- Admiral Home Insurance asked 20 people from 20 countries to photograph their fridges and reveal more about what’s inside.
- Some fridges are organised, while others describe theirs as “controlled chaos.”
- People’s favourite treats include fruit, dulce de leche, jalapeños, and almond butter.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The kitchen is often called “the heart of the home” because it’s where people gather to cook and eat meals together. Refrigerators are a central part of kitchens around the world, and what people keep inside them can tell you a lot about their culture and household.
Admiral Home Insurance asked 20 people from around the world to open their fridge, take a photo, and describe what’s inside.
Here’s what people from 20 different countries like to eat.
Miguel from Mendoza, Argentina, lives in a household of four.
“There are four of us in our household: Esther (62), Rubén (61), Agustina (26) and me (33).”
“We try not to be wasteful with food,” he said. “If any food remains, we reheat it the next day and any leftovers go to the dog.”
“My mum and dad take turns doing a big shopping trip once a month for non-perishable food. Then mum does a weekly trip for meats, vegetables, fruits, and bread. We take a car two kilometers [1.24 miles] to the supermarket, and from grocery stores we walk with items in bags or a trolley. As a special treat we have dulce de leche (caramel jam) and sometimes dulce de batata (sweet potato jam).”
In Bagerhat, Bangladesh, Bashanti does most of her shopping at the Mistripara Market.
“Our fridge can be set to different temperatures. We have it set between 1°C and 4°C. All our cooked foods are kept in the coldest part of the fridge, along with raw meats and fish. Milk, cheese, yogurts and butter are all placed in a slightly less cool part of the fridge. There are three market places near our house. Most of the time we visit the Mistripara Market for our food shopping.”
“My husband goes food shopping and pays for it,” she said. “He goes two or three times a week.”
“Most of the time we use rickshaw or an easy bike, which is an electric rickshaw, for our shopping.”
Christina always keeps Skyr in her fridge in Haskovo, Bulgaria.
“For me the most delicious food in our fridge is Skyr, which is a fat-free, thick yogurt. It’s a great base for various desserts and goes well with cereal in the morning. My mother and I share the cost of the shopping. Probably around 5% of our food is wasted.”
“Our fridge isn’t very organised and we tend to go by the motto ‘put it wherever you find space,'” she said. “This often means stacking items on top of each other.”
“We usually walk the 1.5 km (0.93 miles) back home carrying shopping bags. If we need to buy something very heavy, such as canned foods or dog food, we get a taxi back. We don’t grow food except herbs on the balcony.”
Janice lives alone in Bogota, Colombia.
“Sometimes my parents visit for a few weeks. My family consists of four of us, but usually I live alone. I shop weekly on a Saturday or Sunday. I go to a few supermarkets and I visit a fruit and veggie market (surtifruver) separately too.”
“For me, green apples are a must, as are plain yogurt and chicken breast,” she said.
“I also always keep a piece of dark chocolate in the fridge, just for those special moments.”
María lives with her mother and two sisters in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
“I live with my mum and my two sisters, they are travelling at the moment. My mum is 55 and my sisters are 31 and 29. I am 25. My mum and I get the shop every two weeks. We go by car, to help us transport the shopping, but the Supermaxi is only 500 meters from our home.”
“We always have tomatoes, onions, shrimp and soy meat in the fridge,” she said. “A treat for us is low sugar chocolate.”
“I think we waste quite a lot of food, maybe 30%.”
Nicola from Tunbridge Wells, England, shops at Marks and Spencer’s.
“Once opened, everything is decanted into Tupperware so no smells linger in the fridge. My husband and I enjoy blackberry crumble made from the berries I gather from the local hedgerows. I shop at Marks and Spencer’s, a high-end chain store, once a week.”
“I’ve decided to stop growing vegetables because of the very warm summers we are experiencing in England,” she said.
“I used to have a vegetable garden until recently but it got too hot to grow vegetables and hose pipe bans made it difficult to provide the garden with enough water. I have a composting bin for waste and I give apple cores to our dog Bracken.”
In Helsinki, Finland, Laurene lives with his boyfriend.
“I live with my boyfriend. He is 57 and I am 37. Our income is very irregular as we are both freelancers. We shop for food every one or two days. We replant fresh herbs so to keep them longer. And we have a rule that we’re not allowed to waste any food.”
“We love condiments and pickled items like mustard, soy, chilli sauce, fish sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, capers, ginger, cucumbers, and eggs,” he said.
“We keep drinks the right way up in the vegetable compartment and leftovers are put together, but not that organised. We mostly walk to the shop and occasionally we catch a tram to a special shop.”
Duncan from Wexford, Ireland, has two children, both lactose intolerant.
“Our kids are both intolerant to dairy so we often have some homemade sweet treats in the fridge. At the moment we have dairy-free millionaires’ shortbread. My daughter’s favourite meal is eggs and avocado so we always have eggs in.”
“To try and reduce wastage each time we do a new shop, we move any old veg into one drawer and have the new veg in the other,” she said.
“We have a veg patch where we grow some of our own food. This year we had a lot of courgettes, runner beans, strawberries and tomatoes. A good portion of our wasted food comes from the kids not finishing meals. This ends up in the dog, so it isn’t really wasted.”
Nicholas and his wife from Nairobi, Kenya, go grocery shopping once a week.
“My wife and I are 35 and 36. My wife travels five kilometers [3.1 miles] to buy the food on a weekly basis. We do grow some of our own food, on a small scale.”
“To get our food we use public service vehicles (locally known as matatus) that pick and drop passengers from one point to the next,” he said.
“In the fridge we have seasonal fruit and vegetables like oranges, mangoes, pineapples, grapes, cabbages, dhania, french beans, carrots, kales, sukuma, green beans and green maize. We also have cow pieces, soda, fruit juice, yogurt and milk.”
In Guadalajara, Mexico, Vanessa lives on her own.
“I’m single and live by myself. I don’t grow my own food, but I really wish I could.”
“I always have non-dairy milk, bread, veggies, and some kind of spicy sauce or salsa,” she said. “I don’t usually buy a lot of treats for myself, I usually just have almond butter.”
“I usually shop for food once or twice per week. I buy veggies from stands on the street or little corner shops and the rest comes from the supermarket. The closest supermarket is about a ten minute car ride from my apartment. I try to eat all of the food and not waste it, but sometimes veggies go bad.”
Asif lives with his wife and three children in Lahore, Pakistan.
“There are five of us in the family, me and my wife who are 30 and 26, and three children aged seven, five, and two. We do a shop twice a month. I pay for and buy the food shopping at either Walmart or Hyperstar, both of which are around 10 kilometers [6.2 miles] from our house. We probably waste around 5% of our food.”
“For us a treat would be a banana or an apple, or sometimes cake,” he said.
“We transport our food by bicycle and just get an Uber if it is too heavy to cycle with.”
Ghada and his wife live in Khan Yunis in the Palestinian Territories.
“My wife and I are both 24 and we like to eat lots of vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumber, and peppers. My favourite dessert is cheesecake.”
“I love sweetcorn and I use it in my salads,” he said. “I also love foods like Tiland chicken, which I use on pizza and in Turkish pie.”
“I buy the food shopping for us once a week from the market which is five kilometers [3.1 miles] away, usually on Fridays. We waste about 20% of our food, which I don’t think is a lot.”
Mateusz, his partner, and their baby live in Silesia, Poland.
“I live with my partner and six-month-old baby. Our essentials are milk, eggs, cheese and ham, with fresh juice as a special treat.”
“Honestly, it’s more of a controlled chaos than any kind of a system,” he said of their fridge.
“Twice a week I shop at the nearest supermarket, unless there’s something to do near a shopping mall. Not much food is wasted, although I do tend to overbuy buttermilk and some vegetables.”
Daniel lives with his wife and daughter in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
“We are a family of three. I am 33, my wife is 34, and our daughter is 4 months old.”
“Special treats in our fridge are peanut butter, chocolate, and honey,” he said.
“My parents grow food that we eat, but mostly we shop at the supermarket.
We are very careful not to waste food, so we usually don’t buy more than we need for a few days. Very little of our food is wasted; maybe around 5%. Mostly we shop from a place that’s under 1km away, and sometimes to a couple other supermarkets that are under four kilometers [2.49 miles] from us.”
Anastasija’s father usually does the grocery shopping for their household in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
“There are three people in my family. I am 23, my mother is 53, and my father is 57. We all contribute to the food shopping but my father is the one who goes to get it. We don’t travel far to buy our food as there are plenty of supermarkets close to our apartment. My father goes shopping every few days.”
“A special treat would be yogurts or sausages,” she said.
“Vegetables go in the lowest boxes, then go cheese and sausages. The milk and drinks are located in the door. On the other shelves you’ll find an assortment of different things.”
Denys and her husband, who live in Kharkiv, Ukraine, do their grocery shopping together.
“There are two people in my family and we are 27 and 33. My husband pays for the food shopping but we go to get it together.”
“Food essentials for us are milk, chicken, fruit, vegetables, eggs, honey, coconut oil, butter, and cottage cheese,” she said.
“We try to keep waste to a minimum and probably waste around 5-10% of our food. The supermarket is around 15 minutes’ walk from home.”
Pedro and his girlfriend moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, from Venezuela.
“My girlfriend is 23 and I am 24. We moved to Uruguay from Venezuela four months ago.”
“Treats are generally fruit such as strawberries,” he said. “Other times it can be apple dessert or dulce de leche (caramel).”
“Above the fridge we place our cartons of eggs and bananas (and avocados when we have some). The bottom shelf is for leftover vegetables. In the door we place the jam, leftover salsa, tomato sauce and butter. We always keep chicken and ground beef for lunch.
We shop on Fridays and Wednesdays and I fetch the shopping as I have a more flexible work schedule. I buy from the nearest farmers’ market and carry the food in an environmentally friendly bag.”
Meghan and her partner often cook together in their home in Somerville in the United States.
“There are three in our family: myself, my partner Ben, and our dog Pluto – who was too squirmy to pose for our family photograph. We shop for food together and we like to cook together and plan our meals for the week based on whatever looks best on the shelves.”
“We have a few canvas bags that we put shopping in,” she said. “Our town actually charges for paper and plastic bags, so we fell into the habit.”
“We shop at Wegmans, a 30 minute trek in the car, and Trader Joe’s which is down the street from our house. We spend $US70ish per week if I’m also including food ordered in restaurants. We always have a good amount of seasonal produce on hand (our diets are primarily vegetarian).”
Rene’s daughters do her grocery shopping for her in Merida, Venezuela.
“I am 81 years old and my daughters buy my food and go shopping for me every eight days. They only go one kilometre [0.62 miles] away to buy food from the local street markets and the charcuterie.”
“I only waste a tiny bit of food in preparation, but leftovers are always eaten,” she said.
“In the fridge I always have meat, eggs, chicken, vegetables, cheese and juices. For me special treats are jelly and marmalade. In the bottom drawer are vegetables. Cheese and eggs sit in a special tray.”
In Monmouth, Wales, Richard and his family usually shop at Tesco, Lidl, or Waitrose.
“There are five of us in my family, myself (44), my wife (41), my stepson (15) and my two children (seven and five). My wife buys the shopping from Tesco, Lidl, or Waitrose every few days and we use Bags for Life to help the environment. We grow our own tomatoes.”
“Treats for me are spicy sauces and jalapeños,” he said.
“Essential foods are butter, cheese, lettuce, ham, peppers and onions. Sauces are stored at the top, wine/dairy on second shelf, meats and bulky items on third and fourth and vegetables in bottom two drawers.”
- Read more:
- 14 things you should never put in your refrigerator
- Here’s the only way to organise the food inside your refrigerator
- Gorgeous pictures show how chefs organise their refrigerators
- Chefs reveal the 6 kitchen products that are worth splurging on
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.