Thursday, March 2, 2017

New normal: What's in that can?

Good luck in Indonesia if you've been used to tossing in "a can of this and that"...

Here is the sum total of a canned-goods aisle in a major supermarket. We might have 10-25 options.

Indonesians buy their food "fresh" at local markets. Fish and chickens are heaped unrefrigerated in the 80o+ heat - with or without ice in the bin - besides stacked vegetables and spices. Drip. drip.

(To keep our tummies happy, we buy meat from refrigerated cases in a supermarket.)

But everything about cooking changes. An example? 10-minute chili (USA) involves rummaging through the kitchen cabinet. Toss together a can of corn, 1-2 cans of beans, tomato sauce, a few spices, fried onion, and browned ground beef. Simmer until ready to eat.

I agonize. Should we make familiar foods, even if we find the ingredients? Each can costs $2-4, in a country where a worker earns $5-10/day. I splurge once in a while ... when we are overcome by cravings for what we remember.

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