Grocery Shopping in Aruba!

When we’re in Aruba, we have three options for picking up groceries: Ling’s/IGA, Kong Hing and SuperFood.

As I alluded to in Monday‘s post, I like to start off at Ling’s for the initial stocking up.

Ling’s is totally American in its vibe and in the products it stocks. One look at the clientele and you know that the word on the street among visitors from the US is “go to Lings for your groceries.”

on monday, i found apples as big as my head!

I love me my fresh fruit and vegetables! Produce selection in Aruba, however, is completely hit and miss – it matters not which of the three stores you go to. One year, the entire island was out of bananas, so the story goes!

Frankly, I find Ling’s to be very unpredictable and lacking in terms of fruit and veg availability – which is why I also like to go to SuperFood and Kong Hing (Hong King? King Kong? I can never remember the real name!). The best selection can be found by combining a visit to these two stores, in one trip.

All three supermarkets are located in the same vicinity. In the past, we have walked from Ling’s to the other two neighbouring stores (see yesterday’s post to see just how close together they are!). But it’s a hot and dusty walk (and through a couple sketchy alleys) so I wouldn’t recommend this trek. SuperFood and Kong Hing are easily accessible by bus; Ling’s would be a hike up a main road from the bus stop – again, not a desirable experience.

We always taxi for the first grocery outing because it tends to be quite a significant haul! Eating out in Aruba can get pretty expensive, especially if you were to get all meals and snacks from restaurants or mini-marts; grocery shopping is a necessity.

Inventory in all three stores is influenced by the Netherlands, South American countries, and the U.S. It’s a fun experience to just look over all the different products! Here are a few examples. Let’s start at Ling’s!

two different nationalities represented on two different shelves? anyone need some klopklop? no clue what it is, i want to buy it for the name!

Peanut butter is a staple! How about one of these?…

i ended up going with a soy nut butter that is really NOT VERY GOOD!

This photo is dedicated to my childhood friends Joanne and Wanda. Their mom, Mrs M, (note: their family is of Dutch origin) used to make us sugar sandwiches. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I got one for lunch at their place. Look what I found, girls!…

and there were more flavours and sugar sizes, too!

SuperFood is super awesome! It’s probably the smallest of the three stores, but it’s super clean and super organized. The Dutch influence is most pronounced at this store.

neat sweet treats! with names i can't pronounce!

Here’s a veg that I have never seen! Cousin Kate, is this South American?!

"calbos," according to that sticker...i can figure out that "largos" is large!

After you choose your fruit or veg at SuperFood, you have to bag it and weigh it. A sticker then pops out with the weight and price. There ARE staff people available to assist the (many) clueless vacationers!

a pretty fun system to use, actually! like playing produce check-out clerk!

Not a large selection of cereals, here, but this kind looked good!

i've learned the hard way i can't eat choco cereal at night if i want to sleep, so i held off...

It’s funny to see North American name brands with an added language!

becel i recognize. the other words? clueless!

SuperFood is super fun, final assessment!

tshirts celebrating carnaval? don't tempt me!

This sign at the front entrance to Kong Hing caught my eye:

i like the "dear" in there...politeness extreme!

The store is clean and sports an extensive selection; however, organization is a bit lacking:

note the empty shelves, packing boxes...rather a typical sight, here!

The cheese section is huge!

i love the big rounds at the very top, there, serving as decor!

Cereal aisle!! *Like!*

one year i got the most delicious dutch corn flakes here; didn't see them this year - sad!

Fun crackers!

multi-national choices!

And let’s look at chips!

much more fun to say than "ripples" or "cheesies!" ex:"where are my WOKKELS, wife?!"

All in all, grocery shopping in Aruba is not a chore, but a FUN part of my holiday.

You can’t get everything you can at home, and you can’t rely on being able to get a certain fresh product…but that’s part of the intrigue of Grocery Shopping in Aruba!

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  • Johanna  On March 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Oh my, I haven’t had those in AGES! Can you believe that mum made us sugar sandwiches?! I remember whole YEARS during high school of just brown sugar sandwiches. Another whole year of just CHEESE WHIZ sandwiches! Really, it’s a wonder I still have teeth and haven’t grown an extra appendage! lol

    If you want to see a really crazy super market, you should go visit Wanda in Taiwan. Don’t I wish that I had taken pictures there – it was utter madness. Squid treats abound!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      haha, those are fun sandwich memories! i think i used to call your mom’s sugar sandwiches “sprinkle sandwiches” – good memories! wanda and my friend gina could compare taiwan market stories! i’ll have to put them in touch. i’m sure there are *quite* the sights to be seen! (and smelled!)

      • Johanna  On March 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

        Well, there’s SPRINKLE sandwiches (made with what you took pictures of) and SUGAR sandwiches (just pure, straight-up sugar).

        Again, I’m wondering how I still have all my teeth… 🙂

  • janetha  On March 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    i love grocery stores in other countries!!! Fascinating. Happy weekend!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      thanks, janetha! you, too! yes, i know you’re quite a traveller, so i am sure you’ve seen some interesting products!

  • Julie  On March 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I have gotten so used to weighing my own veggies and fruit that I forgot Canada doesn’t do that yet. I have my boys do it for me while I’m shopping!! They use the little computer so quickly.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      that’s so cool, julie! so it’s a euro thing then, to use the scale…makes sense since SuperFoods is very Dutch in nature. bet the boys don’t mind that job at all!

  • Johanna B  On March 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I love grocery shopping. It’s so much fun to see what people have available in other countries.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

      cool! another supermarket fan! it really is a fabulous way to “get to know” another culture!

  • Lisa  On March 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Looks like fun to shop there 🙂

    …and sugar sandwiches!!!! My mom would have totally lost her mind hearing about that one when I was a kid (but I guess I would have known that then, too, and totally would keep it a secret 🙂

  • Holly  On March 11, 2011 at 9:29 am

    That grocery store is hilarious! I can see myself getting super confused and frustrated with weighing my own fruits, doing the stickers, etc. That just seems like something I’d have a hard time with!

    When I went to Germany for 6 weeks in college, I loved going to the grocery store — the labels, the foods, how the store was organized, etc. I just found it fascinating!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

      yes, the first time i saw that scale i was like, hunh?? luckily, the staff quickly assists! now that i know what to do, it’s so fun! oh, that would be fun to see the german products and labels! when my SIL was in finland last summer, she had to try to guess the product by the graphics on the tin/container…it almost becomes a game!

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