Food, cooking, and far away

Hello! I hope this post find you all, friends and family, in great conditions 🙂

Now that I’ve been here for a “while”, tried a few things, visited the supermarkets, cooked (several times every day), I find that food, FOOD per se: ingredients, spices, grains, meats… from basics to processed, are a HUMONGOUS part of emigrating.

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When I arrived, my boyfriend (who knows me well) had already bought the BEST soft bread for me, since I’m a bread lover (for all of you who don’t know me that well). It was soft, delicious, and great with cheese! But it turned out that apparently ALL Romanians agree with me, and we haven’t seen them ever again, #foreversoldout venezuelan style.

So, I told him “it’s ok! we can buy other types of bread! ^^” (cheery me), I did notice his big rounded eyes, and silent answer… but it wasn’t until after trying 4 different types of bread, that I realized what his silence MEANT… Bread here sucks … big time … no way of giving it to you guys in a gentler way 😥

I don’t mean to offend any Romanian (I might have a Romanian reader … Hi!), my boyfriend did explain that bread here is very traditional, and there are many good reasons for it to be hard as stone, and raspy as a sponge inside, but it’s VERY different to what we latin americans call bread.

So this no-bread situation, made me realize I’ve been having bread for breakfast (normally in cheese sandwiches) since I was 7 years old and my mom sent me to school everyday with bread in my lunch box. Sure, once in a while I eat something else, like corn flakes, or wraps… but cheese sandwiches are my thing 😥

I already had this problem in Panama, again not wanting to insult any Panamenians (I love you guys!), but you have a bread problem o.o… When I moved to Panama, I went from eating MANY types of delicious sweet and salty bread in Venezuela (sorry guys, but we have GOOD bread there … when the ingredients are found u.u), to eating only pre-packed bread, of that type you can find great bread in Panama (Bimbo and Rimith FTW!) but the variety does’t compare.

Now, here there is not even good pre-packed sandwich bread (by my standards)… So, I’m giving up bread, there’s no point in buying it if it’s not edible…

But the real thing that got me thinking, is how you get stripped away of everything when you emigrate, everything can be missed… people of course number one, but also places, weathers, colors, smells, sounds, and food. Is it the memories we attach to this things? or do we actually enjoy them that much? or is it that the things we get used to, and turn into “rutine”, give us the “ground” we keep shifting by moving?

I don’t have the answers to those questions yet, I would really love to hear the comments of my friends that are expats, moving around the world as much and more than me :).

And because of this I’ve been feeling blue, missing “what I know”, missing venezuelan food, researching recipes and new breakfast options… I think I’m making progress (fingers crossed).

It’s obvious for me now that “food” is a milestone to conquer while emigrating, to “move on” from the things you love and lost, the strenous search for replacements, and the sometimes hard but always rewarding adventure of trying new things 🙂

Smallest pineapple

Smallest pineapple I’ve seen in my life o.o

The first time I went to a super market in Panama in 2013, I started crying in the oil isle of a “blah” supermarket (super99 in Via Porras)… I came from Venezuela, I was used to oil, or no oil… and there in Panama I found literally hundreds of options in types, sizes, prices, colors, presentations, you name it… it was, to put it mildly, overwhelming. Over time I got used to it, but it was a huge shock not knowing what to buy, what things tasted like, with what to substitute ingredients in my mom’s recipes… and this was Panama! 1.20hrs. flight from my home town! … it took me over 14hrs flying to get here… do the math -.-

I wasn’t overwhelmed by the wealth and variety in supermarkets here, in 2 years in Panama I got used to that, but it is a challange that ALL labels are in Romanian (thanks god for pictures!), and that some things we latin americans are used to eating everyday, are not common here, and others are out of the picture completly. I did almost cry the first time I was looking for substitutes for some of my recipes, but Petre saved me as usual, helping me regain calm, courage, and to find them.

Well, I hope to hear from you all soon! opinions, advices, personal experiences, all helpful!

Hugs and kisses!

Alejandra

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3 thoughts on “Food, cooking, and far away

  1. Ivan says:

    Hey Ale. My advice to you would be to bake your own bread and like you said, try to find a substitute for all the things you used to eat over here. First of all, bake you bread untill you get it down to perfection, until it is JUST like you like it. Then, try offering to people you know over there in Romania. Give it to Petre, to his family and any lucky person that might call you friend. Then, if people like it as much as you do, why not open a bakery store, Alejandra´s style. You have the disadvantage of having being stripped away from the thing that you know or like but, the knowledge is still there. Try sharing what you know with people, maybe there is a middle point.

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    • alejandra315 says:

      Hi! it is a very nice idea! I had some problems fiding the recipes for my favorites venezuelan breads, but now, after some research I have several ones! I’m building up courage to give them a try… I think Petre’s dad will LOVE Pan de Jamon (and everyone else, because here pork RULES the market)

      Like

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