Signature Grocery Products by Country
One of the best things about traveling is eating. Restaurants are the easiest way to enjoy local cuisine, but if you want to live like a local, head to a market.
You might be surprised how much food items cost at a grocery store. When something back home is cheap, it can cause sticker shock. Conversely, many food items, like coffee, seem really cheap in other countries, like South Africa.
These are the prices of food from countries around the world. We'll also take a look at the signature food from those countries and delve into why those foods are so beloved. Even if you're not taking a worldwide food-lover's trip, you might be able to find a few items online.
Bermuda: Fresh Fish
In Bermuda, fresh fish is priced between $12 and $17 per pound, but can certainly be higher. Red snapper in this grocery store costs $17.99 a pound.
Cod, especially salted cod, is a staple of the Bermudian diet. One particular dish, cod and potatoes, consists of salted codfish, hardboiled eggs, potatoes, avocado and a banana. Salt cod has been part of the Bermudian diet since the beginning of the 17th century, as part of the trade route that spanned from the Caribbean to Canada.
Bermuda's grocery stores are very similar to U.S. grocery stores, but more expensive.
*Note: Many of the photos and all of the food price data comes from Cash Net USA's tour of grocery stores from around the world. The online money lender had 14 photographers from around the world create a photo report of the groceries offered in their everyday grocery store.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Bermuda
Chocolate bar: $6.99
Pack of ground coffee: $12.49
1.75L bottle of water: $1.99
1.5L bottle of soda: $6.29
Gluten-free bread loaf: $13.69
Bosnia: Lokum and Coffee
Coffee and lokum, commonly called Turkish Delight in other parts of the world, are favorite deserts of the Bosnian diet.
Bosnian coffee is sometimes confused with Turkish coffee, but it's slightly different. Both Turkish and Bosnian coffee begin with roasted beans ground into a powder and cooked in a long-necked pot called a džezva.
Turks add the coffee and the sugar to the water before heating the water, while Bosnians add the coffee after the water is boiled, taking the džezva on and off the stove several times to create a thick foam.
Lokum is a confectionary made of flavored gel with a wide variety of added treats, like chopped nuts, and is dusted with powdered sugar.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Bosnia
Chocolate bar: $0.62
Pack of ground coffee: $3.96
1.75L bottle of water: $0.74
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.49
Loaf of fresh white bread: $2.32
Brazil: Guarana Antarctica
Guarana Antarctica is Brazil's most popular soft drink. While the zippy, apple-tasting soft drink was created in 1921 by a Brazilian chemist named Pedro Baptista de Andrade, the drink is now owned by Anheuser-Busch's AmBev.
But you don't need to take a trip to Brazil or pay crazy import fees for a sip of this stuff. It's readily available at Walmart, where it retails at $9.88 for a dozen cans. The even lazier option: Pay a few bucks more and get it shipped to your door from Amazon.
Tapioca is also a widely used food, as it's derived from the cassava plant, which is native to Brazil. In America, tapioca is mostly reserved for pudding, but it's different in Brazil, where the pearls are often made into a white, tortilla-like wrap.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Brazil
Chocolate bar: $1.10
Pack of ground coffee: $1.38
1.75L bottle of water: $0.44
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.19
Gluten-free bread loaf: $3.65
Czech Republic: Pilsner Urquell
The Czech Republic is responsible for producing the first pilsner in the world. That beer is Pilsner Urquell, which is sold all around the world.
Pilsner Urquell was created by a Bavrian brewer in 1842 in the city of Pilsen. It's a delicious brew that you've probably had at one point. The same brewery, which opened 1842, still operates and produces the beer today. It makes up to 3.5 million hectoliters of Pilsner Urquell each year. That's equal to 739,681,747 pints.
In the Czech Republic, you can grab a pint of the beer for just $1.24.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Czech Republic
Chocolate bar: $0.70
Pack of ground coffee: $5.61
1.75L bottle of water: $0.75
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.35
Gluten-free bread loaf: $3.04
Vegan cheese: $1.78
Finland: Fazer Blue
Fazer Blue is Finland's best-selling brand of chocolate. It's made with fresh milk instead of powdered, and as such, has a very rich taste. It's named after its trademarked blue wrapping.
Finland is also teeming with reindeers. Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland, has a reindeer population of 200,000— 20,000 more reindeer than people. Reindeer meat is healthy, too. It's rich in protein and A and B vitamins, unsaturated oleic acid and is very lean. That's why reindeer meat is a staple of Finnish cuisine.
Poronkäristys (which literally means sautéed reindeer) is Finland's national dish, which is sautéed reindeer meat served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Finland
Chocolate bar: $0.76
Pack of ground coffee: $5.25
1.75L bottle of water: $1/15
1.5L bottle of soda: $3.80
Gluten-free bread loaf: $4.41
Vegan cheese: $2.11
The origins of bratwurst are a bit unclear, although some historians say it dates back the Celts, while the Franconians further developed it. Some say it dates back to the 1300s in Nuremberg, where farmers made the sausages in the morning and ate them by noon, before they spoiled.
Their name can be traced back to the old German word, "brat," meaning without waste, and wurst, meaning "sausage."
Today, these delectable sausages are sold by street vendors and at supermarkets in Germany.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Germany
Chocolate bar: $0.59
Pack of ground coffee: $3.61
1.75L bottle of water: $0.23
1.5L bottle of soda: $0.54
Gluten-free bread loaf: $2.64
Arak is an alcoholic drink made by extracting anise seeds in grape brandy. It's Lebanon's national drink and is strictly regulated.
In Lebanon, arak has to come from white grapes and must be triple-distilled in a pot until it's diluted to a 53 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) and aged one year in clay. When mixed with water — usually at a ratio of three parts water to one part arak — it creates a cloudy, milky-white cup of refreshment that packs a buzz. It's similar to Greek ouzo, although it has a higher alcohol content and stronger anise flavor.
Another very popular food in Lebanon is kibbeh. Traditionally, it's made at home or served at restaurants, but you can find it premade, too.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Lebanon
Chocolate bar: $2.32
Pack of ground coffee: $7.28
1.75L bottle of water: $1.32
1.5L bottle of soda: $4.30
Gluten-free bread loaf: $5.29
Vegan cheese: $23.15
How much vodka Russians actually drink is debatable. In 2014, one researcher at Oxford University claimed the average adult Russian drinks 20 liters of vodka per year. Alcohol.org says Russians only drink 11.5 liters of vodka and other spirits per year.
Whatever the number might be, we know this for sure: Russia produces many tons of vodka each year. Russia produces around 637,210,000 liters of vodka annually and exported $161.5 million worth of vodka in 2019.
Stolichnaya Vodka, better known as Stoli in the states, is one of the most popular vodkas in Russia, where it's owned by the government.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Russia
Chocolate bar: $0.80
Pack of ground coffee: $6.69
1.75L bottle of water: $0.53
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.20
Gluten-free bread loaf: $0.53
South Africa: Biltong
The meat industry in South Africa is enormous, so it's no surprise that the country's most iconic food comes from beef.
Biltong is a type of cured meat that's similar to jerky. It can be made from all kinds of meat, including chicken, game and fish, but beef is by far the most common. It's seasoned with spices, like jerky, but is dried with vinegar, and instead of being smoked, is usually air-dried.
Biltong, which means "strop of meat" in Dutch, is one of South Africa's most beloved (and tasty) snacks. Biltong is so popular that there are even biltong flavored potato chips.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in South Africa
Chocolate bar: $1.73
Pack of ground coffee: $5.94
1.75L bottle of water: $0.76
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.17
Gluten-free bread loaf: $5.18
Vegan cheese: $3.80
Thailand: Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is one of Thailand's biggest exports. Fragrant, sticky and sweet, this long-grain rice was developed in Thailand in 1949 or 1950. The United States loves this stuff, too, and over a third of Thailand's jasmine rice exports are sent to the United States.
It's also worth noting that Thailand has all kinds of delicious sauces, and one of the most commonly served condiment is fish sauce, or "nam pla."
Thai fish sauce is a salty sauce that's often produced by fermenting anchovies or other small fish. Various other spices, especially chilis, can be used as well, to create a spicy, salty addition.
Popular Thai fish sauces include Golden Boy, Tra Chang and Squid.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Thailand
Chocolate bar: $4.39
Pack of ground coffee: $4.87
1.75L bottle of water: $0.64
1.5L bottle of soda: $0.95
Gluten-free bread loaf: $7.32
Vegan cheese: $5.47
United States: Ketchup
Created by Henry John Heinz in 1876, ketchup has been the most popular condiment in America for, well, since 1876. The average American consumes 13 pounds of ketchup each year, and the U.S. ketchup market is worth $5.56 billion.
The ketchup we know and love today was originally called catsup and meant "fish sauce." Catsup originated in China and used anchovies. In fact, an early recipe from 1817 included ripe tomatoes, shallots, ginger, allspice, pepper and salted anchovies.
Anchovies were dropped by the mid-1850s, according to Slate, and it wasn't until 1890 that commercially produced ketchup was heavily sweetened.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in the United States
Chocolate bar: $2.99
Pack of ground coffee: $11.99
1.75L bottle of water: $0.79
1.5L bottle of soda: $1.89
Gluten-free bread loaf: $4.49
Vegan cheese: $2.25
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that's like drinkable yogurt. It's a tangy drink that uses milk and cottage cheese-like kefir grains in the fermentation process, which give it a bit of carbonation and a very small amount of alcohol. You can find it in the United States, likely near the same place you'd find kombucha. It's the only dairy product that comes from grains.
The drink has a long history, too. It's believed to have originated in the Caucasus Mountains by shepherds who accidentally fermented the drink in leather pouches. And the drink is believed to have magical healing properties.
In Ukraine, the biggest kefir producer is Polaris.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Ukraine
Chocolate bar: $.90
Pack of ground coffee: $14.36
1.75L bottle of water: $0.43
1.5L bottle of soda: $0.72
Gluten-free bread loaf: $3.59
Vegan cheese: $3.59
Uruguay: Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate originated in Paraguay and has been extremely popular throughout South America since the 18th century. While Uruguay is not the biggest producer of the tea — that's Argentina — Uruguay consumes the most yerba mate per capita than anywhere else in the world. They consume 8.64 kilograms (19 pounds) per capita.
Drinking yerba mate is often a social endeavor in Paraguay, where a hollow gourd or similar-shaped container with a straw is passed around and drank from among a group of friends.
Canarias is the most popular yerba mate brand in Uruguay. You can buy it on Amazon at $13.39 for 2.2 pounds.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Uruguay
Chocolate bar: $3.18
Pack of ground coffee: $12.39
1.75L bottle of water: $1.32
1.5L bottle of soda: $2.45
Gluten-free bread loaf: $5.81
Vegan cheese: $5.97
Cvicek is a wine that's made from both red and white grapes that is produced in the Dolenjska region of southeast Slovenia.
Cvicek used to have a sour taste and reputation for being a poor, cheap wine, but that changed in recent decades. Wine from the Dolenjska region now has to undergo strict quality control.
As for taste, the wine is a ruby-red color with fruity notes and a dry taste. It has a low alcohol volume of between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent ABV, which makes it an everyday kind of wine. It and the Italian Chianti are the leading examples of wines made from red and white grapes.
It's unlike other wines, which getter with age. Cvicek should be consumed within two years.
Cost of Other Staple Foods in Slovenia
Chocolate bar: $0.65
Pack of ground coffee: $4.10
1.75L bottle of water: $0.20
1.5L bottle of soda: $1
Gluten-free bread loaf: $3.5
Vegan cheese: $7.50