It would have been hugely welcome when one of us Scouters was doing a crazy shuffle between Mumbai and Delhi, this grocery store located just outside the arrival gate of Chatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport. If open then, Caramello Superette is where we would stop on our way home on Thursdays at 11:45 pm, fueling up on imported cookies and a stash of chips after a dinner-less, cost-cutting flight. Domestic help, indeed!
Very Imported Person
Featuring bland interiors and an unfortunately stock-image mascot (note to management: we have a really great illustrator you can use!), Caramello features everything imported from wafers to water (even the Thumbs Up can has an Arabic label), but the collection is scant, with only two to three brands for every product category: the cookie shelf is dominated by usual suspects like Walkers’, Fox’s and Chips Ahoy; chocolates are Lindt and Cadbury. Yawn.
We did, however, enjoy garlicky Greek Houmous Olympus hummus; a tiny packet of sour cream and chive pretzels by Penn State, which at Rs 100 had to be the cheapest snack in the store; and the meat collection, nicely fleshed out with hams in interesting flavors like honey roast, smoked Boston and gammon ham by Meadows Meat. PS: While shopping, we suggest you make sure to check the ‘best before’ dates, for we spotted a number of products reaching expiry in September and October, 2012.
Arriving at a Conclusion
Caramello isn't as big or fancy as some of the other gourmet grocery stores in Mumbai (Foodhall at Palladium, we're looking at you), and it doesn't have an alcohol section or a baked goods counter. It's also wincingly expensive - we spotted Red Leicester cheese originally priced at GBP 1.99 (approximately Rs 160) marked up to Rs 400! - and inconveniently located for anyone but travelers. But if you've just returned from a long business trip and fear punishment at home for not bearing gifts, or land in the city without dinner in sight like us, it is a lifesaving stopover.
What to Buy
Espuña chorizo for the perfect sandwich. Rs 480 for twelve slices.
Birds Eye Cod Fillets, for when you miss England’s chip shops. Rs 1,250 for a packet of four large fillets.
Canadian Ronnefeldt Cream Orange tea. Rs 525 for twenty tea bags.
Diabetic raspberry handmade jam by Thursday Cottage. Rs 450 for 315 grams.
England’s most popular Patak’s Jalfrezi, a readymade masala paste. Rs 390 for 500 grams (serves 4).
Bon appétit, and welcome home!
Getting there: Outside arrivals gate, Terminal 1B, Chatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport, 66859788, Rs 100 for a small packet of pretzels.
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