it right! Aioli is already good, but they really put some love into theirs and it makes it extra divine!

  2. We have been to grocery stores in Canada (when we lived there), Germany and Spain because my husband worked for Kraft Foods and we always found it very interesting to search out the Kraft food selections and other items that interested us.

    • I know exactly what you mean!!! It’s funny, Uncle Bens is big here too and it’s not just rice but these random sauces and I’m all really? Uncle Ben makes this too!?!? Thanks for stopping by Powerhouse Patti!

  3. Interesting article. I like going into grocery stores in other countries to see all the different products too. Stores in Mexico don’t refrigerate eggs either.

  4. I’m a Norwegian living in the States. We return to Norway every summer. I LOVE the fresh sliced bread in Norway and miss it tremendously here. I chuckled at your comment that only losers by buy pre-sliced bread in Norway.

    All the plastic wrapped produce boggles my mind, too!

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