Shopping for Food in Italy

Here are some things I noticed when shopping for food at the COOP in Albenga, Italy; they may or may not be representative of food shopping in Albenga (or in Italy) in general. And I’m comparing to the usual state of affairs back home in Prince Edward Island.

  • The fresh blueberries come from Argentina, just like they do (off-season) at home. And the cost is exactly the same here as in PEI.
  • Yoghurt is much more like water here than like gloop.
  • There’s a stunning lack of bread variety: basically it was baguette or crusty white.
  • They have green cauliflower.
  • The eggplants are much, much bigger. And less tubular.
  • There are two full aisles of dried pasta. Many brands. Many shapes. Many grades. Many I’ve never seen before.
  • There’s a very small area devoted to “pop and chips.” About 1/8th the space you would find at the Superstore in Charlottetown.
  • Lots and lots of wine. And liquor.
  • No canned chick peas (although I did find dried ones).
  • Many more varieties of olives.
  • Very little fresh milk; most of it is UHT.
  • Ethernet and USB extension cables available, along with 10 times as many magazine titles as you’d find at home.
  • COOP members get outfitted with some special paperback-book-sized e-gizmo that lets them add up their bill as they’re walking around the store and get priority check-out privileges as a result.
  • You pay for every plastic bag you use. As a result, most people seem to bring their own recycled ones. This is a very good idea.
  • Organic options are available, on the same shelves in the same section, for almost everything, from pasta to juice.
  • No pie.


Marian's picture
Marian on November 30, 2006 - 14:07 Permalink

I bet they have licorice.