Senior Mya Vo is a reporter for Nordic News during the 2022-2023 school year. Her goal this year for Nordic is to learn more about writing articles and...
Snack your way around the globe
Snacks are delightful introductions to other cultures! To reflect the diversity of cultures in our area, we featured selected snacks from local grocery stores that import foods. We selected snacks through employee recommendation and by browsing the shelves to see what caught our eyes. Take a short journey around the globe by trying these snacks with us!
Feb 1, 2023
Shoreline Kitanda Espresso and Acai
Our first stop is Shoreline’s Kitanda Espresso and Acai, a popular Brazilian chain cafe. Though this cafe specializes in acai bowls, breads, sweets and drinks, some locations offer imported Brazilian snacks.
If you like potato chips, you’ll love Batata Palha (bah-tah-tah pah-yah), which are small, thin potato sticks popular in Brazil. They can be consumed as a standalone snack, a side dish or topping for creamy dishes like stroganoff. With a taste and crunchy texture resembling potato chips and appearance similar to mini french fries, Batata Palha are a savory, mouthwatering snack that we keep coming back to.
If you’re a fan of cute designs, Passatempo Leite (pah-sah-tehm-poh ley-cheh) — crunchy milk biscuits from Brazil that come with five different printed animals on them — are right up your alley. Although they’re not all that flavorful, the adorable animals and satisfying crunch more than make up for it. This is a snack best when dunked in milk, coffee or tea.
The second stop is Plaza Latina, a large, bustling grocery store in Shoreline focused on Central and South American products.
With bright packaging that captures one’s attention, Corn Brights are vanilla-flavored corn puffs from Mexico. Corn Brights are vibrant green, yellow and pink on the outside and pale tan on the inside. The puffs are light and airy with a pleasant crunch, and they have a sweet artificial flavor. If you like Nilla Wafers, you’ll enjoy the similar flavor and texture of the Corn Brights as another fun snack option.
Plaza Latina also offers Duvalin Hazelnut-Strawberry, an incredibly sweet Mexican candy that serves as a good alternative to typical chocolate and vanilla pudding flavors. They come individually packaged in small, flat containers with cheerful pink and blue lids. The taffy-like strawberry and hazelnut candy are split diagonally in the container, and mini spoons are included in the box for you to immediately eat the snack when you get it. While the candy’s artificial flavor may not be for everyone, it can be a satisfying snack to satiate a sweet tooth.
Asian Family Market
Our third stop is Asian Family Market, a large and popular supermarket in Bellevue with hundreds of snack options, a food court and appropriate prices.
Lǎopó bǐng (laoh-poh bing) are traditional Chinese cakes whose name can be loosely translated as ‘wife cakes.’ Although the outer biscuit part of the snack tastes plain and has a dry and crumbly texture, we loved the inner red bean and winter melon filling for its chewy texture and delicious taste. Because of the dry texture we recommend you pair this with a nice hot tea.
If you prefer savory foods, you’ll enjoy munching on Guōbā (gwoh-bah) like we did. Guōbā are square, chip-like snacks that are visually reminiscent of Chex cereal. They’re made from millet and taste similar to corn chips but with a light and airy texture that make them addicting to eat.
Goodies Mediterranean Market
The next stop is Goodies Mediterranean Market on Lake City Way, a small and cozy Halal specialty grocery store carrying many spices, vegetables, meats, sweets and snacks imported from all across the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean.
Our favorite snack from this location were the Hanimeller Alacati Kurabiyesi (aluh-chah-tee kuh-rah-bee-yeh-si), which are cute flower-shaped biscuits from Turkey. As soon as you open the bag, you’re greeted with a pleasant aroma from the spices. This small biscuit is crumbly with a modest sweet flavor and its charming appearance certainly adds to its appeal.
Another tasty snack to try is Halwani Bros Maamoul (mah-moouhl), which are date-filled shortbread biscuits from Saudi Arabia. The biscuits are sweet and the chewy date filling has a pleasant flavor from the spices and texture, but the pastry part was a little dry for our taste.
African Food Market LLC
Our last stop is African Food Market LLC, a small, cozy store in Lynnwood with friendly staff and a wide variety of African foods.
Chin Chin Snackers are a cinnamon flavored twist on a snack popular throughout West Africa. They have a light cinnamon flavor and are crunchy, but are slightly dry, making them pair well with a nice tea or other drink.
Another snack from this market are Menthe Fraiche L’Original (mont frehsh loh-reh-zhinal), a vibrant teal blue mint from Senegal that comes individually wrapped in a package of 50. These mints have a light and fresh flavor that isn’t overpowering and is great for refreshing your palette, making them perfect as a follow-up to all the other snacks we’ve enjoyed in this article.