Monday, October 26, 2009

off to the mall again

Grocery shopping is a different experience here in the Philippines. To begin with, the major grocery stores are actually anchor stores in the malls. There are several malls in town, so when we arrived I began asking people which one they preferred to shop at.
I didn't get straight answers, and I've learned why.

At one store I can buy chocolate chips (yay!) and whole wheat flour and tea.
At another I find tomato soup, spreadable margarine, and english muffin-type bread.
A third carries great produce and juice concentrate.
So we have on-going lists for various stores as we learn what is exclusively available there.
I haven't brought myself to buy the meat in the regular 'bag it yourself' bins yet. The smell alone has been enough to quell any faint-hearted attempts to explore the unusual options.

Instead I rely on Lisa and her pre-packaged, familiar meats.

Rice is a real staple in the Filipino diet, as are noodles of various sorts.

Here's a wall of dried fish - a few more varieties than you'd find at Publix or Safeway!

Time to check out. The grocery baggers are truly gifted young men. They can neatly pack and fit more groceries in a bag than might seem humanly possible. There are fewer bags used, but this also means that the bags are incredibly heavy.

They do offer the option of boxing your groceries, but I made that mistake only once. I'd much prefer to balance two or four heavy bags than one very heavy box on my walk from the service road to our apartment!

We are truly amazed at and thankful for how many familiar foods are available to us here!


Rosalie said...

That was so interesting! Thanks for sharing. I've been wondering what you're eating. Did I guess right that you haven't tried that dried fish yet?

us5 said...

No, we haven't tried the dried fish...yet! ;o)

Lori said...

I am finding myself very thankful that we always had the commissary on post to do our shopping when we were in Korea, even though it was a toss up if they would have what you wanted. The dried fish makes me LAUGH!!! So familiar. What about seaweed? That was a biggie in Korea. I remember the time we went to the market and two children were fighting over something in a container that looked like a funnel. We later found out it was "Bun-diggie" . . . which translated is: silk worm larvae!!!! Interesting, huh? :-) Keep sharing. I love hearing all about your adventures.

us5 said...

We haven't seen much seaweed. Lots of Durian though. I'll share more on that later. ;o) Quail eggs are common, too, as well as a fermented, pink-shelled egg that's black and gelatinous on the inside. Hungry yet??

The Welch Family said...

Not hungry at all - I'll have to reread every time I get a craving for a late-night snack. Ha, ha! Barbara, I would do terribly there. I can hardly manage to plan and buy for my meals here where there is one-stop shoping! Wow.

Anonymous said...

i think i have read about the egg that is black on the inside. don't they bury the eggs for a length of time, then dig them out on great occasions and eat the treat? at least that is the way i think it was done several centuries ago.


us5 said...

Yes, Nathaniel. That's a Chinese 'century egg.' I'm not completely sure if the eggs we've seen in the store are similar or not. They don't look the same on the outside. I'll try to do some more research on them.