April 16, 2010

Stocking Up

The last time we spent a year in Mexico, we grew used to shopping in dusty tiendas where stock was limited and finding anything beyond the basics was unlikely. There were a few big supermarkets around, but they carried pretty much the same stuff as the tiendas. They just spread it out a bit more widely on the shelves. Occasionally we would find something fabulous; some chocolate chips, a jar of marmalade or a bottle of decent wine, but mostly we liked the challenge of eating like a local and trying to figure out what the heck to do with chayote and those big corn kernel things.
The bow is filled with goceries
These days we have Walmart and Costco as well as the big Mexican grocery stores like CCC and Mega. Each of them carries the standard Mexican brands, but they also carry a random supply of Canadian and US products, which sell out within days of their arrival. This makes shopping kind of like a treasure hunt, and means every time a friend goes shopping you get a report back, “I found rice noodles and coconut milk!!”
Eating like a local is great—we make our own tortillas and eat plenty of beans and rice (I’m still not sure what to do with those giant kernels…), but there are days when a coconut curry over rice noodles is a welcome meal.
 We won't see produce like this during the summer
Our plan is to head into north into the Sea of Cortez in a few weeks. Once we leave La Paz, we’re pretty much back to the dusty tiendas for the next five months. So today we went and stocked up (actually we stocked up for guests who arrive tomorrow, but we did buy all the rice noodles in the store.)
 Somehow, no matter where we go, there are more choices in laundry soap than anything else
Knowing that our choices will be limited to the basics in the months to come made every purchase a bit more exciting today. And somehow appreciating every loaf of pumpernickel bread and brick of aged cheddar just feels right.

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