Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Food For Thought

You get conflicting reports about what is available in Balikpapan. Here are some of the Western items I have seen readily available in Hero, Hypermart, LotteMart (aka Makro) and Foodmart:

Weetbix, Smuckers jelly, porridge oats, Tim Tams, Oreos, rootbeer, cooking oil (not palm oil), bacon, hot dog and burger rolls, Campbells (tinned) soup, fresh pastuerised/homoginised milk, maple syrup and pancake mixes, processed cheese slices, Edam, yoghurt, whipping creme, French's mustard, corn/tortilla chips, mayonaisse, Worchestershire sauce, Kraft macaroni & cheese, crusty French bread, olive oil, baked beans, popcorn, Pringles, custard creams and bourbon biscuits, Betty Crocker cake/brownie mixes, Lurpak butter, hotdogs (beef only), chips, fish fingers, sausages (beef and pork) breaded chicken, scampi, self-raising flour, herbs, nappies, Lays crisps/potato chips (only two flavours though), monthly feminine hygiene products, taco seasoning and shells, jalapeno peppers, salsa, red kidney beans, Ariel washing powder, Heinz tomato sauce, whole frozen turkey, all kinds of pasta, bolonnaise/ragu tomato sauce, donuts.

Now, a lot of these items are very expensive (upwards of x1.5 of their cost in Europe) so it may be that when expats in Balikpapan tell you that you can't get X, Y and Z here they mean you can't get X, Y and Z at reasonable prices. Which is true, but if you hunt around you can find them up to fifty percent cheaper at one supermarket than they are priced at others. And there's no reason why we can't buy local brands or native ingredients instead of the imported stuff because, as long as the product hasn't expired (check the date), the local foods are fine.

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