June 20, 2011

Hoarding vs Pantry

Last week, I was explaining the concept of American pantries to my Mexican friends. A bodega for the kitchen. What Mexicans call despensas, food basket basics, with a few additions of sale, canned and long shelf life items are what we call pantry items.
Mostly because of space, and due to money, Mexicans generally don't keep great pantries, even in hurricane season. They tend to go to the store when the warnings are up and "compra en panico", panic buy, as Ricardo at Ronco calls it.
Six years ago, when the warnings were up for Hurricane Wilma, Ricardo made a trip to Walmart for the store for necessities. He saw locals with bags of candy. compras en panico, and laughed about it.
But you know, when we got our food baskets after the hurricane, and it was obligatory we take them because the docks were out, there were animal crackers for the sweet! So, it is a vital part of the diet.
Not me. I bought dried beans and American canned beans, which I find comforting out of the can when there weather is nasty. I got other canned stuff, veggies. Because after a food hurricane, the land is stripped of its crops, including our health green bush, chaya.
So I've got my pantry set. Now I feel I have to prove I am not a hoarder!


Sue said...

I have a pantry full of stuff from hoarding over the last few close calls. Some of it is expired, time to take stock and throw out and restock.

Where did you find kidney beans?

Anonymous said...

You have touched on a microcosm of a bigger picture of a major problem in Mexico - the inability to prepare for the future, any future. I'm convinced it's what keeps the nation from moving on from third world country status. They simply live from day to day. I have seen them come into a decent sum of money only to throw a huge fiesta the next week. I've see fathers sell land and what seems their own souls to pay for a quincenera. The next week or month a tragedy of some sort hits and he has ni un peso to pay the doctor or restart the business or rebuild the house or repair an appliance, depending on the tragedy. No one has a pantry let alone a savings account or college fund for a child, and the cycle continues generation after generation.

We have tried to talk to Mexican friends in an effort to increase our understanding of the phenonmenon, but the conversation goes nowhere. They simply don't understand the point of the question, so we uncap another beer and wish everyone buen salud. I figure they'll need it.

anopisthographiste said...

Actually what you see in the U.S. is not only pantries bursting at the seams but in addition to that those same people hurry to the store to panic buy every time there's a storm approaching!

IslaZina said...

Sue, Chedraui in Plaza los Americas. They have an awesome and growing assortment of stuff we grew up on. I was going to freezer Cool Whip, but opted for boxed Dream Whip. They have cherry and apple pie filling. I bet we see pumpkin this year! I've got to get rid of some expireds myself...today might be a good day!

Sue said...

Wow, I have to go there!