I love groceries, but this place is designed to feel a little crazy! I went to the largest specialty food store (and self-proclaimed world market) I have ever seen...Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, Ohio. I had heard about it several times and took my chance to finally visit on the way back from Cincinnati.
The store covers 1 1/2 acres of floor space! 50,000 international food products, schools of live fish in tanks, the claim of every jarred pickle on the market. I went for the spectacle (see the giant swinging Campbell's Soup can above), but ended up falling for the place.
You know how much I love packaging, right? Well how I didn't realize ahead of time that this kind of store would be filled with beautiful boxes and cans, I don't know. But when I wandered into the Japanese aisle, it all became clear. Ohhh...Japanese candy - I've got to see that! (Remember my Japanese candy collage?)
A water aisle? Wait...do they have Voss?
A section for England? Do they have Fortnum & Mason tea? (Sadly, no) Biscuits? Lemon Curd? (yes!)
I think I had the most fun in what I call the "International Soda" section. I carefully chose some unique and beautiful soda pop cans that I will be using as vases very soon.
In addition to being a grocery enthusiast, there is one larger reason why I like this store so much. Every international aisle was full of shoppers from that part of the world, speaking their native tongue and happily putting family favorites "from home" into the cart. Unusual Indian spices, canned lychee juice, dark sauces, dried kelp sheets.
Jungle Jim's is like the "It's A Small World" pavilion for groceries and I couldn't help but feel like this was what America was supposed to be like. Everyone feeling special and catered to, all in one place. I loved it.