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Old 09-01-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,772 posts, read 2,585,285 times
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Hi, I am not sure which thread I should be posting to, so please steer me in the right direction. I am currently living in a balkan country for the next year. Their ways are very different than ours than in the U.S.A. For instance I am trying to figure out how to buy self rising flour to bake with, baking soda, vanilla. Their milk comes in cartons and is good for several months and in the U.S., we buy milk and it's only good for around 10 days. I recently figured out how to buy fresh milk here 2.8% and it was in a bottle vs. a carton and the shelf life wasn't as long. Our cleaning lady was trying to explain that that milk is for cooking.

Another thing is the bread. Their fresh baked bread is white but very delicious. Their packaged bread has a long shelf life but is a different texture.

Their hamburgers vs ours is so different. I still haven't figured out what they are made of. If I want to order a pound of ground beef here, do I say 500 grams of ______?

I am going to be taking language lessons soon and I know that will help alot. In the meantime, we have a young school age child and I need to get by as best as I can. Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 19,643,324 times
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Is there an ex-pat community where you are living? If so, someone should be able to help, even though there are so many knowledgeable people on this board.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,772 posts, read 2,585,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SXMGirl View Post
Is there an ex-pat community where you are living? If so, someone should be able to help, even though there are so many knowledgeable people on this board.
I've only been here a short time, my spouse is here because of his work. I haven't had the opportunity to meet anyone as of yet, but I am sure I will soon as my son will be starting school. So far some of the stuff that I have bought my son doesn't like because it just tastes so different! Of course they do not have alot of the foods we are use to in America. Nutella here no peanut butter! Some of the herbs I like to cook with, they don't have like dill and cilantro.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 22,618,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Hi, I am not sure which thread I should be posting to, so please steer me in the right direction. I am currently living in a balkan country for the next year. Their ways are very different than ours than in the U.S.A.
My first tip, check out Google Translate. If the language where you are trying to shop is one of those listed, it makes an easy way to parse out key words and phrases. I keep their app on my smartphone and use it constantly when traveling abroad. Google Translate

The second is, try to find a local "guide," someone who can help you understand the local culture, terminology, etc. And "go with the flow" wherever you can, adapting to local practices as much as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
For instance I am trying to figure out how to buy self rising flour to bake with, baking soda, vanilla.
The biggest differences people see in other countries are often in the area of convenience foods, and packaged items. You may or may not be able to find self-rising flour. It is not used everywhere. You may have to reach back to older methods, like sifting baking powder or soda into flour, etc. Internet searches are your friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Their milk comes in cartons and is good for several months and in the U.S., we buy milk and it's only good for around 10 days. I recently figured out how to buy fresh milk here 2.8% and it was in a bottle vs. a carton and the shelf life wasn't as long. Our cleaning lady was trying to explain that that milk is for cooking.
In many parts of the world, yes, milk is for cooking, not for drinking. Is the fresh milk pasteurized? May not be. Shelf stabilized milk is available in US supermarkets, but is much more popular in countries that don't have our food infrastructure and big refrigerators at home. In many countries kids get their calcium from greens, or from fish like sardines, and don't drink milk at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Their hamburgers vs ours is so different. I still haven't figured out what they are made of. If I want to order a pound of ground beef here, do I say 500 grams of ______?
In Croation, "ground beef translates to: "mljevena junetina". Idioms are funny. In the US we refer to ground beef as hamburger, whereas in many countries "hamburger" only refers to a sandwich.

And yes, you will have to deal with the metric system and with currency calculations. Again, I find the Google functions on my smartphone to be priceless when traveling. Type "1 pound = grams?" into the Google window and the answer instantly comes back "453.592 grams." "10 euros to dollars" returns the answer "12.58 US Dollar" It's very handy.

Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:50 AM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
Reputation: 18521
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Hi, I am not sure which thread I should be posting to, so please steer me in the right direction. I am currently living in a balkan country for the next year. Their ways are very different than ours than in the U.S.A. For instance I am trying to figure out how to buy self rising flour to bake with, baking soda, vanilla. Their milk comes in cartons and is good for several months and in the U.S., we buy milk and it's only good for around 10 days. I recently figured out how to buy fresh milk here 2.8% and it was in a bottle vs. a carton and the shelf life wasn't as long. Our cleaning lady was trying to explain that that milk is for cooking.

Another thing is the bread. Their fresh baked bread is white but very delicious. Their packaged bread has a long shelf life but is a different texture.

Their hamburgers vs ours is so different. I still haven't figured out what they are made of. If I want to order a pound of ground beef here, do I say 500 grams of ______?

I am going to be taking language lessons soon and I know that will help alot. In the meantime, we have a young school age child and I need to get by as best as I can. Thanks.


The milk with the long shelf life is generally produced by Parmalat and it is ULTRApasteurized. That milk is shelf stable and does not require refrigeration. Most people think that it lacks the taste of fresh milk. Ultrapasteurized milk is readily available in the US.

A pound is 43 grams. 100mg equates to about a quarter pound.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 22,618,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
100mg equates to about a quarter pound.
Ooops, that's a typo. It should say 100 grams, not 100 milligrams. 100 g = .22 pounds.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Boonies
1,772 posts, read 2,585,285 times
Reputation: 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
The milk with the long shelf life is generally produced by Parmalat and it is ULTRApasteurized. That milk is shelf stable and does not require refrigeration. Most people think that it lacks the taste of fresh milk. Ultrapasteurized milk is readily available in the US.

A pound is 43 grams. 100mg equates to about a quarter pound.
My son and I do not care for that boxed milk, but like the fresh milk it's labeled:

sveze mleko

I was reading in the packet that we received when we got here, that we should drink U.H.T. milk? Do you know what that is?
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 22,618,890 times
Reputation: 10524
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
My son and I do not care for that boxed milk, but like the fresh milk it's labeled:

sveze mleko
You did not mention what language this is, but it appears to be Serbian for "Fresh Milk," and the context seems to be that it is not pasteurized. It's what we would call Raw Milk in the US. That's probably why the cleaning lady was trying to tell you it's for cooking, because cooking would kill any disease organisms in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
I was reading in the packet that we received when we got here, that we should drink U.H.T. milk? Do you know what that is?
Yes, UHT or Ultra High Temperature pasteurized is the boxed milk. Reading between the lines, food safety laws in other countries can be very different from the US. It sounds like the advice is to stay away from fresh milk there and only drink the ultra-pasteurized milk in the box.

Sorry.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,288,199 times
Reputation: 52030
Sounds like quite an adventure! Enjoy your stay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Of course they do not have alot of the foods we are use to in America. Nutella here no peanut butter!
Well, now, that sounds like a substitution I could live with! LOL

Quote:
Some of the herbs I like to cook with, they don't have like dill and cilantro.
Those can be grown quite easily on your windowsill. Order the seeds online, or ask some of your friends back in the States to send you a packet of seeds if customs allows it.
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