One of the more difficult things about adjusting to living in a foreign country is getting used to buying foods and the ranges available to you. Add to the mix two people with quite complex diets and it gets all the more complicated.
Since we have been here we have been shopping mainly in two supermarkets; Eroski and Carrefour. Carrefour we know from our time living in France as they are a French chain. They are probably the equivalent to T*sco back in the UK. A little on the pricey side but useful for things like raw cheese and they sell 8 litre containers of water for less than a euro. Eroski is cheaper so we shop there the most but they don’t have the same range.
Organic produce seems to be non existant here with both fruit and veggies and also organic meat near impossible to find.
Hubby went back to eating meat after his adrenal and thyroid glands started to fatigue and it was suggested that eating animal products again would help. It has and so it is something that he doesn’t want to drop just yet. Back in the UK we sourced a supplier of organic, free range and grass-fed meats and poultry and were happy in the knowledge that the meat was the best that we could get. It was very important to us both (me more so) that the animals had experience a ‘good’ life and weren’t factory farmed and full of steroids, antibiotics and the like. Our butcher, Paul, was only to happy to share his knowledge with us and knew exactly where all the meat he sold had come from and what they had been fed on etc etc…..Fast forward to here and we were stumped as to where to go to get what we needed. As a result hubby hadn’t eaten any meat since we left the UK.
Thankfully after a lot of searching we found a little organic supermarket and managed to get some organic free range chicken. I’m not sure if it has come from such a good source as back home but for now it is the best that we can do.
Some of the things in my diet are a little difficult to cater for as well and I was beginning to run low on the supplies that we had brought with us. The organic supermarket stocked some of the things that I needed. I was really pleased to find some coconut butter although I later discovered that the top inch is fine but under that it is all rancid – not happy and it has to go back. It was all on the expensive side though and so we still needed to find another source.
It was then that we discovered another supermarket on the outskirts of Malaga called Hypercol. Another french chain we think and a little Aladdin’s cave as they had a large organic section which sold a lot of the produce that I was looking for. No coconut butter but a lot of the other things that I needed. I was a happy bunny and spent a good half hour mooching around and filling the trolley with lots of goodies. Still no organic fruit and veggies but we are half way there at least.
They did have some Cherimoya fruit though which I had been wanting to try for a long time. They grow well in this region and are also known as ‘Custard Apples’. They are larger than an apple but there skins quite similar in thickness. Inside they do have the texture of cold custard and they were just yummy. They reminded me of strawberry yoghurt and I soon munched my way through it. My only complaint would be that they have too many pips which are really quite big so you spend a lot of time picking them out, but, that said I will definitely be having some more.
So, it would seem that perseverance is the name of the game when getting used to shopping in a new country but we got there in the end and now at least can get most of what we need. We are also trying farmers markets as I’m sure they will work out more cost-effective than the supermarkets but haven’t had too much luck with them yet. I’ll let you know as we have another to try this weekend……..fingers crossed.