January 9, 2010

K & K Foodliner, Edmonton

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I’m a huge fan of specialty foods shops and ethnic groceries. There are still many in Edmonton I haven’t been to yet, all because of location. When going to a store requires a special bus trip, it takes more motivation.

But there is one centrally-located store that we hadn’t visited until recently. K & K Foodliner is on Whyte avenue at 99 st. I used to ride by it on the bus all the time, and I knew they specialised in German sausages, and smoked their own meat, but other than that I didn’t know much. J’s voice teacher told him it was an amazing place, so one Saturday we hopped off the bus and headed in.

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Let’s just say this place is heaven for foodies and Europhiles (is that a word?) like us. We’ve never been to Austria or Germany, but the store reminded us of places we’d visited in France and Denmark. The moment you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a small Austrian village. The smell of smoked meat fills the air, and the tiny aisles are full of Edmontonians getting their European food fix.

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My first question: what the heck does “foodliner” mean? I did a google search but didn’t come up with much, except a trucking company and a few other grocery stores with the word in their names. Since visiting the store, however, I did find out that K and K stands for Krause and Krause, and that the store was started by three Krause brothers and their wives in 1956. (I guess K & K & K was a bit much.) The store is still run by the Krause family today.

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Trolling the aisles, so many of the grocery products struck me as absolutely hilarious. Who buys candy sprinkles to put on bread? Is curry ketchup any good? How about baking flavourings packaged like perfume? I know there are plenty of weird and disgusting packaged items in North America (um, dill pickle chips, anyone?), but these ones are just so foreign to me. There’s also a small selection of German children’s books and romance novels. 

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We left K & K with some thick, smoked bacon that was incredibly cheap, and a block of aged gouda cheese. I also noticed that they sell containers of lard, which I probably would have found disgusting until I read the book Fat by Jennifer McLagan. Now I’m glad I know where to find it, since making pastry with lard is something I’d like to try.



As I mentioned, K & K makes their own sausages in-house, and you can also bring them your wild game to be cut down and/or made into sausages. We saw one family picking up a gigantic order when we were there.

If you’re looking for a taste of Europe, be sure to visit K & K Foodliner. I’m sure you’ll find something unique and tasty to pick up, and you might just have a good laugh, too.

K & K Foodliner
9944 82nd Ave.


Cheryl Arkison said...

We have a place like that - down to the ladybugs - right by our house.

Anne said...

I remember seeing food stuff in DK and Sweden packaged in toothpaste-type tubes. I can't remember offhand what any of them were though! Candy sprinkles on bread is a weird one!

Tammy said...

My family has been shopping here for many years (in-laws from Germany) and now my husband and I go here. In fact, I will be there in the morning when the doors open! The meats are so fresh and tasty, and they have the best liver pate and weisswurst ever. Cheeses from all over the globe, fresh buns, candies ... and the staff are so very nice and helpful.PLEASE never cose your doors! There is no better place in this city than K&K.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I am a K&K addict. My mother used to take me to K&K when I was a very small child about 50 years ago, and I remember getting the free sausage each time we would visit. Then there was the marzipan and Christmas goodies. I have returned time after time like a regular junkie for my fix of German Imported foods and the wonderful sausage that is smoked in the basement of the store, which I believe has had the smokehouse down there for around 50 years. I have actually lived across the back alley in an apartment there off and on over the years while working in Edmonton, and there is that incredible smell in the neighbourhood from smoked ham. There were times I tried being a vegetarian, and times I was out of the country for 6 months, and then when I got anywhere near K&K, I had no self control and headed straight through the door and to the back for the wonderful smoked sausage and ham. My sister moved to Winnipeg many years ago and still returns to visit family and hauls back her little cooler of sausage and other goodies from K&K back to Winnipeg. My parents are 80 now and still frequent the store nearly every week even in the winter months when the streets can be treacherous. What can I say, there are few places like this left now in the city, and I truly hope that it will be around until I am 80!