09 June, 2010

What food can't you get in Japan?

Last night in a five minute break while I waited for something to finish cooking for tea, I raided my cupboard for things that I won't be able to buy (or easily buy) in Japan. People often ask, and I sometimes struggle to answer. Actually I was surprised at how much I found - and our cupboard is beginning to get a little bare (we're moving out in less than 3 weeks, it should be).

A few qualifications are needed.

Coconut is available - just not very common and not finely chopped.
Tomato soup is available, but only at Costco - an American super-sized wholesaler. That shops is more than 30 minutes away by car and we don't go all that often.
Sultanas are rare - usually raisins are what you find.
Soup of the varieties we are used to are pretty rare, although becoming more common. Chicken noodle - I'm not sure I've seen it in a shop. But we usually buy a box from the Foreign Buyers Club (FBC) over the internet.
Flour is available (though it is lighter than Aussie flour). Self-raising is not. Back to adding baking powder.
Cereal is light in its representation on Japanese shelves. Even cheap oats are not easy to find. Again, we usually buy oats and cornflakes in bulk from either FBC or Costco. I make my own muesli, using whatever I can find (well, not quite).
We'll be taking some Golden Syrup, Promite and Vegemite with us.

Of course there is lots of other stuff we cannot buy, like Mars Bars, Picnic bars and Turkish Delights. Licorice, Lifesavers and Freckles are not available. The flavours of chips are different (I miss salt and vinegar). Other things we can't take - like Aussie sausages (much healthier - less preservatives - and taste better too), bulk fruit yoghurt, sausage rolls and pies.

For another post after we get there is Japanese food we miss and find it hard or impossible to buy here! We are becoming bi-cultural - liking some things in both places. In fact we try to do that - appreciate the good in each place, while we're there. So, back to fattening up on Aussie goodies before we have to leave it all behind...

1 comment:

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Wow! I don't think I'll move to Japan! Although there are things I can't get in Cambodia, there are way too many goodies that I can get, all of which do not help me maintain a healthy weight. The first thing I noticed in Australia was the flavour of tomatoes. Cambodian tomatoes are mostly green and even the red ones you occasionally get have very little flavour. Enjoy while you can.