Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese And The Co$t Of Food

Friday, September 12, 2008

I made a rich, meaty ragù early this week. Bolognese to be exact, served with tagliatelle like they traditionally do in Bologna.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

All very mundane and unremarkable, I'm sure you'll agree.

However, the extremely remarkable point to this entry is the ingredients for said ragù cost a whopping 30 euros (S$60). Heavens to Murgatroyd! It's not like I used Kobe beef or flew in fresh herbs that grow only in certain regions in the Alps which only spring up specific times of the year and one has to risk life and limb to get at them. You know, stunts like that.

The reason for it is this: except for the 600g of ground beef, everything else was an import product. For a certain housewife - me - this means having to pay up to three or four more times for the same item found back home. Rest assured I strongly encouraged the two men to finish up every bit of pasta and if they wanted to lick the plates, I wouldn't be stopping them either. Whatever leftover sauce was sent packing to the freezer to be resurrected another day.

On a side note, I find myself gawking at prices regardless of which side of the pond I'm in. Back in Europe, I would lament about the prices at the asian specialty store, but still cough up all the same. A girl's got to have her belachan and pandan leaves, you know. Over here in Beijing, I cringe when the exact same brand of sausages at the Plus cost 2.85 euros (a bottle of 6) can be had for a small price of 7.50 euros.

On the flip side, eating out is cheap (for us) and we now have a legitimate reason to do so and we have - with a vengeance.

So really, it's not too bad if (western) ingredients are crazy expensive here. Unless you're like me, where cooking's a hobby but the prices have somewhat killed the joy a bit. I still cook, albeit more conservatively with my choices nowadays.

In any case, where are we headed off to again this evening?

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 3:46 am

7 calories
I hear you. Asian food items here are a bit more expensive than back home but not ridiculously high. What's expensive right now are crab meat and red bell pepper!! Crab meat was about US$7 for half a pound (gag) and a red bell pepper cost me almost US$3. You bet I made my family each every sliced bell pepper on their plate!!
Can you stock up on some items from here when you return this month? Or are most of the ingredients you need fresh?
Sri: Whoa, that is expensive, especially the bell peppers. Why is it so? Are they seasonal?

SIG: And which little bird told you we are returning home this month? LOL. If there are no glitches, we are flying back to the Dutch nest for a visit. I will be buying pandan leaves and a couple of dry ingredients required for Malay and Peranakan dishes.
Here in Moscow, even if you had the money, there's pathetically little Asian foodstuff to buy. Tropical fruits cost a bomb. Eg a papaya costs about S$20, I bought a pineapple once (for CNY) for $40. Even fruits like strawberries are terribly expensive, S$20 a punnet. One dragonfruit is $10. A few blackish-skin rambutans, $10! I haven't even come to vegetables...yes, I could go on and on and on....
Lilian, after reading your comment, I'm going to count my blessings not just the dollars and cents!
Oh, I thought you mentioned last yr that you were coming back for F1? Maybe I'm mistaken then.
SIG, you are not mistaken. We did think of making a pit stop in Singapore and then head on home but changed our minds in the end.
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