One can generally categorize foreigners living here into three categories in regards to their food. Firstly the rarest are the people that eat only foods familiar to them from home. This is not limited to ingredients and recipes only but even brands. The second group are people who eat exclusively local. Never will they buy an imported item, eat at some place like McDo when there is Jollibee, and will be the first to give you a dirty look when buying a 60-pack of frozen jalapeno poppers (blech--never again--no one else likes them but me so it took me MONTHS to finish them all). The third and obviously more common group are the ones that eat from both. Appreciate the familiarity of some items from home, but buy local whenever it is better or less expensive.
I, like most, fall into the third, but probably even less than many. I do tend to lean towards imported when it comes to most dairy as well as snack food. Once I moved here, certain foods from home turned into major comfort foods. My mother's macaroni and cheese was a favorite when I first moved here although I realized quickly that the price of cheese made an inexpensive meal in San Francisco turn quite pricey here. And like many things, I was the only one who thought it was delicious.
My biggest food thing for me is still milk. I drink it. A lot. If I had it my way, I would drink it with almost every meal. While many claim the UHT milk tastes the same, as a beverage it does not. I have started to stockpile the California Sunshine milk from S&R. While it is still psycho pasteurized (I think the shelf life is something like two months) there is none of the funny aftertaste. Plus, it goes well with cereal. While cereal is not the most popular food here, I can eat it almost any time of the day. Also, randomly, Grape Nuts are sold here. Best cereal in the world and kinda random to be sold here. Corn Flakes and Cheerios, I understand. But who knew there was a market here for Grape Nuts? My sister & her husband visited a couple of weeks ago and they even brought a box back with them (they cannot buy Grape Nuts in France). Best cereal ever.
We do not ever buy meat in the supermarket. This is some weird issue of Ado's. She thinks the meat is not fresh in a grocery. Same for most produce. And on the subject of produce, it is almost avocado season!! Starting about May there will be tons! I can make guacamole! Burritos! Off season, one can find the occasional Haas, but if one avocado is the same price as a dinner out for two, I am not buying it. Same with off season strawberries. And cherries.
I can find bagels now. Either at the bakery inside Mickey's or French Bakery does a surprisingly good prepackaged bagel. Not gross mushy like most prepackaged but has a bit of a chewy crust. It is not the best bagel in the world but a really, really, really good substitute.
Blech. According to Meralco, we have rolling blackouts starting again this evening in our neighborhood for an hour. At least it will still be light out. Maybe a good time to go for a swim.