One of the biggest complaints that expats often have is that they can’t find foodstuff that they’re used to having at home. Luckily for those of us in the Washington Metro Area, there are many international grocery stores peppered around the region. Some have large, fresh produce sections, whilst others are stocked mainly with packaged items. Rodman’s (Discount Gourmet) in Rockville, Md. is one such market.
From the outside, it’s not fancy in any way, and square footage of the premises is not big enough for a grocery store. But they make good use of the space – it’s so crammed with all kinds of foreign goodies, the aisles are just barely enough for a small trolley (or cart, as the Americans call it) to roll through.
Pictures (l-r): Products are organised according to countries of origin; Rockville Rodman’s has a HUGE wine cellar; Find your favourite European chocolate. They’re on sale, often.
That’s what I like about Rodman’s. Wines, chocolates, teas, biscuits, pasta, Latin rice and canned foods are some of the international groceries that you’ll find in abundance. And it’s not just the quantity. After the sale items and shelves full of chocolate, products in the main aisle are arranged according to countries. European nations like Britain, Germany, Italy and France are represented, as are some Latin American countries. There’s a whole selection of Jewish items too. Not too many Asian products are available, but Rodman’s must know that they can’t compete with the nearby Chinese and Korean supermarkets. Alas, I didn’t see any African foods, or Middle Eastern. No wait, they do have Turkish delight…if that counts!
Although Rodman’s is a “discount” store, you’ll still pay a pretty penny for international groceries. That’s how it is at any ethnic grocery market. Check out the Rodman’s website for their current ads to find out what’s on sale. I’ve been able to find some awesome deals on chocolate (Box of Baci for $8 anyone?) coffee (illy’s, Peet’s, Lavazza) and wine. A downside is that they don’t always stock the same products, so you might not always find your favourites.
If you don’t live close to any of the three locations (Friendship Heights, Rockville and Wheaton,) you might wanna call ahead before making the trip.
This is the first in what will be a series of posts about ethnic grocery stores that I hope you’ll find useful, in case you’re looking for some good ones in the area.
Rodman’s is one of them, and I’m extra partial to them for carrying my favourite English tea — Typhoo. Cheers to that!
(This post was originally on DCExpat.com)