Posted: 11th January 2005
One thing that Thai people don't enjoy to eat and so therefore is difficult to find is cheese. Myself, I like cheese with salads and in sandwiches. I particularly like eating cheese with Branston Pickle which is also not easy to find here in Thailand. In the normal supermarket chains like Tesco Lotus and Big C it is possible to buy large packets of processed sheets and sometimes some small blocks of real cheese. Though usually no larger than 250 grams. It can also be quite expensive so I never bought cheese that often. Usually, 250 grams of imported cheese would cost at least 100 baht if not more. That doesn't last me long.
The other day I went to Makro “Cash & Carry”. For those of you who don't know, Makro is a kind of wholesale place where you buy most things on bulk. You cannot buy just one tube of toothpaste. You have to buy a big box. The reason I wanted to apply for membership is that the receipt they print out will have the name and address of our company. This is exactly what I need for doing the accounts. They have stationary here as well as electronics and food. Perfect really. The only pain is that they don't give you plastic bags for your shopping.
Anyway, back to the cheese. What I did discover at Makro was a large two kilo pack of Anchor cheese! . And the price too was very reasonable. The white cheese was only 540 baht and the red cheese 100 baht more expensive. If I had bought eight packs of the 250 gram packs at Tesco Lotus or Foodland it would have cost me something like 800 baht. So, I bought the cheese. The only problem is that I have nearly finished the last jar of Branston pickle that my sister had brought over from the UK last year.
Actually, when I went to the hospital last week in Bangkok I stopped to take a look at Villa Market for the first time. This has a good reputation of having a lot of imported food. So, I thought I would take a look as it was quite near the hospital. I am just glad I didn't buy any vegetables without looking at the prices first. The iceberg lettuce was about 100 baht while I normally pay only 20 baht. The carrots were equally expensive. I guess they import the vegetables too.
What I did find in the supermarket was a small bottle of Branston pickle, albeit at a very high 220 baht. I was almost tempted. They also had a large jar of Marmite. The first I had seen in Thailand. However, I still have a jar left of that. Some Thai friends went to England about three years ago and I had asked them to buy me some Marmite amongst some other missed favourites. I don't think they really understood how you use Marmite. They probably thought you spread it on thick as they came back with FIVE large bottles of Marmite! The servants certainly didn't understand as the first sandwiches they made with Marmite had a very thick layer! Erm, a bit too much.
Talking about sandwiches, really bread is not that popular here either. It is true that you can buy half loaves of sliced bread at 7-Eleven and Family Mart convenience stores, but Thai people don't really like it so much. They would never have it as a meal like we do. They might have it as a snack with some jam (or “yam” as the kids call it). At school, they have this thick white bread which they toast with sugar on top. Then they pour cream on it. Very popular with the students but not for me.
I think when I first came to Thailand people didn't really eat sandwiches at school. But, as in everything else, they closely watched how I was making them and then did exact copies. I had to be careful as I tend to make “disgusting” sandwiches at times. I sometimes like to eat strawberry jam and cheese amongst other concoctions. The reason I had to be careful was that the servants were now beginning to make sandwiches for both foreign and Thai visitors we had at the school. I think the last thing we should give them is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Actually, these days, the servants make a pretty darn good sandwich. Whenever we have visitors they always enjoy our sandwiches. They now sell some of them in the snack shops to the students.
Don't forget to visit the forums to discuss Thai food!
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