ICA Maxi: The Walmart solution to all of your European problems

If you live in Sweden and you’re like, Yeah, well, life here is great and all, but what I really need is a Walmart, look no farther than your closest ICA Maxi. Yes, it sounds like a type of feminine product, but I can assure you that it is not.

Instead, it’s a giant warehouse-style compendium of actually quite fresh produce, prepared foods, bulk and frozen foods, home products, gardening tools, and the required assortment of random seasonal stuff. Plus the Sam’s Club-style eatery, which we’ll call a cafe only because I found a blog post titled “The Greatness of the Sam’s Club Cafe” (by, appropriately enough, a blog called “Dude Foods“… love it). The author of that blog and I should probably be best friends on the basis of the following paragraph alone:

Another plus when it comes to eating lunch at Sam’s Club is that they usually have free samples each day, so when you’re done with your lunch you can walk around the grocery area with your giant soda and eat even more food! I love it when I finish a couple pieces of pizza and then walk around only to find out that they’re also giving out free samples of pizza. That’s bonus pizza!

Ahh, free samples. I miss you, America. Anyway, if you like hot dogs and soft serve ice cream… you’ll love ICA Maxi’s cafe.

Back to the point. Love the ICA Maxi. Next time you need to buy lingonberry preserves or planting soil in bulk, you know where to go. In Malmö, it’s right on the way to Västra Hamnen. You can get off at the bus stops at Turning Torso, Kockums Fritid, or Propellergatan (the absolute closest, in case you’re super lazy or perchance the weather is terrible, which is fairly likely).

The last time I was there was with my friend Bryant, an American friend who worked in London during the summer. We were en route to Turning Torso in Västra Hamnen, and we needed some sustenance for the road. (At least, I need some sustenance. FEED ME.)

Fortunately, ICA Maxi was there to help.

Notice at the top how it says "Bra för humöret." That means "good for your spirits" or "will put you in a good mood" or something like that. Eat candy... it's good for you!!! (Spiritually speaking.)

I’ve written before that Swedes love their candy, and this is just one part of the candy section in ICA Maxi. There are several rows of chocolate and pre-packaged candy in the rows right behind Bryant. There was also a wall about half this size of dried fruits and nuts in the produce section, all equipped with the same tiny little shovels. Oh Sweden, how I love your candy.

A shark raft!! Oh yeahhhhhhh! Just what we need for the pool.

Look at all the stuff behind me!! And the size of the of the charcoal bags at left (to my right)! And the magnificence of the shark raft!!! 2 awesome 4 wordz, dood!!

So there you have it. ICA Maxi: the European Walmart you’ve been looking for.

kate reuterswärd
craves Mexican food on the regular.