One nice thing is that Farmer Joe is open every day (Sundays included!, but not holidays) from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., which makes it one of the most reliable businesses in the country. That said, grocery shopping is always a bit of a crap shoot. It’s never clear on where the line is between items they carry and items they don’t.
Things you unexpectedly can find at grocery stores here include:
- Peanut butter (multiple brands; chunky and creamy);
- Tobasco sauce;
- Multigrain bread;
- Guinness (this is a fairly recent development);
- Hummus; and
- Pringles, Granny Goose tortilla chips (WTH?), and the occasional bag of pretzels.
- Brand name Spam (yes, there are other brands of pork luncheon meat);
- Salad dressing;
- Doritos, Lays, Funyuns, Tostidos, Ruffles, Fritos, or Cheez-Its;
- Tortillas (although wraps work just fine);
- Granola bars, fruit roll-ups, or any kind of mildly healthy snack; and
- Gummy bears.
The produce section at Farmer Joe leaves something to be desired, but this works because the store is directly across the street from the open-air market (which I will refer to from now on as “the market”). The two are not in competition because the produce sold at the market complements the standard goods available at Farmer Joe. Yesterday I bought taro, papayas, green onions, and star fruit at the market. Of all these, only the green onions are available at Farmer Joe. Farmer Joe does carry oranges and at least 2 varieties of apples. These tend to be expensive (i.e. just about the same price as America when you convert to USD).
None of the grocery stores take credit card. There was a time not long ago when grocery stores in The States didn’t take credit card either, but it’s weird how fast we grow accustomed to things.
Finally, I cannot recall seeing shopping carts at Farmer Joe. I’m told they exist and that they are referred to here as “trollies” (New Zealand influence). I will stay on the lookout for shopping carts, and I’ll let you know.
Tomorrow’s Cultural Exploration: Walking Down the Street
I hope things are well back home. Please enjoy the grocery photos below.
Three columns of corned beef.
Milwaukee's Best and Heineken are now available here in Apia. I've blown up the prices so you can see that Milwaukee's best is more expensive than Heineken. Afterall, it is Milwaukee's Best.
These aren't frozen goods. These are candy bars stored in the refrigerator.
White Shiraz, which I've never seen in The States.
Schrutte Farms trying to get in on the action.
Panadol is the equivalent of Tylenol here. And the Children's version features kids dressed in strange costumes on the box.