Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts

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10:00 CEST+02:00
It’s the question on everyone’s lips: Which country in The Local's network offers the best value for wistful expats craving comfort food and drink from home? Well, wonder no more!

Our mission was this: hit the streets of Vienna, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, Lausanne and Oslo and fill a basket with 14 items that fill the hearts and clog the arteries of Anglophone foreigners everywhere.

When in Rome, why not sample some stracciatella soup, a plate of succulent osso buco, all topped off with tiramisù? 

Forget about it! Where’s my Jell-O! 


14 Shades of Brown: Food and booze expats miss

Photo: Mikey Jones

What then will it cost to get hold of these delicacies in cities across Europe? Scroll over the heat map below to count the cost of foodie homesickness.

How we tracked down the goodies

Please add your own observations here. Tell readers that any goods that you were unable to find have been assigned an average price based on the cost in other countries. [see attached excel sheet for notes].

Example - Norway:

We trekked all over Oslo to hunt down the goodies on the list. Our reward? Sore feet and a predictably enormous bill, far eclipsing the total spent in any of The Local’s other countries.

While notoriously expensive, Oslo was not too far ahead of the pack in our comparison – until we came to the alcohol.

Eyes bled, hair stood on end, and families suddenly contemplated eviction as we coughed up 359.90 kroner (€44) for a 70cl bottle of Famous Grouse whiskey and 197.40 for a six pack of Sam Adams.

“There was a fantastic selection of duty free whiskeys available at Gardermoen airport over Christmas so I can’t imagine ever feeling homesick for Famous Grouse at that price,” says David McClymont, a bio-engineer from Scotland who kindly scoured the shelves on The Local’s behalf.

A lot of the items on the list were hard to find, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been available before or won’t be again.  

“For some reason cans of Irn-Bru are readily available at the moment but I'm aware this will not be a new normal,” says David, referencing a popular Scottish soft drink. 

At the Ultra in the Colloseum shopping centre we got our grubby hands on HP sauce and Heinz baked beans.

In House of Oslo, the Meny supermarket helpfully stocked PG Tips, Santa Maria salsa, Skippy peanut butter and Baxters marmalade.   

Story continues below…

Popping over to Arkaden Oslo, we found Kraft mac and cheese and Hershey’s chocolate (15 kr) at Yummy Heaven.

“Norwegian chocolate is absolutely fantastic so it is not a surprise Hershey’s is so cheap to compete. In fact, as an ex-pat, local chocolates such as Kvikk Lunsj really make you start asking serious questions about the quality of Kit-Kats,” says David controversially.

Mercifully, four items were unavailable. In the interests of sparing further Oslo blushes, we pretended Jell-O, Marmite, Vegemite and frozen pork sausages would cost the same in Norway as the average European country.

We all know that’s a lie but at least the children can sleep in their own homes tonight. 

Use the scroll bar on the chart below to see all the prices. 

Incidentally, we're aware that we've navel-gazed somewhat and overlooked a lot of nationalities. Please let us know what you miss from your country in the comments or on social media. Can you give us the ingredients we need for another article?

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