Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Food Revolution - Part 3

Yep, still talking about food here.....  I want to share a little bit about the wider variety of food available here.  The small city of 28,000 where I reside is an aimag center, like a state capital.  We are located a mere 7 hour bus ride from Ulanbataar all on the paved road!  We get a good variety of foods, but not nearly as much as the big city.

Though I like to eat local food, it's just not so possible here.  In this part of the country, there's not much water and what grows well is the usual desert scrub grass and plants; not exactly edible fare.  Meat and dairy products fresh, not so tasty in my opinion.

What is local that I consume is flour, bread (made in a factory in my town), yogurt, and some potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions.  Much of the produce for sale locally is imported from China. Although Mongolia in general does not like China (the old hard feelings passed down from generations when China ruled Mongolia), much of the fresh goods, including fruits and veggies come from there and are purchased and enjoyed here.

In the past two years, I've noticed an influx of imported foods.  My favorite cheese is imported from Luxembourg, corn flakes from Thailand, instant coffee hails from Germany as do the hot dogs in a jar, tuna- Netherlands, crackers imported from Malaysia, and most of the fresh fruit from China.  The fruit in jars, like that below come from Russia, as do many of the spices I buy.

jar fruit from Russia, fresh from China, blueberries from USA
some of the latest available items in Arvaikheer
One of my newest discoveries here is sour cream.  It was in one store last summer and only this month has resurfaced in our city.  A small one sells for about a dollar (the little carton on it's side in bottom photo), but worth the price!  I now have a stock pile, just in case!

Raisins here are tricky.... Many packaged varieties are available and imported from various places.  The cheapest ones are dangerous, as there are sometimes tiny pebbles in the package, along with the raisins.  The story goes that many a PC volunteer has broken a tooth on these tasty treats....

The corn flakes are a welcome treat to me!  I love crunchy foods and this cereal is a wonder of crispy deliciousness!

The organic flour is a new item on the scene and is actually made in Mongolia!!!!  

I certainly don't starve here, though there are many foods I miss and crave and can't wait to indulge in upon my return to the USA..... yep, that's my next blog...coming soon:)

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