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What’s in a Moldovan Supermarket?

While you can’t get everything you would have been able to find at home, you can get everything you need and more. While products like curry paste or Brie cheese or Dr.Pepper, are not available at a regular grocery store, you can find these products at some of the specialty stores in Moldova.

Living in Balti, I had several supermarkets to choose from including the always amazing, Metro, so I could get almost any specialty product that’s available in Moldova (we did not however have anywhere in Balti that had Dr. Pepper, although I’ve heard rumors they have it now). Most volunteers however, even those living in Raion centers, do not have access to most specialty products, but they usually have at least one grocery store. Volunteers in villages often have one magazine, that might sell sodas, alcohol, snack foods, ice cream and a few other things – meaning they have to do most of their shopping at their local piata or when they’re visiting the cities here.

One interesting thing here is the milk. It comes in three different types of containers and you always, always have to check the expiration dates, because it’s not unusual for it to be expired or near expiration.

The three packages for milk in Moldova.

The three packages for milk in Moldova.


Another interesting thing in the grocery stores in Moldova are the chip flavors and variety. (See my previous posting on beer snacks for more information on that.)

But the most interesting thing about the grocery stores in Moldova is their varied merchandise – ie they don’t always necessarily have certain stock, depending on the season, where they import from, and the prices vary greatly by season. One great example of this is tomatoes.In the summer tomatoes may cost 8 lei for a kilo (2 pounds) and in the winter maybe 80 lei for the same amount. That is if you can find them.

This drastic difference in price and availability between the winter and summer months means your diet at different times of the year looks vastly different.



About I think about that every day

I guess this blog will be a really long answer to the generic 'about me' question.


One thought on “What’s in a Moldovan Supermarket?

  1. Hello Leah,

    I found this blog when I looked at an expat site. I have been interested in Moldova for a while. The poverty in the countryside is really saddening and don’t get me started on the human trafficking. I have trouble sleeping at night on that one! The problems seem so overwhelming, one really doesn’t know where to start. Balti appears to be a bigger city, but I assume you got out of the city limits every now and then. What are your thoughts on the things that would have the greatest impact for good? My head just buzzes with ideas that only get shot down when I think about being just one person and there are so many Moldovans who need help. Helping just one family is tempting but I worry how their neighbors would feel. That would create a lot of resentment.

    Posted by Stuart M. | December 5, 2015, 2:06 pm

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