The Sanghavi family from left, Dinesh, his son Neil and wife Bharti, display snacks to consider while watching the Olympics. They're shown at their store, Indian Groceries & Spices at 10701 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, on July 9.

The Summer Olympics, postponed from 2020 by the pandemic, are a particular cause for celebration for fans of the games.

If you’re planning a watch party for friends, or just want to get a little fancy with the family, a trip to some of Milwaukee’s small specialized grocery stores – or the international aisles of the supermarkets — will yield a world of snacks and drinks. Most of them can be enjoyed right out of the package.

There are some classic choices — Irish Guinness, Australian marmite — and some that require time in the kitchen, such as a pitcher of Spanish sangria and a plate of French macarons — but a little extra effort can widen the options considerably.

Pick some and root for your second-favorite country, starting with opening ceremonies July 23. Here are a few of the options you can buy in the Milwaukee area. 

Chin Chin Dough Crunch: and Djansang Akpi are top-notch snacks in west Africa.


Chin Chin Dough Crunch: Chin Chin snacks date back to colonial times in west Africa, according to the New Jersey company that makes them. They are baked dough with a slightly sweet, delicate crunch.

Find at: J&S African Center.

Djansang Akpi: The seeds of a West African tree that can be steamed and ground as a seasoning for rice.

Find at: J&S African Center

For Chinese influence, try some Pad Thai flavored Chim Dii and some (yes Lay's)  Cucumber Flavored Potato Chips:


Chim Dii Pad Thai Flavor: The fried shrimp chin snacks (the chin is the part of the shrimp underneath the head) have a crunch reminiscent of a shrimp shell and have a matching flavor.

Find at: Mei Hua Market

Lay’s Cucumber Flavored Potato Chips: The bag, rather than the idea of cucumber chips, lured me, but they do taste like cucumbers. They’ll be the talk of the party.

Find at: Mei Hua Market

Little miss Muffet would go for this treat from Denmark: A Junket Danish Dessert packet, which can be made into pudding pie filling or fruit glaze.


Junket Danish Dessert: Not right out the package, but simple to make into a pudding, pie filling or fruit glaze. It’s made with sweetened milk and rennet, the digestive enzyme that curdles milk. Mother Goose fans will remember it as curds and whey.

Find at: Karl’s Meat Market

Milwaukee's many ethnic Germans can honor the homeland with Hackbraten, a meatloaf seasoning, and  
TopKuss, a Pac-Man-shaped sweet.


Hackbraten: This meatloaf seasoning mix can be made into quick meatballs.

Find at: Karl’s Meat Market

TopKuss: Similar to a Moon Pie, but taller and fluffier with a single, thinner cookie.

Find at: Karl’s Meat Market

Ancient Greeks loved their competitions, and modern Greeks love thier Kalamata figs. They come in wheels for easy snacking.


Kalamata Figs: Sweet Kalamata figs come from the southwestern part of Greece. They are most often found in “wheels” for easy snacking.

Find at: Parthenon Foods – European Market

India will bring dozens of athletes to the Olympic Games, and a local grocery will bring plenty of snacks. Pillow Delights, Naan Chips, Parle-G and Papadums are amonth the treats.


Pillow Delight: Airy, crunchy pillows are spiced with wheat, corn and rice flour and favored with chili powder and spices. The chili powder packs a punch.

Find at: Indian Groceries and Spices

Parle-G: The largest selling biscuit brand in the world, they are a popular tea-time treat. Not too sweet and reminiscent of animal crackers.

Find at: Indian Groceries and Spices

Parle-G cookies are seen at Indian Groceries and Spices in Wauwatosa.

Papadums: Made with lentil flour, this fried classic snack can be quickly made in the microwave and served with chutney.

Find at: Indian Groceries and Spices

Naan chips: Made from Indian flat bread, naan chips are a flakier pita chip – and also work well with chutney.

 Find at: Indian Groceries and Spices

The Olympics are a sweet time for some Italian soda.


Italian soda: A bit more sophisticated and often sweeter than a standard soda, pair this with a Caprese salad from an Italian deli.

Find at: Karl’s Meat Market

Jamaica always has a lot to cheer about at the Olympics. Aside from its athletes, there are Irish Moss, banana chips and a pineapple ginger soda.


Irish Moss: Made from marine red algae boiled in milk with sugar and spices, it has a creamy, slightly spicy vanilla flavor.

Find at: J&S African Center

Chippie’s Banana Chips: Salty, crispy with a very subtle banana flavor, these could be mistaken for a potato chip.

Find at: J&S African Center

DG Jamaican Pineapple Ginger: A refreshing soda with balance of tropical flavors. The ginger doesn’t overpower the pineapple.

Find at: J&S African Center

Japanese fans can rev up with Green Tea Mochi ice cream, Gyoza (like pot stickers) and Hello Panda, the shortbread bites already familiar to Americans.


Green Tea Mochi: Mochi ice cream is Japanese mochi (a soft rice cake) with an ice cream filling. The green tea adds a grassy, herby flavor.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Gyoza: The Japanese version of pork pot stickers. This Sriracha-flavored variety has some heat, but it’s not overpowering.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Hello Panda: A pretty common treat in the U.S., the hollow shortbread bites have a creamy flavored filling — in this case strawberry.

Find at: Area supermarkets

South Korean fans can celebrate the Olympics with Milkis, a drink that tastes a little like Laffy Taffy.


Milkis: Lightly carbonated mix of water, sugar and skim milk. It has yogurt and banana favors. Tastes a bit like Laffy Taffy.

Find at: Mei Hua Market

For those from U.S. neighbors Mexico and the Caribbean, Tostones are good munchies, and Jarritos soda and Agua Fresca will keep people hydrated.

Mexico and the Caribbean

Jarritos soda: Jarritos, which means “little jug” in Spanish, come in a range of fruit flavors – mostly tropical. The grapefruit is refreshingly tart for soda.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Aqua Fresca: Mixed with water, this drink powder comes in a large selection of fruit flavors, plus hibiscus and horchata varieties. The pineapple favor tastes like vacation.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Tostones: A staple in the Caribbean and Latin America, tostones are fried, flattened unripe green plantains. They can be fried in a skillet, but worked just fine in an air fryer.

Find at: Area supermarkets


Zele Kocke: These Serbian fruit slices are sweet, but still have a tang that cuts through the sugary taste.

Find at: Parthenon Foods – European Market

Sweden's Scandinavian heritage shines through in this treat: Fish balls in lobster sauce, known as Fiskbullar


Fiskbullar: Fish balls in lobster sauce are usually heated and served with potatoes, an omelet, crepe or salad. The ingredients list doesn’t specify what kind of fish is used, but the lobster sauce is the dominant flavor.

Find at: Karl’s Meat Market

Thailand is a long ways away, but this treat hits close to the heart in America's Dairyland: Vitamilk Choco Shake.


Vitamilk Choco Shake: The shake is sometimes used as a meal replacement, but has a sweet milky flavor that tastes more like a treat.

Find at: Mei Hua Market

There's no wine in Wine Gums, but the gumdrop-like treats are among the contributions of the United Kingdom, along with Kipper Snacks (herring alert) and Hobnobs, a British biscuit (which we might call cookie).


Kipper Snacks: Made of herring that have been butterflied and cold smoked, Kippers are most commonly eaten for breakfast, but the snack variety can top a cracker for an appetizer.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Hobnobs: Made from rolled and jumbo oats, they are a popular British biscuit (cookie). The milk chocolate variety is a bit sweeter.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Wine gums: Traditional British sweets, similar to gumdrops but much less sweet and a bit tangy.

Find at: Area supermarkets

Cathy Jakicic is a longtime Milwaukee journalist who has written on a wide range of topics, but all things food related are her favorites. 


Where to find world foods

Here are a few local options for finding international foods:

  • Asian International Market 3401 W National Ave. Milwaukee
  • Cermak Fresh Market 1541 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee; 1236 S. Barclay St. Milwaukee
  • El Rey 3524 W Burnham St. Milwaukee; 916 S. Chavez Drive, Milwaukee; 5200 W. Oklahoma Ave. Milwaukee; 1530 S Muskego Ave. Milwaukee
  •  India Groceries and Spices 10701 W North Ave. Wauwatosa
  • Glorioso’s Italian Market 1011 E Brady St. Milwaukee
  • J&S African Center 6029 N Teutonia Ave., Milwaukee
  • Karl’s Country Market W156-N5645 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls
  • Mei Hua Market 11066 W. National Ave., West Allis
  • Parthenon Foods – European Market,8415 W. Greenfield Ave. West Allis
  • Russian Food & Gifts 3557 N. Oakland Ave. Milwaukee
  • Woodman’s Food Market, W124-N8145 Highway 145  Menomonee Falls; 8131 S Howell Ave. Oak Creek; 1600 E Main St. Waukesha; 7145 120th Ave. Kenosha