Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tips for Living in a Mexican Fishing Village at the End of the Road

Some friends are coming to Kino for a few months or for forever and one of their questions was can they get Greek yogurt, walnuts and frozen blueberries here? Oh-oh. These people need guidance. So let's start with food.


Rumor has it a grocery store chain is coming to town (Super Sazo which is bien and barato - good and cheap - according to their ads). For now the town consists mostly of little neighborhood stores (abarrotes), two Oxxos (kinda like Circle Ks) and four Super-Ts (also chains and also small but unlike the neighborhood stores, Super Ts carry alcohol). We have a store that specializes in meat, one for fruit and vegetables. My new favorite - Graco - is a tiny and clean store with beautiful vegetables and some things that can be hard to find like olive oil and cottage cheese. During the winter months the Modelorama in Old Kino carries natural orange juice (it comes in on Fridays) and I've been told the Super Bahia in New Kino also has it. (We're surrounded by orange groves - you'd think someone would sell fresh-squeezed OJ from a cart when in season.)

I have never ever seen Greek yogurt here. I've not seen it in the major grocery chains in Calle Doce (30 miles away) or Hermosillo (60 miles) but maybe it can be found in a specialty market in Hermosillo or the fancy grocery store Vimark. Likewise blueberries but I imagine those might be in frozen food sections in Walmart or Costco or the Mexican stores like Ley's or Soriana's. No problem with the walnuts, however.

As the expat/snowbird population grew, so did some of the American food items like Prego spaghetti sauce and Quaker granola but most people who are here for a while schedule in monthly trips to Hermosillo for big shopping. For two years I vowed not to do that and to eat like a Mexican (except for extra sharp cheddar cheese and gin) which is why I'm sick of shrimp and fish tacos. Being sick of shrimp and fish makes it difficult to eat out. Especially if you're also sick of potatoes filled with cheese and carne asada. So far Sonoran hotdogs have not worn out their welcome.

My advice is if there are food items you cannot live without, bring them. Then search for them in town, try Calle Doce and Hermosillo. If still no luck, hit up friends who are coming down from the States. Find substitutes. It's funny but I still can't sort out the cream situation. You know like cream for your coffee. It's some sort of thick globby stuff that congeals. So if you need cream for your coffee, bring that. Although Mexicans seem to love mayonnaise, if you're a Miracle Whip person you won't find it anywhere (believe me, I've looked).

Stay tuned for tip number two: Money. There are no banks here and currently only one functioning ATM so keeping supplied in pesos can be a challenge.

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