29 October 2008
The Asian Store
When we were moving off to New Zealand, one of our primary concerns was food. Will we still have rice on our table, or change our diet to breads and potatoes? How about our bagoong and toyo and suka? Banana ketchup? A Filipino home, no matter where it is, won't be the same without these.
So imagine our delight at knowing that a couple of Asian stores are near us. "Asian Store" is an all-encompassing term for these shops that sell food items that are, um, Asian. For the stores we have here, one is owned by Chinese, and the other from India or thereabouts. The latter store understandably sells an abundance of spices as well. And a couple of racks for Filipino goodies!
Of course, these are now imported goods and so we buy these at a premium. A small can of sardines in tomato sauce, for example, costs $0.90. That's approximately P30.00. A bowl of instant noodles sell for $2.10, or about P68.00. Yep, imagine us mentally converting from New Zealand dollars to Philippine Pesos and imagine the faces we make. But still, there's nothing like a good can of sardines from our country after you have tasted their sardines here. Not that their sardines taste bad; think Century tuna in oil with no tuna taste; even a sprinkling of salt does not make a difference. It might be the type used in sandwiches? I wonder if there is a preparation to be made first with it, or perhaps we are just accustomed to strong flavors? But I digress.
Aside from the bagoong, toyo, suka (their vinegar here tastes different as well), they also have our potato chips and sweets on stock! And where the Filipino food are, the Filipinos are there. We have actually met a couple of Filipino families in the area so far and we end up chatting about life in general while the kids stay in the play area outside.
Thank goodness for life's simple pleasures. Now what I want to see is such a shop being run by a Filipino! Now there's an idea!