Difficulties in Shopping for Food in Thailand for a Westerner

Every country has it’s differences. If they didn’t they would get pretty boring. You don’t want to travel somewhere only to find exactly the same thing there as you would have back home. In whatever country you find yourself in you are going to be overwhelmed with difference. As much as anything this applies to food. Every country has it’s delicacies and Thailand is no different. But not only is there different food on the table, you just can’t find some of that food you can get back home.

Now I’m use to it, but it hasn’t always been that way. I had to give up foods I love and I have also learned some little secrets on how to find some of my favorites. The fact is there are going to be difficulties in shopping for food in Thailand for a Westerner.

Having said that here are some of my tips to get over that difficulties in shopping for food in Thailand for a Westerner.

 

Difficulties in Shopping for Food in Thailand for a Westerner - Thai food

 

Delve into the local cuisine

Well this is obviously the easiest way to handle it. It’s also the cheapest and least frustrating. I never use to like Gai Med Ma Moung (Chicken Cashew Nuts) before I came here. Now it is in my top 5 meals. Give the local Thai food a try. You will be surprised. The food is fantastic.  It’s also very simple, so it shouldn’t cause you too many problems with your digestive system.

Also eat the local fruit. Thailand has some great food grown locally and you don’t have all that pesticides that you have around the world. Try the pineapple, banana, the healthy macqui berry, custard apple, dragon fruit or even the local favorite durian (yes it is meant to smell like that).

 

Care packages

If you are staying for a while, then get some foods sent over to you. There are some laws and regulations you are meant to follow, but I’ve never had a problem getting food in. Now when I say food, I’m not talking perishable items. Keep to the box and can stuff. Now this is a pretty expensive option, but if you really want something, you really want it!

 

 

Difficulties in Shopping for Food in Thailand for a Westerner - Energy Drinks

 

Substitution

When I came here I was hooked on Energy Drinks.  But they didn’t have my favorite one here (Monster), so I tried the local ones. There are a dozen different types. I had a Monster about a year after I got here and now find that I like the local ones even more.  Amazing. There are plenty of like for like products here.  It is a bit of trial and error, but it’s usually a cheap way of finding something you like.

 

There are Bigger Supermarkets

It may take some traveling, but there are plenty of bigger supermarkets that offer western food. You will pay for it though.  Big C is probably my favorite and has most of the western food and products I need. Make sure you stock up though as it is common for some products to be off the shelf for months. You don’t want to miss it!

 

I hope this post helped your difficulties in shopping for food in Thailand for a westerner. The good news (or maybe it’s bad news) is that that Thailand seems to become more western everyday, so it is getting easier and easier to find these products. I, personally, hope it doesn’t take over the country, as I love the uniqueness of the food here in Thailand and hope that it stays that way. If you stay here a while, you will feel the same way.

 

Information sources – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cashew_chicken

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/e/energy_drinks/index.html