There are a variety of shopping centers in Cape Town; everything from cheap to fancy. On the cheaper end is Spar and on the high end is Woolworths. We have found a middle ground shopping center near our apartment, that’s only about a 12-minute walk away. Pick-N-Pay. Open from 8am – 8pm.
Things aren’t super different than they are in the states, but there were a few things we noticed that were different for sure. Everything is measured in kilograms. Most produce has to be pre-weighed/tagged with a price by an employee working in the produce section before you can purchase it. We made the mistake of taking all of our produce up to the register without having it weighed and had to run back and have it weighed by the produce guy in the middle of having our other items rung up. The cashier didn’t mind one bit. She sat there visiting and laughing with the woman who was bagging our groceries while we made a mad dash back to the produce section. She was probably laughing at us and our ignorance and enjoying the break from working for a few minutes. :} People here are very laid back. We rarely see locals walking quickly, hurrying from place to place. There is a very casual, laid back feel here.
In the dairy section the labels on a few large colored jugs caught me off guard. They were quart size jugs in a variety of colors, including pink, peach, and yellow. The label on the orange colored jug read “Peach Flavoured Dairy Snack.” At first I thought they were different flavors of milk, but realized they were yogurt! I laughed when I realized what it was. Would anyone like some peach flavored dairy snack for his or her morning snack or second breakfast?? 🙂 Also they have cream soda flavored milk! It is green and sits right next to the chocolate and strawberry milk. Rob thinks it’s gross. I think it tastes like a creamy milkshake. Milkshake for breakfast, ABSOLUTELY!!
Eggs are not refrigerated here. They are not sold in dozen cartons. They are sold in cartons of 6 or 18. I don’t mind one bit how they are packaged! I am just happy that eggs are the norm here! I eat eggs pretty much everyday for breakfast – I LOVE eggs! Rob is not a huge breakfast guy so eggs or no eggs, he is happy.
In the meat section we found that ostrich is a common meat consumed in South Africa, at least in the Western Cape. Everything from ostrich burgers to ostrich neck was packaged for purchase. We bought four ostrich burger patties to try at home! We are excited to try it. We also saw bacon that was labeled “belly rashers.” 🙂 We love meat and we love trying new things!
One of the spices we have noticed is common here is Braai. We couldn’t find some of our favorite spices, such as Spade or Sriracha, so that was a little disappointing, but I think we will survive for three months. Any longer and we might not make it. We found a product really similar to Sriracha called “Flaming Tiger Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce” and it’s the same bottle, same color, but it’s definitely not the same taste as our sriracha back home! They also have very small packages of flour and sugar, smaller than I have seen pre-packaged in the states. The smallest package of sugar we found is 250 grams (roughly 1 cup). So stinkin’ cute!
Some of the brand names were pretty entertaining too. Our favorite was a bag of popcorn, “No Name” Popcorn! Poor unnamed popcorn.
The bakery section was also a personal favorite. I am a sweets lover. I think I sat back away from the counter studying the different delectable treats for 10 minutes before I decided on a very LARGE slice of carrot cake. No regrets there! I will have no shame in quality checking something new from this little sugary dream boat every time we come shopping. 🙂
We are becoming more and more familiar with our new home day by day. We love love love food, so it was so fun for us to walk through and browse all of the items in the store. Rob loves to walk up and down every aisle in the grocery store, even back home, to look at everything, so I think this was quite the treat for him especially! I am sure we will continue to make new discoveries with each time we return. 🙂