Whether you’re stationed at a CONUS or OCONUS location, there is no denying that the commissary is a wonderful resource for military families. MilitaryShoppers recently shared 10 great reasons why your family should be shopping in the commissary mentioning the amazing international food aisle.
The international food aisle has a special place in my heart because it offers a little taste of home for me.
I absolutely love it! My Filipino mother met my father while he was stationed overseas. During my father’s 20+ years in service, we were lucky to be stationed in the Philippines and some other Pacific locations. When we arrived stateside, the commissary provided the supplies needed for my family to recreate the sentimental meals that pretty much summed up my childhood from anywhere we were stationed.
It’s actually a challenge to find certain ingredients at your traditional grocery store, for example, pancit noodles, Sky Flakes or lumpia wrapper wouldn’t be accessible to us otherwise. While we were located in South Carolina, Utah, Texas, among other places, there would be Asian markets that might (only might) have what we need or something comparable, but there was no beating the commissary. It’s always the right price and seemed to more convenient for us. My mom would be able to get her fix on her favorite snacks and we would stock up on rice for months.
The specialty foods might also be spread out throughout the commissary, so keep a lookout. My favorite Filipino sweets are in the bakery section. I noticed them when I was getting dinner rolls, so I was delightfully surprised to see that the commissary distributed them. Also, if I’m not feeling up to making the popular appetizer, lumpia, there are actually pre-rolled frozen, ready-to-cook lumpia in the freezer section. I know they are also there in the commissaries I’ve encountered in the past. Be sure to patrol the freezer section.
In addition to sharing our culture and favorite foods, we were so lucky to come across others from all over the world! The military allows for all families to take a piece of their duty station with them when they PCS and the Asian selection is just a fraction of what’s on hand. In my experience, I am truly amazed and proud of how open the military community is to other cultures– and their food!
Even if you haven’t actually been to an OCONUS location yet, the international foods available gives you an opportunity to try out new flavors or recipes that you’ve been itching to put together. Also, if you received overseas orders, your family can get a head start on the cultural food.