It’s the question on everyone’s lips: Which country in The Local's network offers the best value for wistful expats craving comfort food and drink from home? Well, wonder no more!
Our mission was this: hit the streets of Vienna, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, Lausanne and Oslo and fill a basket with 14 items that fill the hearts and clog the arteries of Anglophone foreigners everywhere.
When in Rome, why not sample some stracciatella soup, a plate of succulent osso buco, all topped off with tiramisù?
Forget about it! Where’s my Jell-O!
THE SHOPPING LIST IN PICTURES:
14 Shades of Brown: Food and booze expats miss
Photo: Mikey Jones
What then will it cost to get hold of these delicacies in cities across Europe? Scroll over the heat map below to count the cost of foodie homesickness.
How we tracked down the goodies
Running low on tinned haggis? Got a hankering for English pork sausages? Wishing you'd stashed some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups into your carry-on luggage the last time you visited home?
We understand. It's a new country, a new language and new cuisine. You're on an adventure, but there are times when you'd give anything for a taste of home. Never fear. The Local has gone shopping, just for you. While we were able to find most things, any items that weren't locally available have been assigned an average price based on the cost in other countries.
Bobby's Foodstore, near U4 Kettenbrückengasse (Schleifmühlgasse 8, 1040 Wien) is an institution.
They specialise in British and American imported foodstuffs and will try to source an item if you don't see it stocked on their shelves. The Local spoke to Lauren at Bobby's to find out just what people go crazy for.
According to Lauren, teenagers go wild for Wonka Nerds, Butterfingers and M&Ms, young adults buy Strongbow and PIMM'S by the truckload, particularly in summer, and older customers love the ready-to-bake pancake and cake mixes. People even go mad for tinned haggis. Really.
One regular customer is forever asking them to stock her favourite brand of English toilet paper. (Andrex, in case you're wondering. No idea how she's surviving in the meantime.) And three people have come in on separate occasions asking for potatoes. Just to be clear, Bobby's don't stock fresh fruit and veg - you'll find an abundance at your local supermarket and grower's markets.
Marcus, a born and bred Austrian, was in Bobby's to buy his weekly fix of Tunnock's Caramel Wafers (€1.60 for 4 x 30g packets). He explains that his addiction to the Scottish sweet developed when a friend brought some back after visiting Brighton on holiday.
This is apparently not unusual according to Lauren, who says that quite a number of their customers are Austrians, who've either developed a taste for something while overseas or have seen an item on film or TV and are keen to try it. Newsflash: This even extends to Vegemite! So the taste can be acquired!?!
If you prefer to shop at the swishier end of town, you'll also find many imported favourites at Julius Meinl am Graben near Stephansplatz (Graben 19, 1010 Wien). They stock a range of imported food along with European delicacies and many fresh food options. Seafood, chocolates, wine, it's all there. If you're in the mood to celebrate, why not grab a 700ml bottle of Le Voyage de Delamain Cognac - a steal at only €5,900.
If your mood isn't quite this euphoric, perhaps opt for the more "down home" Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, for a mere €1,990. If you don't own a fireplace, a smoking jacket or a well-stuffed armchair, get into their 6-packs of Guinness or hey, try a The Famous Grouse Truffle Bar. At €2.49 for 90g, it's 3% whiskey and a melt-in-your-mouth, little slice of Scottish heaven. Hoots!
Use the scroll bar on the chart below to see all the prices.
Incidentally, we're aware that we've navel-gazed somewhat and overlooked a lot of nationalities. Please let us know what you miss from your country in the comments or on social media. Can you give us the ingredients we need for another article?