When Americans Shop for Groceries in Nairobi

Standard

Nakumatt at Junction mall is a nearby grocery store but somehow this photo is missing the atms, matatus (taxi buses), shoe shine stands, armed security guards and the throngs of shoppers.

Nakumatt at Junction mall is a nearby grocery store but somehow this photo is missing the atms, matatus (taxi buses), shoe shine stands, armed security guards and the throngs of shoppers.

Grocery shopping isn’t nearly as simple as it was in Michigan. Each week the products are rearranged – often in quite a drastic way or a way that makes no sense, such as putting the apple sauce in the row with the tomato sauce (the African equivalent of ketchup) because they both said “sauce.” It just never ceases to amaze me and frustrate my efforts at following my shopping list.

A happy discovery I made, however, was the existence of sweet melon. Sweet melon is neither a cantaloupe nor a honeydew, but possess qualities of both – the rind and texture of a cantaloupe with the color and taste of a honeydew (it sometimes has the colors of both, being green with a orange-colored ring near the middle). Oh, and if the variety of the melon is unknown to you, just throw it in a bin and call it “sweet melon.” In addition, there are big, juicy pineapples and delicious, firm avocados in abundance. Dried fruit and nuts are more difficult to come by (and cost more $$$!). Pork of any kind is rare because people are partial to cattle and goats – hence the easy access to goat meat and ground beef! (Steaks are actually not as popular – I doubt many people know what a “grill” is.) And don’t get me started on cheese – seriously, imported cheese only, please — unless you are craving the taste of crayons. The cream cheese (which is fluffy and rather salty) also leaves something to be desired. If you are looking for the potatoes, try that mountain of dirt in the vegetable section. You want crackers? What are those???

Cherries: 42 cents each — did they ride first-class from Michigan? Don’t worry, I redeemed a frequent shopper punch-card and got these for free!

Advertisements

One response »

  1. Wow… maybe we, Americans, would slow down and enjoy our food a little more if we had to savor it like that! Enjoy each cherry, Sabra, and know that you guys are always in our thoughts and prayers. xoxo. The Miller Team

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s