Living in the country has its benefits. The air is clean and fresh, there is loads of space between houses, and life tends to move at a slower pace. I lived in Glasgow for a few years and really loved it, but I have to say that country life suits me better. But living out here has its downsides, too – primarily when it comes to finding speciality foods. My local Co-op is handy, but doesn’t really deliver if I want authentic salsa. For ingredients like this, I turn to online retailers. Here are some I use regularly.
For that salsa, I visit Mexgrocer. It’s the best place I’ve found for authentic Mexican food, ingredients, and condiments. I regularly buy items such as corn tortillas (a must for enchiladas), salsa casera (great in just about anything including chilli, nachos, and baked Mexican casseroles), and hominy (a special corn used in soups, baked dishes, and as a side). There are literally hundreds more items (tomatillos! Masa! Dried chillis!) to choose from and a very reasonable £50 minimum spend for free delivery.
I spent a good part of my youth in Germany, and am extremely fond of the food. When cravings hit, I head to German Deli. There I can find authentic Spreewalder pickles, fresh spatzel, and Tomy mustard – the best to have with kraut, veggie brats, and veggie burgers. They have much more than just my favourite items, including white asparagus when it’s in season. Shipping is discounted for orders over £50 and free for those over £100.
If you want Italian food, you won’t find better than Nife is Life. They have a huge range of ingredients, deli items, and sweets. Their cheese section is particulary impressive, and because I am a giant child, I always go for Nonno Nanni Robiola. Their Burrata is phenomenal and never last more than a day in our house. They also sell just about any kind of pasta you can imagine. Shipping is free over £60, and you can often get further discounts by signing up for their newsletter.
We do a lot of Japanese and Korean cooking, and source many of our ingredients from Japan Centre. They offer everything from food staples, skincare, and some of the most kawaii tableware you’ll find. I like to stock up on new season rice (trust me – it’s delicious), rice seasoning, and many varieties of noodles. They offer a lot of fresh food like kimchi, tofu, and mochi. Delivery is free on orders over £65, but there is a surcharge for parcels containing chilled items. It’s a good idea to sign up for their newsletter as they always have offers on.
I’ve been slowly moving toward a more plant-based lifestyle, so I’ve been shopping at The Vegan Kind Supermarket almost weekly. They have the largest selection of meat substitutes including both my beloved Sgaia cold cuts, and Love Seitan’s kilo blocks. They’re also my only known source for Califia’s Chocolate Coconut Almond Blend. On top of this, they offer impossible-to-find treats like vegan doughnuts, fresh vegan pasta, and even cakes. Most mainland orders get free shipping over £65.
Do you have a favourite online food shop? I’m always keen to try new things, so please share a link in the comment section.