Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eating Like a Gringo in Guatemala

While we have been enjoying eating local foods quite a bit (oh, pupusas!), we have been "cheating" and eating some typical gringo foods. And boy, did we pay for it! There is an import store called Sandra's that has two locations in town. It is quite well stocked and very popular. However, the prices are outrageous! When I am questing for some back-home food, I go there last, after the market, the Despensa, and Chalos's.

I managed to find peanut butter at Chalo's. I bought the cheapest, a local brand called B&B, which was Q29.50 (about $4.75 Can.) for 480 grams. They did have Jiff but it was waaaay more expensive. Of course, you can't have peanut butter toast without some real butter!
Half a pound of butter for about $4.19 Canadian.
Bert was confused and asked, "Why does it have salt in it?" 

Speaking of peanuts, I bought this little cup of BBQ nuts on Santander for Q10,
or about $1.60. It was more full, but I ate some. :)
One of the neat things about Guatemala is a lot of foods come in really small packages. Or else they come in a large package, with many more individually wrapped packages inside. Bert splurged and bought some Oreos, and each package inside held six cookies. Spaghetti sauce comes in little squeezy pouches, not cans. It only looks like enough sauce for two servings. Mayo and mustard also come in bags, but ketchup comes in a plastic bottle.

We were contemplating how in Canada everything comes in massive big bulk sizes. MEGA this and JUMBO that. Costco is king! But here I guess people buy in small quantities, maybe just what they need for a short time, or maybe it's just what they can afford. Not sure about the reasons. I've heard that some packaging here is designed specifically because few Guatemaltecos have fridges. They keep their eggs on the counter. It's weird but apparently fine. We've put ours in the fridge because there's more room in there than on our counter. :)
An example of mini sizes. A teeny pack of gum (chicle) with teeny pieces inside.
This is our new favourite breakfast. Chocolate Rice Krispies.
Cost: Q12 ($1.93) for 320 grams.
This is something I wish came in MEGA size.
This is not really gringo food but it's one of my favourite things here.
It's basically Kool-aid but with vitamins. I guess it's their equivalent
of frozen concentrated cans of juice. They have a ton of flavours but
blackberry is my fave. We drink TONS of this.
Only costs Q1.95 or about $0.31 Can.
Bonus: Socially insensitive picture of a Injun. 
OMG Check it out! We spied this in a store in the market. It was locked behind glass!
I think we paid Q10 for it, or about $1.16 Can.
TOTALLY AWESOME. Better than KD. I'm not joking. I love it.
So what is the most expensive gringo food? Pretty much anything dairy: milk, cheese, ice cream. Beef. Chips -- Bert bought a bag of Lay's for Q12 ($1.93). For that, you can get an entire breakfast in some places. And Willow's cat food is not cheap either. (Although dog food is not so pricey.)

And strangely enough, coffee is very expensive. I read online that it's more profitable for them to export their coffee than to sell it here. Apparently, Guatemalans usually drink instant. Eww. (I'm planning on doing a whole blog post on coffee later.)
I found a mug worthy of my morning coffee.  :D
What's the cheapest food? Fruits and veggies from the market. A half pound of onions was Q1, or about $0.16. A pound of strawberries was Q10, or about $1.57. Handmade fresh corn tortillas. Bread is actually pretty cheap, if you buy it from the bakery and not the Despensa.

I've been keeping track of a lot of the prices and I think I'll put up a separate page with the prices. I remember wanting to know that information before I came here, just to get an idea of how cheap or expensive things were.

Sorry, this is a short post but I'm beat after a long day of work and Bert just got home and he says, "I have so many stories to tell you." I'd better go!

No comments :

Post a Comment