Euro Foods DC Photo Tour
I love discovering and exploring ethnic grocery stores (see my posts about H Mart and Hana Market) of cultures not well known to me, but the best are those that sell products from my homeland! Euro Foods is a tiny shop serving Balkan imports, namely from the countries that once made up Yugoslavia. I heard about Euro Foods a few months ago, but I only recently had time to ride to Huntington, the Virginian end to the yellow line, to check the store out. After a long, leisurely metro ride and a 5-minute walk from the station to the shop, I had reached my destination.
Despite its underwhelming size, Euro Foods had all of the snacks and staples I grew up with in Belgrade, Serbia! The following photos are highlights of what was in stock.
Bananice – Chocolate Covered Bananas
This store was FULL of chocolate and chocolate products. The first that caught my eye when I walked in were the bananice, or chocolate-covered, banana-flavored treats. I bought a box of 5 original Bananice, from the snack company Štark. My supply has unfortunately run out 3 days after my purchase, so I’ll have to get the bulk box next time I go.
Eurocrem – Serbia’s Response to Nutella
While I prefer Nutella, I can’t help but be nostalgic about Eurocrem, Serbia’s two-toned version of the spread. The brown part of the spread is hazelnut-flavored, while the white part is vanilla-flavored. It’s fun to mix the two flavors or spread them separately. Euro Foods sells everything from huge tubs of Eurocrem to single-serving packets, so it’s easy to bring home a little or a lot! I grew up putting Eurocrem and Cipiripi (a comparable product by Nestle) on palačinke (our word for crepes) for breakfast!
Plazma Keks – “A House Is Not A Home Without Plazma”
Plazma Keks is the Serbian version of the graham cracker. These cookies are shaped like lady fingers and taste like graham crackers. For some reason, the English version of Plazma was named “Lane.” I have no idea why. Maybe the brand thought English-speakers would associate Plazma with fancy TVs. Either way, Plazma Keks is an absolute staple in the Serbian pantry. It’s especially popular as a children’s snack. A ground version of the cookies are also available. It’s intended to be used for baking, but my favorite use of ground Plazma Keks is as an addition to my Nutella crepes!
Jars of Jams, Jellies, Pickles and Preserves
One entire wall of Euro Foods was dedicated to jars of jams, jellies, preserves and every pickled product you could ever need. Highlights include Rose Hip Jam from the Croatian brand Podravka and Ajvar, a red pepper spread popular among my people.
Milka Chocolate – Purple Cows In Myriad Flavors
Hershey’s has nothing on Milka chocolate. While Milka is Swiss and not Serbian, the chocolate is more popular and omnipresent in Serbia than in America. If you haven’t had a Milka chocolate bar, you are missing out; Milka melts in your mouth like a Lindt truffle! Euro Foods carries many varieties of the chocolate including hazelnut, graham cracker caramel and puffed rice (kind of like a Crunch bar).
Cedevita – Drink Your Vitamins!
Cedevita is a fizzy, citrus-flavored vitamin drink usually sold in powdered form. It’s most comparable to Tang, if you remember that beverage. Cedevita contains 9 vitamins, namely 7 B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Smoki – Better Than Potato Chips
Another Serbian icon, Smoki is a salty peanut puff snack comparable to Pirate’s Booty. The snack celebrated its 40th birthday last year. My mom has fond memories from her youth of relaxing in front of the TV while enjoying Smoki. The common thread among junk food staples in my homeland is that they last for generations and inspire nostalgia within the transplanted!
Lots of Chocolate – Enough Said
It seems like the theme of my shopping trip was red, seeing as all my purchases are color-coordinated. I came home with two bags of Smoki ($0.69 each), a box of 5 Bananice ($1.49), a box of Plazma Keks/Lane ($3.69) and a jar of Rose Hip Jam ($2.89). For about $10, I brought home a little piece of Serbia!
I also want to note that this little grocery store is connected to a small carry-out restaurant called Balkan Grill that serves Serbian delicacies like cevapcici and pljeskavice. I will write about my experience there soon!