I visited the international food shops on Grimsby’s Freeman Street and…

I’ve lived in Grimsby on and off for all my life, but I’d never visited any of the international food shops in the town – until now.

I’m not really sure why I’d never given them a go before. I love trying new foods and always aim to eat local whenever I visit a new country – so seeing what was on offer at the international food shops was a welcome treat.

First I visited the Euro Fresh store on the first corner of Freeman Street near Asda.

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This shop offers an range of international foods, including Romanian, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian fare – with the most commonly sold products being Romanian.

I can’t talk about this place without mentioning how friendly and accommodating the staff were. As soon as I walked inside, they were so helpful and chatted to me about the different products on offer.

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Mariwan and Ivana were so friendly and helpful

They showed me around the shop and explained what the items were and where they came from, and suggested things for me to try.

One thing I definitely will be returning to buy is a bottle of the Pepsi Twist with lemon – I can’t help but surprise why on Earth this isn’t obtainable in English supermarkets.

The shop also had plenty of bags of trusty Lays crisps, which have always been an basic snack for me when I’ve travelled oversea.

A holiday must-have

Those who enjoy a drink can also take advantage of the abundance of imported spirits and liquors on offer.

Ivana, who works at the Euro Fresh store, is from Romania, and has been living in Grimsby for three years.

She said: “Most of our meat is from Romania. We have pork and chicken. We eat this salami meat for breakfast, and we have sheep, goat and cow’s cheese which we also eat for breakfast.

“It’s really popular in Romania. The sausages are more for barbecuing and we also have pork skin. Typically you eat these sausages with salad or chips on the side. You have to try it.

“The ribs, pork skin and salamis are our most popular items. English people like it too, we get around 10 to 20 local people in a day. They love the pork skin.”

I left the shop with some turkey salami, Turkish baklava and some moreish Romanian crisps that taste quite similar to Ritz crackers. The staff very kindly gave me my items for free!

Down the road is the Issy Afro-Caribbean groceries shop, which stocks everything you could possibly need if you wanted to make a popular Jamaican dish like jerk chicken or curry goat.

A huge section of the shop is dedicated to seasonings and spices which are guaranteed to give dishes that additional kick.

There were plenty of seasonings and spices here to give dishes that additional kick

Spices on offer include banga spice, suya mix, adobo seasoning, hot curry powder, jerk seasoning, whole hot peppers and ground hot peppers.

Other favourites from across the Atlantic included Jamaican ackee – the country’s national fruit – along with Jamaican guava jam and Jamaican callaloo, a popular green leafy vegetable.

I also spotted cans of a drink called Malta Guinness, which, after a little bit of Googling, I’ve found out is Nigeria’s number-one soft drink.


About a one-minute walk away is another Afro-Caribbean shop, which had crates of exotic vegetables like yams and plantain, which looks (and tastes) a bit like a savoury banana.

Most products came from Ghana, such as the Shito Hot and additional Hot spicy pepper sauce, and an abundance of red palm oil which I’ve read is noticeable in West African dishes.

Although I might not be trying any of the spicier elements in a hurry, it was eye-opening to see just how many different international foods are obtainable in Grimsby, right on my doorstep.

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