One of the biggest problems of living in a foreign country is navigating local foods and finding foods from home. Fortunately in Daegu and other parts of Korea we have a vital lifeline in Homeplus supermarkets which provide a vast variety of UK and other western foods to supplement a Korean diet.
Homeplus is a partnership with the UK Tesco supermarket chain and Samsung. To the novice it may seem like any other Korean grocery store until you enter the biscuit or cookie aisle. There are many brands of UK Tesco brand biscuits as well as some other imported varieties.
This has been a constant staple in my grocery shopping and I was fortunate enough to live a short distance from a Homeplus branch for my first two years in Daegu.
UK imported brands also make up the entire cereal aisle. Long favourites like Weetabix, Corn Flakes, and Special K can easily be found.
Wandering around the aisles you will come across many other imported UK foods ranging from prunes to sardines. If you like to cook Indian foods they even have frozen parathas.
Although cereals are stocked on a regular basis one complaint is that the biscuit section is not. I've seen many biscuits such as chocolate sundaes, chocolate shortcake, custard creme, oaties, malted milk, only then to vanish and never to be seen again.
Restocking can be erratic and a brand many not turn up again for a couple of months. For this reason I've unfortunately had to hoard favourite brands when they are in stock. Its no point checking other branches as they all get the same shipment at the same time.
They also do have some other imported biscuits from Sweden and Italy but again, restocking is at very irregular times.
I've found Homeplus useful in being able to provide real life props for kids when teaching them about food from the UK. I have them look for the "Made in UK" label on items.
You can't get any more British when you have baked beans, prunes, and sardines. Prices are usually quite reasonable and its affordable to shop here on a regular basis as I have been doing.
Most people think of Costco in terms of imported foods but they only have one branch in Daegu and require an annual membership. They are more geared to American brands while Homeplus is more British. Also Homeplus has several branches and doesnt require any membership fees.
Homeplus has been a lifeline for me and what has made living here tolerable particularly in the first few months when I didnt understand hangul and had no idea of local foods.
Be sure to check out their 5pm clapping show when all the assistants stand at the top of aisles and clap along to "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands".