Life in Sweden 102 – Grocery Shopping!

When you first move to a new country, a few common thoughts cross everyone’s mind – the culture, the language, the people and most importantly – food! That thought process is heightened when you come from a country like India, which is rich in its food culture. I was anxious to understand what kind of food would be available in Sweden, all the more so since I follow a vegetarian diet.In case any of you share my curiosity, this post is for you.

There are quite a few grocery stores in Borlänge like Coop, ICA, local supermarkets etc. However, the most popular amongst students, based on what I’ve seen so far, are Lidl, Willys and Hemköp. All these stores are within walking distance, no matter which student housing you may be part of.To give you a general idea of what it is like to shop for groceries in Sweden, I clicked a few pictures of my weekly trip to Willys. Like any other store, there are specific sections/aisles of where you can buy what. Baking goods, tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, cereals, coffee, gluten-free products – name it and you’ll find it here.

But what I was pleasantly surprised to discover was the spice rack! Being Indian, spices are a boon for me and it was nice to see quite an unexpectedly extensive selection of spice mixes, lentils and grains in every supermarket in Borlänge. Thai pastes, Japanese noodles, Chinese sauces, Mexican tortillas – there is something for everyone’s taste here. You can also read a little about what a typical Swede eats on my friend Katrin’s post here.

Food equals warmth, familiarity and comfort for many people when they move to a new land. Rest assured, Sweden will try its best to take care of you on that front, no matter which corner of the world you come from. Nothing can compare to the food from your homeland that you’re used to. But it is comforting to know that you will have produce and ingredients at hand to cook up a storm whenever you wish!


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