Written by Lara Barusso
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
At first, I was concerned how I would survive here! On my first trips to the supermarket, I was lost. I couldn’t find anything I was used to. However, I realised that if you look carefully, you can actually find food that can help you reproduce your favourite Italian dishes.
The interesting thing I found was that, in Lidl supermarket, you can find a lot of Italian stuff; sometimes even Italian brands, with good quality and at a good price. I found Italian brand pasta for an affordable price and it was really good. As well as that, you can find pretty much every vegetable and fruit we have in Italy, and a large selection of Italian hams and salami. They come in boxes, unfortunately, but they’re still good. I’ve had less luck with cheese, but I’ve still found the essential ones like ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella, parmigiano or gorgonzola.
In Bournemouth, there are lots of different grocery stores and each of them has something from Italy. You will always be able to find all the primary ingredients you need. Sometimes the quality is not the best, but it’s pretty good for being in another country! If you are scared about eating and cooking here, like I was, then hopefully this puts your mind at ease. If you look carefully you can find exactly what you need to feel at home.
As an Italian, you may want to know about the coffee in the UK. There are the same Italian brands we use, and they are easy to find!
The essentials from home
Obviously, you won’t be able to find everything, but it’s easy to bring the essentials you need from home. There won’t be too much that you’ll need, but I brought with me some special spices, and some fresh yeast for pizza. Sometimes I bring some honey and some salami or cheese from home, as I haven’t found any in the UK that taste the same as the ones in Italy. Those have been the only things that I can’t find (or that I don’t like) here. As you can see, it’s not much, and you can still have your Italian lifestyle here, and it’s no more expensive than any other food in England!
Food from everywhere
Don’t forget that you have access to a whole world of cuisines available in Bournemouth. There are a couple of Asian shops that have some great Asian and Indian food, but you can also find all sorts of different food to try out or experiment in the supermarket, if you’re daring enough. I did try my hand at lots of new recipes from different countries that I now love, and they are super easy and super cheap. They’re great for adding variety to your meals, saving money, and sharing with friends.
Cooking and Tips
When it comes to cooking, I manage to make pretty much everything I used to eat at home. I can’t make it taste exactly the same, but it’s close enough to make me happy! I also find it useful to cook a lot at once and then freeze everything in portions so I have a faster meal. Time is important and you don’t always want to spend a lot of your evening cooking. I like to do lots of pasta sauce and pizzas and save them in this way. I always have lots of great meals sorted, and pizza is an easy lunch to carry around if your day is too busy to go back home!
Takeaways and eating out
I don’t go out to eat very much, as it can be really expensive. However, there are some places where you can have a good meal for a reasonable price in the town centre. If you keep an eye out, sometimes you can find some great student deals! Also, delivery apps like JustEat and Deliveroo are great in Bournemouth. If you’re in a group, takeaways are always cheaper and they are really good for busy students. You can also get some great discounts. I don’t do it too much personally because I really enjoy cooking, and I think that it’s the best option to eat well and save money.