Mar 18, 2005, 10:02 PM
Post #27 of 42
Since we are fulltime RVers (which means our RV is our only home) plus we live in Mexico half the year, I thought I'd share what I buy first thing when I cross the border - both ways.
Re: [Esteban] Missing Little Things from Home
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I'm not much for fast food burgers but once a year we head for the nearest Burger King when we cross into the US. It's a tradition and so far in 5 years, 100% of the time we get the runs a few hours after that Whopper and fries.
This year we stopped at the first Safeway we saw because US customs had taken our unopened bag of dog food and the pooches had to eat. While there, I cruised the aisles looking for anything that struck my eye. What else did I buy?
1. white and whole wheat flour, it's one of the few things I don't like in Mexico and usually I stock up at whatever import food place we may be around when SOB. I've decided it's the type of wheat they use, you just can't beat that Montana winter wheat for flour.
2. Pringles. Mimi loves them and she says they aren't the same in Mexico
3. a couple of expensive dog squeeky toys. I know, we spoil them but they had a rough first 9 months in the jungles of the Yucatan.
4. replaced the stuff they took at the border, dog food & eggs. I hid the avocados and the limons and they didn't care about the huge stalk of manzanas (the small bananas) I had hanging from the closet door.
That's it. I wanted nothing else from a huge US grocery store. Now, I admit that when we got to California my first shopping stop was at Trader Joe's and I bought a lot more stuff there. Mostly wine, low carb candy and vitamins to tell you the truth.
So, what do I buy when we hit that first Gigante or Soriana after crossing into Mexico?
1. Lala coconut yogurt. God! I love that stuff. Can't find anything decent made from coconut in the US, it all has pineapple in it and is labeled Piña Colada.
2. Chicken. I don't understand those that don't like mexican chicken. I think it is way more flavorful, juicy and just plain wonderful.
3. another shocker I guess. Butter. I also love mexican butter. I think it has less salt and to me it tastes richer and more like a milk product.
4. Clight and Jello sugar free jello in flavors I can't find NOB, like jamaica, te y mente, mandarina, papaya, guayaba. I love jello any flavor but I like the tropical flavors best.
5. Media Crema in a box. It's the best in my coffee in the morning and I can buy lots of boxes so I never run out. Actually, every year I bring more boxes of media crema back with us and I still haven't hit the magic number where I don't run out. I also buy a lot of Lala milk in a box, it is so convenient to carry and not have to refrigerate that I can't understand why it isn't all over the US. Must be the dairy union.
6. fresh bolillos if we haven't already stopped at the first panaderia we saw.
7. boxes of Doña Chonita sauces, any or all types they have. You can always make something good if you have the sauce.
I admit that it can be a challenge to find some things I like in Mexico. Coffee is always something we are looking for wherever we are. If we find a good source we buy 4 or 5 lbs and freeze it. I will NEVER adjust to the taste of Nescafe in the morning, hot milk or not.
Beef, I think that mexican cows get too much exercise and they don't hang around long enough after they are dead. CostCo has the best beef I've found SOB, when I am in one I stock the freezer. BTW, there is NO comparison between the food that is in CostCo and in Sams. Sams is good for some stuff but not food. CostCo also has the best tomatoes, it can be impossible to find anything but roma tomatoes in much of mexico. I'm not making any spaghetti sauce and I don't like roma tomatoes for anything but sauce.
That's about it, it used to be hard to find chedder cheese or feta or goat cheeses but I see them all the time now in the big groceries all over the country. It used to be part of the thrill when we would go to Belize for a couple weeks, we could buy really sharp cheddar, cheese curds, and lots of european cheeses. Of course, the rest of the food in Belize is bloody awful unless you like a steady diet of stew beans.
When I crossed back NOB I also had a freezer stuffed with big shrimp from Mazatlán and a storage bin with coconut candy from Nayarit alongside all the box milk, cream and Doña Chonita sauces.
I feel it is the best of both worlds traveling between the two countries. I will return to Mexico this year with frozen Dungeness Crab and salmon that we are hoping to catch in Oregon and Washington this summer.
Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán