Tag Archive for: local grocery store

Christmas Meals from Around the World

Depending on where you live, how you celebrate the holidays may look very different. Not only do traditions and activities vary, but so do the foods that are commonly found on the Christmas dinner table. Indeed, even in the U.S., popular Christmas foods—and different takes on those foods—can vary regionally. At Nick’s of Calvert, we love that each culture, region, and religion has its own way of doing the holidays, and when you shop with us, you can find the ingredients that you need for whatever you plan to serve. Here’s a look at some common Christmas meals from around the world

Feast of the 7 Fishes – Italy

If you are from Italy or grew up with Italian influence, you may be familiar with the holiday tradition of the “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” While the tradition originates from southern Italy, today, it’s especially popular amongst Italian Americans. Seven is the most repeated number in the bible, and therefore this meal features seven dishes of seafood. Some of the most common types of fish and seafood to be featured are cod, shrimp, calamari, and linguini with a clam or lobster sauce. Yum!

Wigilia – Poland

The traditional Christmas meal in Poland is called Wiglia, and it’s a meal that can’t be started until every member of the family has first participated in the traditional breaking of the wafers. Then, 12 dishes are served for dinner. One of the centerpieces of the meal is the traditional Polish borscht, a type of cabbage soup that is red in color and served throughout the year. In addition to the borscht, one can traditionally find sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, mushroom soup, and dumplings on the table, as well as a variety of sweet foods, such as dried fruits and gingerbread.

Lechón – Puerto Rico

While mainland Americans typically love to serve a roast ham on Christmas, in Puerto Rico, families prepare lechon, or roast suckling pig. The tradition requires multiple days of preparation. Alongside the roast pig, sides that are commonly found include meat pastries wrapped in plantain leaves, coconut-based pudding, and even a version of eggnog that has coconut in it.


If you spend the holidays in Greenland, you may be surprised—and perhaps even a little taken aback—by one of the traditional foods you’re sure to find on the table: whale meat. That’s right, whale is a very popular meat to be served during the holidays in this country, and mattak, which is whale blubber that’s wrapped in whale skin, is commonly served. Next to whale meat, reindeer is another popular (and perhaps more palatable for most Americans) dish.


Who doesn’t dream of spending Christmas and New Year’s in Paris gazing up at the Eiffel Tower, or in a dreamy and charming village in the French countryside? In either case, you’re sure to be delighted by the food if you’re able to make it to this country for the holidays. Some sort of meat—usually a type of fowl like pheasant or turkey—will likely be the main dish, complete with roasted chestnuts. Alongside the meat, you may find traditional sides such as a classic French gratin, green beans, and roasted brussel sprouts. And don’t forget the cheese! A large cheese platter is a must in any French dinner, and is served before dessert. Finally, the most important part of the French meal is the Buche de Noel, the French version of a yule log cake.

The Philippines

If you’re in the Philippines for the holidays, you’re in for a special treat. During Christmas, both sweet and savory foods can be found upon the table. Aside the roast suckling pig—the traditional meat that’s served during the holidays—you’ll also find the delicacy called puto bumbong. This side features a gelatinous mixture of rice that is soaked overnight, served in a tube of bamboo, and loaded with coconut, butter, and sugar—yum! You might also find ham, noodles, and even Filipino-style spaghetti.

Get Everything You Need for the Holidays at Nick’s of Calvert

Whether you’re preparing a traditional American-style holiday meal or want to do something special by preparing a meal that incorporates different dishes from around the world, Nick’s of Calvert has everything you’re looking for. From specialty meats and cheese to the freshest produce, Nick’s of Calvert makes preparing for the holidays easy. We even have premade sides that just need to be heated, as well as a full selection of wine, beer, and liquor. When the holidays feel stressful, choose Nick’s of Calvert to get all of your grocery shopping done in one place. Call us at (410) 414-7105 with any questions or visit our location on Costley Way today.

5 Things Every Chef Should Have in Their Kitchen

Whether you’re a novice chef or on your way to becoming an expert, if you like to cook, then there are certain things that are must-haves in your kitchen. At Nick’s of Calvert, not only do we have plenty of kitchen appliances and cooking utensils for sale, but we also offer a full range of fruits, vegetables, proteins, wines, and everything else that you need for a delicious meal. Consider this list of five things we believe that every chef should have in their kitchen, and visit our location in person to learn more about all of the wares we offer.

1. A Great Knife

Most chefs would agree that the number one item a good cook needs is a great knife. While some chefs like a range of knife types for all of the various things that need to be cut (i.e. a knife for bread, a knife for fish, a knife for slicing veggies, etc.), most novice chefs can get away with having a single great knife. With that in mind, actually selecting a single knife for your kitchen is a bigger task! This article from serious eats provides a review of some of the best chef knives. Winners include the Wüsthof 8-Inch Classic Chef’s Knife, Mercer Culinary 8-Inch Genesis Chef’s Knife, and Mercer Culinary 8-Inch Millennia Chef’s Knife. We also recommend investing in a knife sharpener, too.

2. A Good (Large) Cutting Board

What would be the use of a knife without a complimentary cutting board? A great cutting board is a must in every chef’s kitchen. A nice woodblock cutting board can be used for everything from meats to veggies, and can also be a nice aesthetic in the kitchen, too! If you’re concerned about cross-contamination when cooking, you can invest in a second cutting board that’s dishwasher safe, and use this one for raw fish and meat.

3. Mixing Bowls and Measuring Cups

For all of your food preparation needs, be sure to have a good set of mixing bowls (at least three, preferably in three different sizes) and a good set of measuring cups. We recommend stainless steel mixing bowls, which look great, won’t stain or absorb flavors, and are dishwasher safe. For measuring cups and spoons, any material will do. If you’re trying to limit kitchen purchases, measuring spoons aren’t as necessary—most home teaspoons and tablespoons will work just great.

4. High-Quality Cookware

A knife, cutting board, and measuring bowls and cups are all for the pre-work of creating a great meal. When it’s time to actually put fire to iron, you want a great set of high-quality cookware for the job. Things to look for in cookware include:

Versatility. A pan or skillet that you can cook multiple dishes in is strongly recommended. Ask yourself whether it’s worth investing in a piece of cookware that you’re only likely to use once.

Safety. Many non-stick pans have a lining that contains PFUAs and PFOAs—forever chemicals that can cause harm to health and the environment. Be sure to opt for cookware that’s safe for your family.

Durability. While it may not be ideal to spend the money upfront, investing in something quality that will last for years to come will help your budget in the long run, as well as your peace of mind.

We love a cast iron skillet as a kitchen staple. If you’re not ready for cast iron, a non-toxic steel skillet can be a great alternative.

5. Hand Mixer or Blender/Food Processor

Finally, unless you have a lot of time and muscle, we strongly recommend investing in a hand mixer or a blender (or better yet—a food processor) for any mixing jobs that you have in mind. A hand mixer can save a lot of time when it comes to prepping baked goods, beating egg whites, making whipped cream, and dozens of other things. If it’s in your budget, getting a food processor with multiple functions and a hand mixer is ideal.

Visit Nick’s of Calvert for All of Your Dining Needs Today

Once your kitchen is fully stocked, all you need are the raw ingredients to transform food into a delicious meal! At Nick’s of Calvert, we have the freshest fruits and vegetables and the highest-quality meats around, as well as wine and liquor for sale. And for those days that you don’t feel like cooking, we have dinner classics that are pre-prepped and just need to be heated up. To learn more about why we’re an outstanding neighborhood grocer, visit us today.

The Benefits of Shopping Local

A movement has begun in recent years that favors local businesses over impersonal chain stores. Consumers are increasingly seeing the benefits of turning away from big-box retailers and giving their business to people who live in their own communities instead. These are antique dealers, local farmers, artists, craftsmen, and yes – grocers that offer benefits you may not get from shopping at national chains.

What many people do not realize is there are far-reaching advantages to shopping local. Here are some of the top benefits of supporting local businesses.

  1. Boost the Local Economy

The figures don’t lie. It simply makes economic sense to shop in local businesses. According to one study, when people shop locally, $73 out of every $100 spent goes right back into the local economy. Compare that to just $43 out of $100 spent at non-local stores, meaning 57% leaves the area.

Local business owners also tend to support each other. When a local business needs supplies, produce, or catering, they will often search out another local business owner. Chain businesses are more likely to go through their corporate departments for these purchases, moving more money out of the local economy.

  1. Improve Your Family’s Health

Buying local foods has a variety of health benefits for you and your loved ones. When you buy food that has been locally-sourced, you have access to things like grass-fed meat, chemical-free fruits and vegetables, and fresh eggs and dairy products.

  1. Connect With Business Owners

When you support local businesses, you have an opportunity to support your neighbors, friends, and family. These business owners are the other parents in your children’s school and the people that you see at the local park.

Along with the rest of the community, you get a greater connection with these business owners than you would a chain store. You celebrate their success together and have a personal investment when a business is struggling or forced to close.

  1. Get Better Customer Service

Anyone who has ever had to address an issue with a large corporation understands that getting help can be frustrating. You might be forced to call a toll-free number or use an online chat service and then explain your issue multiple times to people who don’t seem able to understand or make a decision.

When you shop locally, you don’t have to worry about this. You often deal with the business owner or someone directly connected to them with the power to solve your issue immediately. You also get more personalized service with local businesses, which is something consumers have grown to love and expect.

  1. Keep Your Community Unique

Just about every community now has a nationally named dollar store, grocer, or big-box chain. But it is the local businesses that give a community its uniqueness and flavor. People know where to gather on Saturday morning for brunch or which local business is going to take care of them when they are having a special gathering in their home.

It is these businesses that make your town different from the one down the road or across the state, so your support matters as a way to keep your community unique.

  1. Create More Jobs and Opportunities

When you shop local, these businesses will experience success and growth. They might open a second location or expand the products and services they offer. This will create more opportunities in your communities. First, there might be construction work to build another store. Second, there will be more job positions filled by local employees.

  1. Draw More Non-Local Traffic

People don’t generally make it a habit to visit other towns for the purposes of shopping at chain stores. But they will do this if the town has a diverse selection of local businesses. These shopping districts not only allow the local community to congregate and make memories, but they also act as a draw to bring even more revenue into the area from non-local traffic.

  1. Encourage Entrepreneurship

When a community is small-business-friendly, this encourages others to pursue entrepreneurship. Someone with a small business idea might get inspiration from the local business owners and consumers to pursue their dream. Current entrepreneurs can even offer advice and mentorship to help new owners achieve success.

Shop Local at Nick’s of Calvert

If you would like to support a local business, make sure to put Nick’s of Calvert on your list. Over the past 50 years, our family-run business has been dedicated to serving the needs of its local Southern Maryland customers.

We offer a unique alternative to large chain stores, with a combination of quality customer service and full-service deli and meat departments. Check out Nick’s of Calvert today for all your grocery, catering, and spirits needs. Visit us or give us a call at (410) 414-7105.