Produce is different. In the states you can go into the market and find many varieties of vegetables and fruits. One of the items I miss is large ripe red tomatoes, even if they were picked green and some procedure ripened them. Eggplant is the Asian type which is small and thin, not like the main variety in the states that is huge and can feed a family. There are items I had not seen before such as long beans. These are like string beans but are about 1 foot long. Potatoes are small and I have never seen any young red potatoes.
Here the tomatoes are small, a little larger than an egg and most are still green or just turning red. Lettuce and cabbage are much smaller too.
Rice. In the states I thought there were just one or two types of white rice. Here there are so many and each type has different grades. Some differences are where they are grown. Before moving here I just thought rice was rice. Yes there is brown rice and wild rice, but with wild rice the wild part is a grain, not rice.
Someone told me the quality items are exported and we get the ones that cannot get shipped out. I think it might be with the large population the growers do not let them reach maturity so they can get them to the stores.
There is something else I miss but am better off without. That is frozen convenience foods. Back in the states if I was too tired to cook or go out to eat, I could open the freezer, grab a frozen meal and pop it into the microwave.
Here we buy vegetables, meats, fruits fresh. With the frozen meals, a lot are loaded with salt and fats. Even the ones that say they are “healthy”
One of my problems is there is so much MSG used in package foods here. And then some people add more when they are cooking.
All our meals are made with fresh items and I have been showing Elena how to cook with home made sauces and not the items loaded with MSG.
What ever the reasons, this is one of my observations.
As with anyone who has moved to a new country in a different part of the world, you just need to get used to what is available and try to forget what is not available.