Podcasts Provisioning Tech

Stocking Up Food Stores in Foreign Ports

Stocking Up Food Stores in Foreign Ports

You’ve crossed your first ocean. Time to refill your shops locker the place you don’t know the language. Lin Pardey shares tricks to make this activity much less daunting. And to make certain onboard meals are scrumptious.

Hyperlinks:

The Care and Feeding of Crusing Crew (Amazon)

Storing Meals With out Refrigeration

Favor to Learn? Transcript under.

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Transcript

Taken from her ebook, The Care and Feeding of Crusing Crew, Lin has recorded this podcast as she sails throughout the Coral Sea between Fiji and Vanuatu and consists of up to date info that’s helpful for any can be or skilled ocean voyager.

One of the thrilling, intriguing, sudden, and irritating occasions of your first cruise to a overseas nation will occur after your anchor or mooring strains are absolutely secured, after you’ve cleared customs, and after you will have loved that long-anticipated scorching bathe. You’ll row ashore on the lookout for these recent meals for which you’ve got been craving. You’ll find the buying district. And also you’ll discover that the majority the individuals on the planet store for meals utterly in a different way than we North People do. They typically use a special language. They often use metrics, counting weight in kilos, liquids in liters. They use unfamiliar currencies. And few locations alongside favourite cruising routes have big supermarkets simply across the nook. Not often will you be capable of purchase every little thing you want for the approaching week in a single 90 minute cease. Eighty % of the individuals on the planet nonetheless store day by day in public marketplaces. They purchase their meals from small outlets or stalls specializing in meat, greens, dry items, or fruit. To a lot of the world’s individuals, purchasing just isn’t a chore however an essential a part of every day social life. It’s a time for gossip, ribald jokes, and information exchanges.

Once you arrive recent from an ocean passage, anxious to fill the gaps in your depleted retailer lockers, the vastness and confusion of your first public market might be overwhelming. The shopkeepers could also be shy and even frightened since you don’t converse their language. They gained’t perceive your confusion because the market is a part of their lifestyle. Few overseas retailers can be ready for the huge quantities of meals you as a cruising individual want to purchase. No shopkeeper will perceive the impatience of the typical North American who’s used to checkout counters, bag carriers, and computerized money registers.

In case you are on a leisurely cruise and regard buying as one of many adventures you’ve come for, you may study to choose the marketplace approach. However in case you are on a supply or making a pit cease for 3 days to purchase provisions, then pushing on as a result of the seasons are urgent, buying in overseas ports could make provisioning in your crusing life a drag. Both method, there are many steps you possibly can take to make provisioning extra nice.

I’ve discovered from repeated and typically costly errors to not purchase something on the primary day in port besides meals for dinner and the subsequent morning’s breakfast. Even in the event you solely have two days to purchase your provisions, it pays to spend a day wanting round first. By pricing meals in a number of locations, you’ll get an concept of what’s out there and what costs are normal. I typically keep in mind an expertise we had when dashing via the Kiel Canal making an attempt to go away the Baltic earlier than a November snowstorm caught us. As quickly as we docked in Cuxhaven, we rushed into the primary butcher store we noticed, pointed at three lamb chops, and virtually gasped once we realized we’d spent $30 for lower than a pound of meat. We walked again towards the boat alongside a unique route and noticed different, barely much less elegant outlets the place nice-looking pork chops might have made us a meal for less than $12 a pound.

By spending the primary afternoon window purchasing, you’ll get some concept of how one can manage provisioning day, and also you’ll in all probability see some gadgets so as to add to your record. You’ll know what to hold with you if you end up prepared to buy and the place the banks or cash exchanges are.

In case you are shopping for provisions for an extended voyage from a overseas port, take a look at not solely the general public market and native outlets but in addition the wholesalers and ship chandlers. It’s going to pay to speak to another cruising sailor who has been within the port longer than you’ve gotten. If there’s a yacht membership close by, attempt to meet a number of the members and their wives. Nice conversations round many yacht membership lounges have became fantastic outings after the native ladies have realized how little I knew concerning the buying amenities of their hometown. In Port Stated, Egypt, Marja, the spouse of the port well being officer, took me alongside as she did her day by day buying. With out her steerage, I by no means would have discovered the one store within the metropolis that bought cheese; it was tucked away on a aspect road within the basement of an workplace constructing 4 blocks from the primary buying road. Not solely did I study the place to buy, however Marja informed me what to discount for. Her hints on her nation and its customs couldn’t have been culled from a ebook.

Different cruising individuals might be good guides, however most have one disadvantage: As a result of they don’t personal automobiles and haven’t lived within the space for very lengthy, their information of the purchasing locations past strolling distance is certainly restricted. In case you are shopping for meals to final for the subsequent 4 or 5 days, take your new cruising associates’ recommendation. However when you’re shopping for for an extended passage, verify each risk for your self. Doing so will prevent cash and get you meals of the highest quality, biggest longevity, and widest selection.

The general public market is nearly all the time one of the best place to purchase recent fruit, greens, and eggs. Meat purchased out there is often brisker than that present in small outlets as a result of it’s introduced in day by day. Costs are often decrease due to the direct competitors among the many stall keepers. However canned meals typically stays on the cabinets longer in public markets, so cans might already be rusty if you purchase them. We’ve been in public markets in at the very least 65 nations—they will vary from pleasant to miserable. Probably the most primitive ones—in Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia—had muddy flooring, beggars, crowing chickens, and animals being slaughtered on the spot. However this isn’t the norm. Most governments present clear, well-ventilated buildings the place the native farmers and distributors arrange their stalls.

Due to the shortage of legal guidelines governing packaging and meat merchandising, it’s regular for animals to be bought with their heads on in order that the native individuals can inform what they’re getting. Cows which were freshly slaughtered have shiny, shiny eyes, identical to freshly caught fish. Rabbit heads are left on so cats can’t be mistaken for rabbits. After the plastic packages of the American-style grocery store, all of this might sound unusual and probably repulsive to the cruising sailor. Nevertheless it pays to get used to patronizing the general public market as a result of that’s the place you’ll do most of your outfitting for offshore passages when you go overseas.

Native small outlets and minimarkets have one distinct benefit over the general public market: Right here you’re more than likely to seek out individuals who converse just a little English. Additionally they look like extra organized, and their canned items are often brisker. Make sure to ask for something you don’t see on the cabinets—a small store typically has a again room filled with treasures. If the shopkeeper doesn’t have what you need, he’ll in all probability direct you to the store that has it. In the event you purchase greater than $150 value of products in most outlets in southern Latin America, Africa, or the Far East, you’ll in all probability have the ability to ask for a 10 % low cost. Such a amount is taken into account a wholesale lot if you find yourself buying the place the typical revenue is lower than $150 every week.

All through the Pacific and the Far East, you’ll discover Indian and Chinese language outlets in competitors with one another. Although the Chinese language outlets will typically seem cleaner and extra tasteful to the Western eye, I’ve discovered that Indian outlets are likely to have decrease costs. However, the Chinese language outlets often carry a bigger number of packaged items, so it pays to take a look at each.
Wholesalers can give you financial savings of as much as 35 % on some manufacturers of canned and packaged items. I attempt to discover those that provide the products for the nook shops, as they may have the most important selection out there. Grocery store chains in some giant ports (akin to Singapore, Auckland, and Yokohama) have wholesale retailers that provide huge ships. Their costs are typically decrease than these of basic wholesalers. Search for the workplace numbers of those suppliers within the phone listing for the port, or ask the native shopkeepers.

Ship chandlers will provide yachtsmen who’re going overseas. Typically they’re the one good supply of these imported (American, English) manufacturers you miss a lot, although you need to use native meals. The chandler can also be the supply of the cruising man’s delight—duty-free liquor—and, for the smoker, duty-free cigarettes. If not, ask the port captain, customs officer, or any ship agent. Earlier than you begin any giant purchasing expedition, ask a number of chandlers for a printed worth record. When you don’t see an merchandise you want, ask the chandler to discover a worth for you. All chandlers have somebody of their workplace who speaks English; all their lists can be found in English. Verify the totally different tariffs and use them as a information to your survey of the native markets and wholesalers.

When it’s time to order from the chandler, don’t be shy about putting orders with two or three totally different ones. One chandler in Yokohama listed solely exhausting liquor, with Black & White whiskey costing $2.25 a fifth. He additionally had Skippy peanut butter at wholesale American costs. The opposite chandler had each wine and arduous liquor plus an exquisite number of canned and processed cheeses at rock-bottom costs, however his Black & White whiskey value $2.85 a fifth, and he had no peanut butter in any respect.

However all shouldn’t be roses with chandlers. They’re solely present in massive ports which have in depth worldwide delivery visitors. They will solely put duty-free shops on board vessels which might be sure abroad, and a customs officer has to return and seal these shops, so you’ll be able to’t get them placed on board till the day you’re leaving. The shops most chandlers carry are deliberate for giant ships; often, solely case tons or big containers can be found. Some chandlers will cut up instances in the event you ask, however they will’t offer you 5 kilos of immediate mashed potatoes out of a 25 pound can. And, lastly, the costs chandlers cost for canned items will not be as little as these you’ll discover within the native outlets or wholesalers.

When you’ve appeared round however earlier than you’re prepared for the primary main assault on the marketplace, think about a number of methods to make the expertise extra nice.

Earlier than you go cruising, begin studying about metric weights and measures. Lots of immediately’s cans and packages record their metric equivalents. Should you begin noticing the distinction between metric measurements and kilos now, it is going to be one much less drawback to beat. Since a kilo equals 1,000 grams, you’ll discover it simpler to determine costs utilizing metrics. Cabbage that prices 30 cents for 100 grams prices $Three for a kilo, $1.20 for 400 grams. Attempt figuring that for one thing that prices 30 cents an oz. Since I used to be introduced up with kilos, I convert by considering, “400 grams equals almost a pound, 100 grams 1 / 4 of a pound.” It’s shut sufficient.

Earlier than you buy groceries, work out the conversion price for the native foreign money. Make a small chart and select one of many native cash or payments that has an analogous worth to a coin from your personal nation. Then use that coin as your tough normal for figuring costs. In the UK, 50 pence was equal to 93 U.S. cents, so I equated a 50pence coin to a greenback. One thing that value me £5 would, subsequently, be 10 occasions a greenback.

As soon as you’re acquainted with the native foreign money, look by means of your translation dictionary. For those who want particular gadgets, make an inventory in each English and the native language. Print this listing clearly and in massive letters, in order that when all else fails—after you’ve tried saying the phrases together with your best Spanish accent and nonetheless can’t make your request understood—you’ll be able to pull out the piece of paper and discover somebody who can learn it. In creating nations, don’t be stunned if you must cease 5 or 6 individuals earlier than you’ll find somebody who reads. Language is an issue, however you’ll discover that the majority of your purchasing might be executed by the point-and-picture technique, plus a little bit of dictionary writeout. When you maintain your humorousness and are affected person, this language barrier can add a number of enjoyable to your day.

I keep in mind my very first encounter with an enormous Mexican public market. It took 5 or 10 minutes of strolling round earlier than I used to be courageous sufficient to strategy an uncrowded produce stall. I pointed to the oranges, held up two fingers, and stated, “Dos, por favor.”
The lady behind the stall laughed and stated, “Na-ran-ha.”

I clearly didn’t perceive her, so she picked up an orange, pointed at it, and repeated, “Naranja.”

I then realized she was telling me the phrase for orange. I repeated, “Naranja.”

She applauded, picked up a lettuce, and punctiliously stated, “Lechuga.” By the point my basket was full, a number of different Mexicans had gathered round to encourage and help me. I left with a basket of pretty produce, my head swimming with new Spanish phrases and my fears of buying in a public market the place I didn’t perceive the language laid to relaxation.

You do want particular gear to buy abroad, even when you aren’t provisioning for a voyage. Few outlets in overseas nations present any type of luggage, so it’s often a good suggestion to purchase stretchy woven nylon luggage, similar to the type bought in import outlets at house or in marketplaces overseas. These luggage are straightforward to hold in your purse or daypack. They broaden to hold greater than you’ll have the ability to raise, and they’re extremely robust. On the boat, they’ll retailer in any nook; six of them gained’t even fill half a shoebox. They are often washed with the laundry and dried simply by shaking. We use them for dozens of issues in addition to buying.

Woven baskets might look prettier than nylon mesh luggage, however they’re cumbersome to retailer and unsafe to make use of as a result of they will harbor bugs or their eggs. In Sri Lanka, a good friend lent us a rattan buying bag to hold some eggs, tomatoes, and fruit again to the boat. Again on board Seraffyn, I grabbed for a tomato and a Three-inch large tarantula ran out of the bag, over my arm, throughout the bunk, and down between the frames. Listening to my screams, Larry got here operating. He tore out the cushions and bunk boards, discovered the bushy monster, and killed it with a picket mixing spoon. It’s not widespread to discover tarantulas in woven purchasing baskets; often, cockroach eggs or ants make their houses between the rattan items. Washing destroys the form and great thing about a pure basket so any leaky packages, squashed fruit, or dust will create a odor that’s troublesome to take away.

Wondering how to provision in a country where you don’t know the language? Lin Pardey shares tips from 70 countries for easy shopping and tasty meals.
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