Little America in Catanzaro

By: Cherrye Moore

New York has Little Italy, London has a China Town and Catanzaro has its own Little America.

Or so it seems.

Right in the middle of Catanzaro between the downtown area and the beachfront neighborhood, Catanzaro Lido is an international grocery store that will darn near make an American expat feel at home.

And that store is Lidl.

This German discount store has over 8,000 stores worldwide but when I’m inside, I feel like I’m at my local supermarket at home, browsing for Mexican chips and chocolate chip cookies.

Some of the best things I’ve found in Lidl include:
- Bluberry muffins
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Grapefruit juice
- Bacon
- Tortilla chips
- Popcorn
- The most American-tasting OJ I’ve found in Italy

These things are such a welcome treat that I forgive their overly cheesy American-sounding product brand name … McKennedy.

Sometimes Lidl will host an international week, such as “American Week,” “Mexican Week,” “Greek Week,” or even Thai, British or Swedish weeks.

When they do, I stock up on cheddar cheese, pancake mix, pecans, dried cranberries, cranberry juice, flour tortillas, extra-large burrito-sized flour tortillas, jalapeno peppers, Mexican salsa, Greek olives, peanut oil …

I, do, however, skip their “American” pizza. Eek. Just look at that corn over there.

Unfortunately, I’m not always the first one to the store when they release their new products and I’ve missed my all-time favorite American breakfast item-bagels.

I rarely miss out on the good stuff, though. In Lidl, I’ve found Mexican tequila, Scottish Whiskey, Greek wine and Ouzo, as well as the hard to find green apple liquor and coconut rum.

Yes, yes, there are many things an expat can love about Italy, and having this little taste of home, just a few minutes down the road, makes a world of difference.

Expats, is there a Lidl near you? If so, what have you found?

Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and travel consultant living in Calabria, Italy. She can organize a group Calabria tour or help you plan a custom itinerary for your family from her website, My Bella Vita.

Photo: cndrnh

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