Regional Food

A new summary of notable regional foods, and the c-stores that embrace them.

Some blog topics are more popular than others. This has been proven time and again by posts with “unusual foods” in them. People just love to read about out-of-the ordinary eats, because they’re always different; you never know what to expect.

If the food being discussed comes from a region with its own unique mini-culture, it gets even more interesting; and if it can be purchased from a convenience store that reflects that uniqueness, well, all the better.

Last year we posted an overview of regional cuisine, but honestly, our research just scratched the surface. There were plenty more examples where those came from, so we thought we’d share a few more. Our only challenge was narrowing candidates down to a manageable sample. Here’s what made the cut.

La Michoacana Mangohelada (Mangonada); Michoacán, Mexico. Michoacán has a long history of farming sugar cane, which explains why it is known for its wide variety of sweets and desserts. The region’s Helados Michoacanos ice cream stores are legendary. The La Michoacana Mangohelada takes a popular refreshment from the region and packages it for store shelves across the globe, mixing sweet and heat in a cup of mango chunks and chamoy, a fruit cup with a difference.

Cornish Pasty; Cornwall, UK. Cornwall. It’s on the Southwest tip of Britain, which is rather raw and nasty, a good place for folk tales and ghost stories. To live in a location known as “Land’s End” takes a hearty people, and the food for which the region has become known reflects it. Cornish Pasties are flat-out comfort food, beef and vegetables baked in a flaky pastry. Insiders say that Boscastle Farm Shop, makes some of the best, and, in addition, they offer a wide variety of upscale and convenience food and merchandise.

Various; Japan. It’s not hard to picture Japan as its own region, with a uniformly creative approach to providing new food and merchandise options to consumers. To outdo themselves, they often borrow from other sources, including each other. This innovation results in a mind-boggling variety of offerings, for example, a steamed bun with fried chicken and a slice of cheese from Ministop, or the astonishing Yakisoba Pan, a hot dog roll filled with noodles and available at Lawson.

Biltong and Droewors; South Africa. The South African c-store chain, FreshStop, makes an effort to stock foods that are associated with the country. Biltong is jerky-like cured meat, which can be made from indigenous game like kudu and springbok. Droewors is dried sausage made with extra lamb fat. Coriander is the lead spice in both of these items, giving them a distinctive taste.

Spam Musabi, Hawaiian Islands. No one really knows for certain how spam (the meat product) became so ubiquitous in the Islands, but Spam Musabi—a slice of grilled spam in a sweet and savory sauce placed on a block of rice, with the entire thing wrapped in nori seaweed—has been a go-to here since World War II. Though it looks a little worn, Waialua’s Paalaa Kai Mini-Mart is reputed to have some of the best, with the extra advantage that you can eat take out best spam musabi in on a nearby beach. Kukui Convenience also has its fans.

Is a regional food selection something you think can work in your c-store? Or are you questioning the performance of the items you are already carrying? SSCS Software can help. Modern back office software and inventory management tools give you information to help answer those questions. No matter how-off-the-beaten-path your merchandise may be, technology will help you stay on top of performance, and adjust your inventory accordingly, when needed. Give us call at 1-800 927-7727 for an explanation of how our solutions can work for you.