Slovak in Slovakia
Chain “hypermarkets” such as Billa or Carrefour are becoming popular for their practicality and round-the-clock hours. However, many people still shop at convenience stores, bakeries, butcher shops, and green grocers within walking distance of their home. In particular, bread is usually bought from small bakeries. These smaller shops don’t accept credit/debit cards or personal checks and close between 7:00-8:00 p.m. Alcohol can be bought at any convenience store; there is no age limit. In convenience stores, the bagging of food is not a custom; rather, plastic bags are sold at the check-out.
There is very little frozen or processed food available due to its lack of popularity. All Slovak produce and meat is organic and therefore not labeled as such. Open-air markets and country farms are the places to go to get the freshest seasonal produce and meat. Otherwise, one can buy reasonably fresh food at virtually every store. Most food labels list only fat, protein, and carbohydrate percentage, without going into further detail. When in doubt, especially if one has a food allergy, one should refrain from buying that particular food. Since most Slovak foods contain no preservatives or additives, they perish quickly. Regular milk is only partly pasteurized and will go sour in three days; alternatively, one can buy milk with higher degrees of pasteurization -- a five-day milk or a 3-month milk.