One of the things I love about going somewhere new is having a look around the local supermarkets and seeing all the different products available to buy. As I live within easy walking distance of a BIG C (a giant sort of Hyper Marché chain here in Bangkok) and needed some Diet Coke I thought I would wander up and have a look around and I was not disappointed. In addition to oddities like what appeared to be an entire aisle of different types of oyster sauce there were also rows and rows of pre mixed spices to make quick and easy Pad Thai, Tom Yum and Pad Kapao to mention just a few.
I wonder if using these spice mixes is the norm here in Bangkok or if the majority of people still make their own from scratch? I would be interested to find out! They also had numerous different varieties of rice including some pretty ones coloured with things like Butterfly pea (making them bright blue!) which I bought to make mini Thai Christmas Hampers with to send back to the UK.
The fruit and vegetable section was as impressive as you might expect with huge bundles of fresh herbs being misted with water to keep them fresh, a salad bar and a smoothie bar too in amongst the aisles. It was interesting that the seafood and meat counters were largely self service – even for things like minced meats which I have never seen before, usually they are either pre packaged or a butcher type person packs it up for you, I wonder why they do it differently here?
There was a very impressive selection of wines, beers and spirits too and I was surprised to see they had a huge range of both Monin and Tessier syrups which I have not seen the equivalent of outside of France. Whilst supermarket shopping is definitely not as fun or as interesting as visiting a local market it is still one of my “must do” things when visiting a new country – what are yours?