Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Even in Samoa, where things seem to grow year round, there are seasons. Though the mis-named vegetable market (way more fruits than vegetables) is still full of produce at this time of year, the wet summer seasons seems to be when most things grow. Right now we are missing out on avocado, pineapple and mango to name just a few.

It seems like only yesterday that Cale and I were picking avocados off the tree in the backyard and having fresh guacamole when ever our little hearts desired. But the truth is avocado's have been scarce for months now. Only recently have they shown back up at the vegetable market in small, hard, unripe forms.

Locally made (or grown) items are not the only things that are occasionally short. In fact, most foods in the Apia grocery stores are imported and their availability depends on shipments from New Zealand or Australia. When one grocery store is out of an item...all grocery stores appear to be out of that item. As if there was on shipping container bringign the entire supply of that to the island, which is probably true. 

There was the great cracker dearth, when no grocery store in Apia or beyond had any crackers (other than the dreaded breakfast cracker, don't even get me started on that, or Magic Flakes). Lucky Foodtown went so far as to post a sign on their empty cracker shelf indicating when the return of the crackers might be anticipated (they were off by about five days, by the way). There was the week of no cheese (eventually cheese was located at Liquor Planet of all places). Parmesan cheese was not in country for almost a year and has returned with a vengeance in both shakeable and actual cheese varieties at outrageous prices. 

Right now though we are experiencing an extremely strange shortage. There are no onions or potatoes at any of the stores in Apia. Both items appear to be grown locally (if they are not locally grown, they are imported with all the dirt intact) and, as far as I have experienced in two years, have no official growing season, but are available year-round. So where have all the onions and potatoes gone? It is a mystery. I am sure if we give it a week or two they will either return or we will have settled into an onion and potato-less life and will have grown accustomed to their absence (HA! fat chance of that. We all know how Sara feels about mashed potatoes, if they don't return soon she will simply go insane).

— Sara


Teresa said...

Maybe it's good I didn't come to Samoa.... I can't live in a world without potatoes!

Barb Carusillo said...

I know what will have to go in the next box we send you along with flash drives. Crackers!