Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Food in Abundance...Then Why Do I Have So Few Choices?

19 April 2016

Food. I have an ongoing love-hate relationship!   Food will strengthen you but too much can weaken you.   It can comfort you but an excess will depress you.   Food can serve as a greeting, as well as, a good-bye.   What a fickeled thing food can be.

Phnom Penh is laced with food carts (Cambodian fast food), grocery stores and restaurants.   You will see beautiful, orderly stacks of fruits and vegetables displayed as sidewalk stands.  No matter how attractive that fruit is, I still have to wash it all in bleach water before we eat it. 

there is also the drink carts... corn on the cob carts....

a multitude of rice carts..... noodle carts.... bread carts..... dumpling carts....
You can get pig ears (not the deep fried, sugar coated, cinnamon sprinkled kind either!), chicken feet, intestines, tongue, Crickets, spiders, and an even greater multitude of unidentifiable things.   Thank Goodness the carts are forbidden to eat from within the Mission!   Food is everywhere!  

It is so interesting to go into the food stores of Cambodia.   Just because it is a grocery store doesn't mean that you won't find some of the same "cart" items.   There are many grocery stores.   Three stores that we frequent due to their marketing of North American brands.   It is not unusual to see a Kirkland brand on the shelf or Campbell's soups.
Although, the soups they stock are so obscure!  Cream Style Corn w/ Mushrooms??? Really?  Who buys that?  You can readily find Cream of Celery soup, most of the time find Cream of Mushroom soup, and rarely find Cream of Chicken soup.   I quickly surmised that the Khmer really don't have an understanding of the casserole!
Grocery shopping is a multi-cultural event.  There is Korean products.....

There are Khmer products..... 

Chinese products.....

I can find regular chickens (although they are the scrawniest chickens I have ever seen). And then right next to them are the BLACK chickens.  And they are nasty looking.  I won't even pick up the packages! 
Eggs also come in a variety of different colors over and above the white or brown eggs
What about pink eggs?   Never tried pink eggs yet either!!!
But my all time favorite that makes me shutter are the BLACK eggs rolled in some sort of salt... like that would make them more appetizing! 

 We see plenty of familiar products...

 And certainly rows
and rows of foods that I wish I had Fiona, our sweet little Taiwanese daughter-in-law,  at my side to help me know what to use

Honestly, I think we should go back to the days of Abraham and the first recorded Relief Society Luncheon served by Sarah (Genesis 18).  Sarah didn't have to go to any grocery store.  She didn't have to fret over a menu, nor did she have any national food guide she had to follow.  She didn't care if there was too much salt or extra additives.   She didn't have to worry about cholesterol, purines, or blood-sugar counts.   She just baked bread and Abraham chose a calf and had it cooked!   I'm not sure abundance and lots of choices has made us wiser.