Posted by: scribe9 | April 7, 2010

Fossicking about in the grocery store

I bought some saltines today, but they’re not called that–they’re Salada, made by Arnott’s (of Australia), which makes lots of crackers and cookies, including the fabled TimTams. The package proclaims “now with 60% less saturated fat,” which makes me wonder what vegetable oil is in it; they don’t have to put it on the label. The package is made for export–it has information in Chinese, French, and Arabic as well as English, and Campell Soup imports it to Malaysia.

Today I discovered some cereal from Egypt. Temmy’s brand comes in a six-pack, like a Variety Pak, of different-flavored, -colored and -shaped sweetened cereals. I’m frequently surprised by what gets imported, considering how much food this country produces, but some imports, such as dried apricots, are much cheaper than the local stuff.

The table salt I bought is Cerebos, a brand that started out in France and is now based in Singapore, although the salt itself is produced here. The label is reminiscent of Morton’s; it’s blue and white, but the figure is a little boy (chasing and pouring salt on the tail of a chicken), and the slogan is “See how it runs.” It’s old-fashioned–looks to be from the forties or fifties–although I know from the Net that in other countries the little boy is more modern. (The Morton Salt girl was last updated in 1968, but she still looks good.)

I didn’t read the label on the mint sauce until I got home and discovered it had wheat syrup for sweetening. Fortunately we don’t have wheat allergies. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t have an apple jelly base.

I was going to buy some applesauce today, just to have it on hand. I knew I had to find it with the other sauces. One brand was from Belgium–way too far–and the others were local, but all were too expensive. What was I thinking? Apples are local, so I’ll make my own sauce.

There are several local brands of baking soda, but unlike  Arm & Hammer, they are marketed just for baking, not for every room in the house and three or four different places in the kitchen. Other uses are mentioned on the label, but there’s obviously no hard-driving brand manager involved.

I can’t even buy antacids at the grocery store, but it has plenty of housewares, clothing and party goods–go figure.


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