Not A Snob
Even though I’m a white American living in the Philippines, I’m not much of a snob.
I don’t live in a gated enclave. I take tricycles all the time. I have chickens in my backyard and pigs next door. I like Jollibee and Chow King. I drink San Mig even though I love more costly craft beers. I love most of the food here and even find bagoong and tuba tasty.
Sure, I still have my coffee shipped via balikbayan box. Sure, that craft beer is always on my mind. Sure, frying dried fish will drive me out of the house. But mostly I’ve adapted to the Philippines and not stuck my nose in the air at things that many foreigners would fund “beneath” them.
Sacrifices and frustrations exist, though. One of them is the lack of access to things that are common in the US.
Currently, I’m frustrated over something that seems bizarre to me. In a city as large as Davao, I can’t find peanut oil in the markets.
I love peanut butter. It’s one of those things I won’t give up. Back in the US, we ate Adams brand. It’s just peanuts and salt. It had to be stirred to incorporate the oil back into the butter.
Here, the only brand I can find that I like is Skippy. But Skippy contains sugar and is kept smooth with hydrogenated oil. That type of oil has been processed to remain semi-solid. It keeps the peanut butter from separating.
I decided to eliminate hydrogenated oils from my diet and to make my own peanut butter. Peanuts are easily found here and we have a food processor to whack them up with. But I need a bit of peanut oil to smooth the butter out with.
Peanut Oil Problem
Only, none of the supermarkets we frequent here carry peanut oil. That’s hard for me to believe. I can find peanut oil in any supermarket in Seattle, where I came from.
I bet that I could find barrels of peanut oil in Manila. In Davao, not a drop. I’ll keep looking but it’s so frustrating!