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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Supermarkets Live Up to Their Name

A common complaint about food shopping in Moscow is that one can never go looking for something and be sure of finding it. Supplies are often erratic and one-stop supermarket shopping is usually only a fantasy.

However, the last couple of years has seen the emergence of large supermarkets supplied by huge private warehouses that have trucks stocking them daily. Moscow is now well on the way to becoming a city where one can head off to the store to buy everything on one's grocery list.

A good example of this trend is the supermarket Unicor. It has a surface area comparable to a suburban supermarket in the West, with broad aisles, attractive displays and an impressive range of goods. Only the prices are a reminder that you are in Moscow.

Unicor certainly has one of the best ranges of dairy products in town, including cottage cheese ($4.66 for 400 grams), various sorts of whipped cream ($7.43 for 990 grams of long-life whipped cream). There is a wide choice of German and French yogurts, as well as low-fat plain or flavored kefir ($8.50 for 946 milliliters), and chocolate-flavored milk ($2.11), Dutch, German, Italian, Lithuanian, French and even Ukrainian milk. Unicor also has one of the best selections of cheeses (Brie is $1.84 per 100 grams). It offers fresh-looking fruit and vegetables, though the selection is not as large as you might expect.

Unicor's drawcards include a bakery with tables and chairs, a fresh-juice counter, a delicatessen with prepared salads ($2.15 for 100 grams of stuffed grape leaves) and a wide assortment of deli meats and a decent meat section. It also has an Asian area, and canned and bottled goods I have rarely seen elsewhere, such as canned artichoke hearts ($6.80) and small bottles of cooking Madeira ($6.10). Ice-cream lovers will find American, Italian, Dutch, French and German ice cream. There's even diet ice cream.

If you are planning to shop at Unicor, a car is recommended. The supermarket is a fair distance from the center, and you probably won't want to lug all your groceries on the metro.

Even if you don't have a car, it might be worthwhile to hire a driver for a big shopping trip because you can also stop off at another very good supermarket, Super Siwa.

Super Siwa is a Finnish-Russian joint venture that offers a good-sized fresh-fruit and vegetable section, a decent selection of fresh meat at competitive prices, and its own bakery selling croissants, donuts and fresh bread under a display of little clocks showing the time that the bread came out of the oven. It has one of the city's best selections of cooking sauces and spices (Knorr's Nasi Goreng is $6.40) and a little Mexican section ($5.55 for 125 grams of Casa Fiesta taco shells.) Other finds include shortbread pastry ($3.65 for 500 grams) and ice-cream cones (about $4.50 for a box of 10). Super Siwa has a 5 percent diplomatic discount.

Unicor can be found at 12 Osenny Bulvar, metro Krylatskoye, tel. 413-1744.

Super Siwa is located at 9 Slaviansky Bulvar, korpus 1, metro Kutuzovskaya, tel. 115-0570.