Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Think I Finally Figured Out the Food

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.


jonnifer said...

Grape Nuts are the best!!

I liked the food there but I got tired of it quickly - I didn't feel like it all the time. That would take some getting used to.

Anonymous said...

Get a generator..hook it up to your house then hide it a shed or something..voila, no more brown/black outs..

Anonymous said...

Another thing, why don't you go to subic on a weekend to get supplies and stuff..I've had enough of your S&R posts..

Anonymous said...

and by the way, that Pinoy Ronald Mcdonald is actually the Asian Ronald Mcdonald..he looks like that cuz its based on a cartoon version of him..and plus they realized that hiring non-white guys with accents to play a guy named Mcdonald is completely messed up.

kikas_head said...

We have a generator but will not turn it on for a couple hour brownout. We only have it for emergencies (i.e., Milenyo or the like). Subic is hella far! S&R is 30 minutes from our house, 5 minutes from our lawyer's office, and 10 minutes from the badminton courts. Very convenient. We went to Subic a few weekends ago but only for the beach.

Don't worry, I will not talk about S&R any more. Oh wait, that is a lie. They are having their membership sale this week so I will be there! And I will probably write about it.

Ronald McDonald in any form is a little scary. But good to know why he looks different here! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

ooooh noooo! more s&r posts...just kidding.:) You should go check out Hi-Top supermarket near the ABS-CBN studio..good selection there..and now I think they have a new supermarket at Trinoma Landmark..i dunno..haha..its been a while..also check out Santi's Deli..

jaeden said...

I think I fall in to the same category as you but after living here for almost two years, I still can't find things to substitute all the things I miss from North America. Like rye bread. I saw your post on San Francisco so you must understand. Actually bread in general here is a big let down. Micky's is alright and even Alexandre (not sure if you've tried that) but nothing beats the selection in the States.

And I share the same sentiment towards S&R. I work a couple blocks away from one and I used to go like once a week. I was worried when I moved here that membership would be expensive like Costco but it's not. As for Grape Nuts, I think it just has to do with price. The owner of S&R herself flies to the States to pick out which items to sell here. Maybe she likes them?

kikas_head said...

Bread is still an issue for me. On my last visit back to the states I actually bought the Artisan Bread in Five book as well as a baking stone & pizza peel. So far I have learned I am not great at baking bread--I am making it too gummy inside. I have been told that one can find rye at Salcedo but I have only been there once and did not actually remember to look for it. I have not actually heard of Alexandre--where are they located?

My standards have definitely gone down for bread; all it takes to make me happy now is a little crust and a not sweet sugar (many items including bread tend to be a little too sweet for my taste).