Food Shopping

Shopping for groceries in Thailand isn’t always as easy as you might think. I know how exciting it can be to go into a supermarket on holiday and see all the strange and exotic items on the shelves. But you can generally get by for a week or fortnight of self catering by selecting the bits that you recognise.

It’s different when you live here all the time and would like to cook something but are not sure if you can actually get all the ingredients!!! And some things like cheese or decent butter are available but only from certain specialist shops which are a bit of a trek away.

Today I wanted to make a salad which includes spring onions. This is what the shelf looks like

Spring onions here don’t look exactly the same as the ones back home. Any of these COULD be spring onions but with the writing all in Thai it’s very difficult to tell… some are fresh lemongrass and some are stink beans (I kid you not!) we have not dared to try those!!!

Today we visited Gourmet Market where they stock a range of imported items. It is in the basement of one of the mega expensive shopping malls so, as you can imagine, prices are not cheap. It’s worth it though to see bacon, sausages and mince. They even stock Brie at about £5 per small wedge. (We treat ourselves occasionally.) Bog standard wine which would normally be a fiver at home starts at about £13 here!!!

As a rule of thumb anything local is dirt cheap and anything imported is hideously expensive. A box of Alpen or Granola here is about £5 too.

I do love the displays here particularly things that you would never get in Asda or Sainsbury’s. This is the Japanese wild rice which looks very pretty.

However I’m not at all sure about this coffee…

Who on earth drinks coffee AND tea together!!!!

Often their English isn’t quite correct (but at least they are trying)

So we did (but not that brand) although I was tempted by the Wolfthorn body wash billed as suitable for nocturnal creatures.

There are lots of assistants around in the store to help (a level of customer service which we have lost in the UK) in fact here there is pretty much one in each aisle which is handy…

Because, although I can make a good stab at working out what things might be from their shape etc when it comes to laundry liquids they all look like this

I have no idea which is fabric softener or dishwasher liquid or what!!! There are shelves and shelves like this and it can be extremely daunting .

One of the downsides of shopping in Thailand is that they are totally fixated on plastic bags.

They often triple wrap things and the plastic waste is horrendous. I understand that it comes from wanting food to be ‘hygienic ‘ and many of the older generation don’t trust food unless it is multi-wrapped but they have a LONG way to go to reach U.K. environmental standards. It was a bit of a culture shock at first. I take my reusable bags but they often give me funny looks at the checkout as though I am a mad foreigner!

Anyway after paying we left the basement and emerged on the escalator into the sparkling bag department

So if I ever need one I now know where to go….

2 thoughts on “Food Shopping

  1. Haha sparkling bag department!
    On a more serious note…I don’t think i could live there if i couldnt get cheese readily…or a cheap bottle of wine for that matter. Hope you’re both still enjoying it.


    • The cheese and wine thing is an issue. That’s why we splashed out and went to the cheese and wine evening at the hotel this Friday! Beer is cheap and nice here. We end up craving cheese though. Some is available but expensive


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