Here’s why I like to do some supermarket tourism: it’s a wonderful way to learn about the local culture. Unless you rent an apartment and cook at home, you will most likely eat at restaurants. This means you may miss out on things like what kinds of cookies locals prefer. Or what produce is in season. Or how many kinds of beer there are.
So, let me show you around a Jamaican supermarket.
The grocery store we went to is inside an open-air mall enclosed with iron railings. The security guard gave us a red card as we drove in. you’re supposed to hand it back when you leave. Failure to do so will get you in trouble because it means that you are possibly stealing the car. Of course, don’t ever leave the card in the vehicle.
The inside reminded me of an American supermarket, with wide aisles and lots of light. Signs posted on the walls warned customers that eating and drinking is not allowed on the premises.
Most products were American imports, which didn’t surprise me. The prices did, though. Things are more expensive here. What really caught my attention were all those Tesco and Waitrose products. It felt like being in England.
I’m pleased to say that I saw quite a few Argentinean wines on the shelves.
I didn’t see many goods manufactured in Jamaica. Of course, the two main Jamaican products, Red Stripe beer, Blue Mountain coffee, and rum took up a lot of space. The coffee is rather expensive but it is worth every penny. I never had such delicious coffee.
I went nuts in the produce section. I bought different kinds of mango -I didn’t even know there were so many varieties! -, pineapple, bananas, papayas. The tropical fruits are bursting with flavor, juicy and sweet. If you buy anything in Jamaica, let it be coffee and fruit!