05 May, 2009

Eating more soup and less fish

These days we're eating more soup and less tinned tuna. One question we're asked quite often by Australians is "What can't you get in Japan?" Like many questions, this one is more complex than it looks. They might mean, "What can't you get in your local supermarket?" and even then the word "supermarket" needs interpreting. For most Aussies, a large Woolworths or Coles is what they have in mind. Well, if that is the question, then I'd have to say LOTS of things are unavailable here, because our 'local' (and cheap) supermarket is quite small. Actually we shop at several different stores. Two, we frequent more than once a week and another couple we visit probably at least once a month. Two other stores we shop at are not your garden-variety local supermarket. One is an internet-based company and the other you might have heard of, is CostCo, a bulk warehouse-type supermarket from the US. And that is just for food. When you take all these places into consideration, there isn't really a lot we can't get here. Though a number of products we'd buy in Australia, we choose not to buy because they are too expensive here. Other things we use less frequently, like Condensed Milk, because, though we can buy it, it is expensive. Mangoes are another food product that is usually just too expensive. Other things like copha, custard, golden syrup, Promite, Weetbix are just not available. Cadbury chocolate and mint-flavoured products are just starting to appear. Musk flavoured products are never seen. Filo pastry is rare. Even zucchini are hard to find. I've never seen a passionfruit and beetroot, well, it is apparently around, but we've not seen it on a shop shelf. The reason we use several different shops is basically either a budget choice for example, milk and cheese are cheaper at shops other than our closest cheap supermarket. Or an availability choice, for example, tomato soup is not generally available at any supermarket, so we buy it from an import company through the internet. Which brings me back to why we're eating more soup and less tinned tuna. Both these products we buy in bulk through the internet. Right now we are eating through our 'pantry' to minimise what we have to give away when we leave. We've got heaps of soup and not much tuna, hence the menu choices!


-J said...

My grocery store these days is my pantry, and my task is to see how creative I can get. :-)

Wendy said...

Unfortunately little kids are not so appreciative of creativity :-) So, I have to disguise my creativity fairly creatively! Wakaru?

Susan said...

We are sure enjoying all the yummy American food while we are here...way too much sugar though I am sure. AND since things are expensive, we don't go too hog-wild. Although the first month we are here and the last month that we are here, we sure eat up our fair share.