Welcome to the grocery stores of Brisbane, Australia.
Here, in the international aisle, you’ll find the American classic that nearly everyone seems to love, Dr. Pepper. You won’t find many other American sodas here, or anywhere, as Australia really only houses a couple flavors of coke (diet, zero, regular, and vanilla) and a few varieties of mountain dew (I don’t even know) and sprite. It does, however, house a huge supply of ‘mixers,’ including cream soda (a cherry drink?!), fruit tingle, ginger beer, and many more weird Australian creations. But that’s what makes a trip to the grocery store in Brisbane so magical.
One of THE most magical things you will find at an Australian supermarket is a can of Spag-a-saurus:
This proudly 100% Aussie made product is a “children’s’ version” of SPAGHETTI IN A CAN. It sounds terrible and ridiculous and probably looks like cold tomato-y worms when you open it, but based on my understanding, it is the Australian equivalent to Spaghetti –O’s. And even I love Spaghetti-O’s.
But there are also many other interesting products that make a trip to the Aussie grocery store an adventure. Including this huge variety of gum:
Okay, you don’t get a lot of your favorite fruity flavors in gum over here, but they do make up for it in a huge variety of many other products, like tuna. I know — everyone’s favorite. But trust me, America is doing tuna wrong; it’s healthy, it’s cheap, and in Australia, it comes in 5632 different flavors:
Not only that, but every single can has an easy-pull tab! 😀 Which is also a luxury in the United States – as far as tuna goes.
And speaking of variety… the chocolates:
Australians have put everything in chocolate, in every combination, and in every store. And it’s not just any old Hershey’s-grade chocolate either. It’s … well it’s Cadbury.
They also make Tim Tams of every possible flavor:
Regular is still the best, but I’m tempted to try the new chocolate banana ones they just came out with…
There is also a deceptive amount of variety in the fruity candy aisle:
Don’t be fooled! These are all the same flavor. They are just letting you pick the shapes you want them in when you eat them… including snakes, snakes, or babies.
And as long as we are on to dessert items, you are sure to find these in every Aussie supermarket bakery and café around:
Slices. I am not sure exactly what they are. I have held off trying any kind of slice because I fear they will be amazing and I will have no self-control. These also seem to come in limitless flavors.
There are a few other things Aussies seem to be pretty serious about, including their beetroot supplies:
Beetroot is what I would simply call pickled beets. Australians slice beetroot and put it on hamburgers like some people like to slice a whole round of onion and put it on a hamburger. Honestly, it’s pretty delicious and something I’d definitely eat at home – if I can only find the beetroot.
Another thing Australians have a lot of that we don’t is enthusiasm for pies. And if you are reading this as an American you are likely thinking, I love pie, what’s more American than an apple pie? But if you are reading this as an Australian, you are likely thinking, yeh, meat pies are kind of an everyday thing.
Australians eat meat pies like we eat … sandwiches? Either way, everywhere you go in Australia there is likely a meat pie just around the corner. And no they are not like pot pies.
And if you find that an oddity let me introduce you to the coffee aisle:
One of the first things I noticed when I got to Australia was that they do not brew their coffee as we do; they almost solely use instant coffee. This was especially odd to me because unlike in America, morning and afternoon coffee and tea (which usually includes a small snack, or large snack or whatever) is a fairly common practice in Australia, yet they use instant coffee, a type of coffee widely seen in America as “not as good as the real stuff.” This is especially interesting because, although I didn’t realize it immediately, they have no “coffee creamer” and only use milk and cream – the real stuff.
Another difference you may be troubled by is the cereal section:
Need I say more?
Moving on! Cheese! Yay everyone is happy again. The interesting thing about Australian cheese is that “Tasty” is a legitimate flavor of cheese. My palate is not refined enough to tell you what flavor “Tasty” corresponds to in the United States, but at least we know it will probably taste nice.
Additionally, I would just like to point out that Australian cheddar is white, not yellow, and that “strong and bitey” also appears to be a flavor of cheese.
Tasty, strong and bitey, I’m looking forward to the day I find ‘weak yet smelly.’
To sum it all up, there are many differences in the shopping experience in Australia as compared to home. Surely I could pick out many more items that have caused me to do a double take in the middle of the grocery store. There are also some differences in the atmosphere and in the non-food items. In general, navigating an Aussie supermarket is easy and very entertaining, and my favorite thing about it is the fact that so much of it is proudly, 100% Aussie made.
Besides, I wouldn’t want my Spag-a-saurus from anywhere else.
Thanks a bunch for reading!