Food: Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam was by far one of the easiest cities to settle into from a food perspective. We ate like kings!!  Less than a half mile from the apartment we had two great grocery stores; Village Supermarket and Shoppers Plaza. Both were very traditional grocery stores and well stocked, but I did find I liked each one separately.

The Village Supermarket was the smaller of the two stores. It was only five aisles, though it had most everything we needed.  I purchased most all our produce and meat from the Village Supermarket.  The staff was super friendly and always made sure I was picking the good avocados and mangos. I also found that the boys preferred the bread from the bakery at Village.  I did price comparisons and I did often find that Village was much more expensive on other items like flour, chips, milk, eggs, etc, so I just picked up the meat, bread, and produce from Village and left everything else to Shoppers.

Here’s my research data on Village Supermarket:

  • 2 apple varieties.
  • 2 packaged breads; white and wheat, which came from the bakery and was often out.
  • 16 milk varieties. All the milk was warm and we never really found a milk we liked drinking.
  • 5 small aisles.

The Shoppers Plaza was MUCH larger than the Village Supermarket.  I would say it was easily 4 times larger than the Village Supermarket.  It was more like a mini-Walmart even.  There was a home goods section with appliances, dishes, towels, etc as well as a full grocery store.  As with Village, the staff at the Shoppers Plaza was always very friendly and helpful.  There were often staff just standing in the aisles to ask if you needed help. The store was always well stocked and a larger selection than the Village Supermarket, though the quality wasn’t nearly as great. We found things we hadn’t seen in a while … including Jif peanut butter!!

Here’s my research data on Shoppers Plaza:

  • 4 apple varieties.
  • 6 packaged bread varieties.
  • 30~ milk varieties. (Honestly, I couldn’t count all the milk.  There was an entire aisle of milk. I have no idea why there was so much milk.)
  • 12 very long aisles.

Other comments about food in Dar es Salaam:

  • Any packaged food was crazy expensive though you could eat like a king if you stuck with produce and meat!  For example, the 2 sticks of butter was TSH9,900 ($4.30) and my coffee creamer was TSH11,000 ($4.78), but an avocados were TSH500 ($0.22) and mangos were TSH1,000 ($0.43). My go-to-meal was a lovely avocado salad with feta cheese.  The feta was pricey, but it was A-mazing!  I easily ate 30 avocados while in Dar es Salaam.
  • We were all really happy to find some of our favorites like Jif Creamy and Crunchy ($9 per jar) and Reece Cups ($3 per package). Though some items were very expensive, we did allow ourselves to indulge.
  • The Bread never lasted long. We found that a loaf of bread made it about 4-days before we found spots of mold. I don’t know if the mold caused by how hot it was and the moisture in the air or if the bread was made differently. My guess is that it is a little of both.

Here are a few pictures from Village Supermarket:

^Here’s the bakery at the front of the store and as you can see there’s literally 13 loaves of bread.

^Here’s the milk — on the shelves … nice and warm!

^I ended up grabbing a lot from the pre-packages produce. It was super easy and everything was already washed, cut, and ready to go!

^This is the single cream I found for my coffee! TSH 11,000 is about $4.78.

^Butter – 2 sticks TSH 9900, which is $4.30.

Here are a few pictures from Shoppers Plaza:

^Avocados were TSH500 ($0.22) and Mangos were TSH1,000 ($0.43).

^This is about what the bread selection looked like every time I went to Shoppers.

^Look at all this milk?!?!

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