How do you spot a serious home cook?


Serious home cooks more often than not like going to the grocery store. I find it relaxing, my wife finds it stressful


I’ve always loved food shopping. I go into grocery stores when I travel. I buy grocery items as souvenirs!

My favorite grocery experience was in PNG in the mid '80’s. The small grocery had a single large garage style rollup door, concrete floors. A couple who could have graced the pages of National Geographic (topless woman, man with pierced nose adorned with a good sized bone) were shopping, reading salad dressing labels and discussing whether to purchase the Newman’s Own or the Wishbone dressing. That shop was my first experience with the greater wonders of Cadbury chocolates. Such an assortment of flavors that I’d never seen in the U.S. !

(Denise) #64

PNG = Papua New Guinea? This inquiring mind wants to know.


I like to go into grocery stores when we travel. Most recently In Austria where we did a lot of cooking at a friends chalet, San Sabastian to get a few things for our BnB and Barbados for a welcoming meet and greet for a bunch of rum geeks. I feel more connected to the town and country when you mingle with the locals shopping for food

(Denise) #66

For sure. Recently we squeezed in a short visit with friends in a town in the Piedmont region of Italy and I got to visit an Esselunga grocery where we stocked up for the weekend. I found myself mesmerized by this prepared food case and the ham legs behind it.

I’d wager that visiting grocers and local markets rank high on the list of travel highlights for many of us home cooks. Plus our friends can enjoy a good chuckle out of our exuberance (in my case, at least). Win-win.

(Junior) #67

Too funny you mention this, my one and only food souvenir. I was so surprised to find corn on the cob in a can I had to buy one. Now it sits on display in my office. Lol

(Has anyone else ever seen canned corn on the cob?)

(Dan) #68

Never wanted to open the contents? How long ago did you acquire this interesting product?

(Junior) #69

Oh it’s at least 10 years old by now. Maybe closer to 15 years now that I think about it. I have never wanted to open it and I probably never will.


I was the same way in Spain - I’ve never seen so many pig legs hanging in a grocery store in my life! I wouldn’t even know how to get one here in the US lol.

(Dan) #71

Unusual/unique food finds while on travel or exploring markets would be a fun HO topic.

My son found an interesting canned product while in Hong Kong and it turned out to be snake puppets. :crazy_face:


I’ve never seen cotc canned. I did see single, husked cobs in shrink wrap sold as shelf stable in the canned vegetable aisle in Walmart several years ago. I’ve never seen them since.


Yes - in Lae.

My travel philosophy was go to the less accessible places when you are young. Never had the funds to follow that idea as fully as I would have liked! PNG was the first on my list and happy I was able to visit during that time period. I’m sure it has changed greatly.

(John) #74

In the early 90’s I did an antiquities tour up the Nile. While the other tourists were buying Papyrus repros & busts of Nefertiti I was buying spices. & a bunch of dangly silver earrings for my daughters.

(:@)) :@)) ) #75

Living in food hell I like checking out the (super)markets when travelling in another country. I like to see what the locals eat and what they sell. It’s one of the highlights of my trips. It’s my sightseeing activity. I’m not the type of tourist who visits all the typical sights listed in the guide book. I only need to make sure to eat, drink and check out the (super)markets. Will get to the sights if I have time otherwise it’s not really necessary.

At home it’s a different story. I hate shopping, it’s like a punishment. Only go because I need to get food, obviously. My quality control is strict so that’s another reason I have to see the products myself. Being a “serious” home cook is not me at all. I’m master of none, decide what to cook when I see what looks good at the (super)market that day.

Tinned game meats in Tallinn. Wild boar, moose, reindeer, bear etc. It’s the same in nordic countries.

In Iceland you can buy or eat fermented shark at the market but supermarkets are open every day, whilst the markets are not.

All of this is cheese, nice looking traditional Polish cheese.


Many folks who know me think I’m a “good” cook (not sure they would think in terms of “serious”, but I only like grocery shopping when I don’t really have to.

Thank goodness my husband does the “have to” grocery shopping, with a list, and I go where I want, off and on, to see what looks interesting and inspirational. No list.

I DO love checking out food places in other countries, but usually with no need to buy.

I find HAVING to shop stressful. Clothes, food, cars, furniture, whatever; …hated it!


Oops! Among my favorites from Paris, France;


I’ve always seen baby canned corn on the cob, I even ended up with a few myself. Whatever I did with them, I can’t recall (probably something Asian).


Where do you live???

(:@)) :@)) ) #80

In food hell where vegs are boiled to death and potatoes are mostly mashed and then mixed with chopped up vegs that have been boiled to death.


I can see why You travel a lot