Aussies - food/supermarket help!

(41 Posts)
Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 01:40:07

Ok so I am starting to get acquainted with Australian supermarkets - don't shoot me but I am really missing Waitrose blush - in terms of the range and the free internet delivery service.

Anyway, there are a few things I can't find and wondered if I am being dense.
1) Teabags - tried tetley and they just don't taste right - I used to drink Waitrose own or PG Tips - any tips for a good equivalent, feel a bit soul-destroyed at the thought of buying all of the different ones to taste.

2) Creme fraiche - can't find it - is sour cream the best alternative or do they sell creme fraiche anywhere? It was a staple for us in England!

3) Bacon - what I have bought is already cooked so to re-grill or re-fry it doesn't seem to produce the right result. Can you buy raw bacon rashers?

4) Mayo - I bought low fat Kraft mayo and I am sure it is what English people would call salad cream (yuck!) - so I am now buying Real Full Egg Mayo or something but would ideally prefer a low fat version - any ideas?

5) Spices - the spices don't seem to have as much flavour as English ones (am I just being picky?!) - I think I bought Masterchef - is there a better brand?

Ok that's all I can think of for now but any other tips and ideas would be great. So far I definitely prefer Coles over Woolworths but quite like the Supa IGA as well - where do others shop?

Maghag Fri 03-May-13 01:49:16

Ah Mutley, a woman after my own heart.

I'm an ex-pat who dearly missed Markies and Waitrose too. Sigh...
1) Woolworths now sell Yorkshire teabags thank god. $3.99 for a 100. Aussie teabags taste like cats piss.
2) I can only find it in IGA or small deli type places.
3) Not a bacon girl but haven't had trouble finding the regular stuff, maybe try the butcher.
4) Sorry, mayo here is cack. We don't buy anything other than Paul Newman's stuff now as the low fat stuff is diabolical. I used to live of Sainsburys French style low fat mayo, but sadly nothing like that here.
5) Haven't had a problem with spices. I'm a chuck it in type cook so just season to taste.

The range here is really poor. And everything is SOOO expensive. After 5 and half years I'm still not used to it. When I go home I wander round Sainsburys and M&S in a daze, it's like being in heaven.

Good luck. We're based in the lower north shore of Sydney, where are you?

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 01:58:31

Ok....
1/ no... Creme. Fraiche here is sweetened.. So like yogurt.. Substitute with low fat cream or sour cream.

2/ tea bags.. Dh would agree. Woollies and Coles both have uk stuff in some stores.. Or.. Find a t2 or tea centre and buy proper tea. Tastes much better than any bagged stuff!

3/ bacon, is boiled or heavily cured, it has to be to meet fsa regulations here. Buy good bacon from a butchers, we grill or fry or BBQ it. Can't say after 6 years I can remember any difference with uk bacon! I do remember it was raw.. As was gammon.. Both cooed cured here.

4/ herbs and spices.. Sorry no idea! I find the supermarket ones just the same as say tescos. I buy herbs and spices from the fruit barn or the local Indian shop or Indian stuff and scoop shop for some stuff. Sweet chilli sauce s superb here! As are Asian spices.. Love fresh lemongrass.

Like any move its about a bit of adaptation... Change your preferences.. Even what and how you eat.. Maybe.. It may be a good change. For the first year here I drove to te British shop and bought prawn cocktail crisps and monster munch because I really missed them. No longer ! Yes if someone gave me some,,, lovely .. But really don't need them. Dc all born here don't like them!

Now send me somewhere with out Coca cola... That would be a deal breaker !!!!

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 02:00:13

Ah thanks maghag it is so great to hear from someone who understands!!!!

Great - will get down to Woolworths for the teabags and we do have an IGA round the corner, in which I have noticed a better range so can try and get the creme fraiche there. Will look harder for the bacon and stick to my full fat mayo (I've got "Praise" at the moment which does bear some resemblance but will try Paul Newman too). If you know what brand of spices you buy can you tell me please?

Yes I didn't even mention M&S - keep seeing the ads for dine in for 2 on my Facebook and feel soooooooooo homesick. I would very rarely buy them but the type of ready prepared good quality deserts you could go and buy from M&S or Waitrose - I am now just craving one.

We are in Perth - which is even worse in terms of availability etc I think - from my experience of Melbourne! I think the lack of internet shopping is depressing me a lot too; so easy to buy anything in England, and cheap. Here even if I can find what I want online there is generally a ridiculous (IMO) delivery charge to get it here! I am just not used to having to scour the shops for things for the kids.

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 02:00:24

Forgot... Mayo... You need to buy whole egg Mayo. The one in woollies made best foods.. Blue and yellow label.. Made by unilever.. Is Hellmanns in a different jar! Any whole egg is real mayo tho..

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 02:06:49

Perth must be different from bris... We have Coles and woollies online.. I love it.. Free delivery.

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 02:09:04

Thanks Chloe - I get your point about adaptation and I think I am fairly open minded - we do of course eat differently here (no choice really!). I didn't eat a lot of processed food which is much less available so no problem with that.

However I have worked out after 8 weeks what I really "need" versus what I just prefer! I am feeling really sad about not being able to have a decent tasting cup of tea in the afternoon (haven't got time for leaves unfortunately), and want to be able to cook some of the things I did, many of which involve creme fraiche (I think sour cream is the best option for a creme fraiche substitute as it needs the "sourness" but is just not quite the same and I dread to think about the fat content!).

So - bacon - the cured sounds better because to re-cook it doesn't create the same effect - it's like re-heating sausages.....

Is just a bit depressing getting used to the lack of variety sad

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 02:11:19

Chloe - can you buy whole egg mayo in a low fat version - Hellman's low fat was my preference in England?

We have Coles online here but not free delivery and I can't justify paying for it when my kids are at school and I am at home full-time!

Maghag Fri 03-May-13 02:15:08

I've seen Helmans Reduced mayo in Woollies which isn't bad either.

I buy ALL DD's clothes online from Next (free delivery, it's not the mega range like in the UK but plenty, get most of my clothes on it too) and M&S which is 15 quid but if you get a lot (knickers, shirts for DH etc) it's worth it and sometimes they have free aus delivery. It's quite good cos you can get the sale stuff which is just in time for our seasons. Bought a Twiggy winter coat half price just the other week for Self and love it.

We go to IGA a lot as they have some different stuff from the other two and the quality tends to be better. Do you have Harris Farm Market over there? That's great for fresh fruit and veg.

Got rels to bring out all sorts of stuff at first but hardly bother now. Chin up old bean, it does get easier. xx

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 02:19:45

Pants.. Our delivery is free over a set amount.. 4 kids a dh and an au pair... We get there no probs!

I don't buy the low fat mayo.. Too many chemicals for me! But.. Praise make a light whole egg mayo. .. Just checked online :0) worth a try maybe? I just use best foods and use less... Now off to make coleslaw..

Maghag Fri 03-May-13 02:25:35

Can I just have a teensy tiny ex-pat whinge?
The telly is shite here and the adverts SHOUT at you. The clothes are expensive and cack (see above, TF for online delivery), nobody seems to be able to make a decent low-fat hummus (or mayo obvs) and the postage home is INSANE.
Ok, the sushi is fab and cheap, we live 5 mins from the beach and it's a great place to bring up DD but heck I miss home sometimes.
DH doesn't get my teary moments at all, says over his dead body would he ever move back to the uk.
Still, we don't have winters of 6 feet of snow and horse meat.

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 02:39:16

oh maghag.. you made me sad... I guess the big thing to overcome is that "home" bit.. I view brissy as my home.. my heart is here, my kids know no different.. I love to shop here, I love target for its range, best and less for its cheap "tat" for my pre teen dd.. I love pumpkin patch for the little ones and pre teen.. I love dj's and myers and harris scarfe for me.. I do look at times at next but then think.. nah.. more fun to go out, have lunch.. shop with friends or dc's.. sometimes dh..But this is most definately home.

Dh has had two trips back to the uk with work.. I have had none and feel no need to. His first trip he said home.. and i was quite upset to myself.. his last one he said his mums home.. he also has no desire to leave aus..If he does he is yet to say!

SavoyCabbage Fri 03-May-13 02:55:07

We don't watch any Australian tv except Masterchef. There is a lot if tv on YouTube and we have an ipad and a VPN so watch player on that. Well, not on it, through it on the tv. Same with YouTube. We can watch it on the actual tv.

You can definitely get pg tips at Coles in the "English section". Email Coles or ask on their Facebook page (much quicker) where the Coles with an British section is.

The cream situation is a nightmare! I've just stopped using cream apart from sour cream. I missed semi skimmed milk but i get it from Aussie Farmers Direct now. The bacon is different but you just get used to it.

I read the backs of chocolate to see if they are made in the uk, it's trial and error.

Every now and then you stumble across a shop that has stuff you miss. I found a load of Jaffa cakes in an IGA once. grin

Maghag Fri 03-May-13 02:58:18

I know, sorry.

When I'm 'home' I refer to here as home and really look forward to coming back. I suppose I just don't see it as being forever.

I do love going out and shopping etc but I used to do that with my mum and sis. DD isn't yet 2 so we're not quite at the girls together shopping stage!

I don't walk around in a fug of sadness or anything and do embrace life here but for me, there's still a big hole. Esp now DD is here and the rels aren't seeing her grow up.

Gulp. At work so I better not carry on! Lovely to chat though and will log on a bit later for some more words of wisdom!

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 03:10:44

That's better then!
Work was my gateway to make friends! Seeing I am now leaving as except for a few I generally cant stand any of them.. Id better look further afield!.. new job time ahead!

Its so hard relatives missing out. I would dearly love my mum to do, as she plans, a long summer stint here, house sitting for maybe 4 or 5 months.. Today is the first time I have made coleslaw since she went back to france... gulps hard.. the silly things!

differentnameforthis Fri 03-May-13 06:26:01

Mayo - the closest I have found is Praise real whole egg mayo. That is the only one I will buy, unless I find (and can afford at the time) Helmans. I know that Coles sell it in some stores. Also, you can get Heinz salad cream easily, I found. Just don't buy the low fat version, because it tastes urgh!

differentnameforthis Fri 03-May-13 06:29:11

The one in woollies made best foods.. Blue and yellow label.. Made by unilever.. Is Hellmanns in a different jar

You sure? I just tried both (I use best foods for mixing/cooking etc) and they taste NOTHING alike at all!

differentnameforthis Fri 03-May-13 06:31:21

Full fat mayo, whether whole egg or not WILL NOT taste the same. It tastes like vinegar! Honestly, it won't match your expectations as it will be nothing like what you are used to.

Longdistance Fri 03-May-13 06:37:58

Mutely, if you're in Perth, have you not yet discovered Spudshed.

Google it.

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 07:00:12

Yep I have heard of spudshed - is it worth a trip - I thought it was just cheaper rather than a different variety?

Ok so I am sticking to full fat mayo and sour cream. I am in fact losing weight since arriving here despite being pregnant, as is DH, so I assume the general diet and lifestyle is healthier (one plus point!)

I've just embraced hilo milk for cooking and the kids as I drink skimmed myself and Brownes Skinny seems to be ok - although irritating it is in a carton not a bottle!

And yeah why is the hummous so horrible??

Online coles shopping definitely no free threshold here - although Aussie Farmers Direct gave me a free $30 voucher so perhaps I will try placing an order with them - any rec's other than the semi-skimmed milk anyone??

Totally agree on the TV - but we have a VPN too - and to be fair ABC and SBS do quite a lot of UK TV. And I miss my friends - don't have any to go shopping here with yet - how long does that take??

My mum and dad are coming in six weeks which will be great - and I am def going back to England with the kids next year just to get a fix - I think for me that will help rather than hinder.

But yes - is nice to be in the equivalent of Oct half-term and spending the morning on a beach 15 mins drive from home - I will try and be positive!

Is next delivery really free???? That's great, it is 3.95 in UK, how does that work? DH just ordered an Autograph work wardrobe from M&S on the recent free delivery and I got some bed sheets - will def do that again.

Thanks guys, you have cheered me up and I have at least resolved some of my queries - the teabags being crucial!!!

Longdistance Fri 03-May-13 07:32:58

Spudshed is amazingly cheap. We sop there for fruit, veg, and meat.
Cheeses, and such can be really good value too.
I only buy sauces (like mayo) in Coles, and jars of sauces from there. You can get spices in Spudshed too.
You can get cucumbers for 99c when they're $3 in Coles, so I think it's worth it.

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 07:44:10

The best foods mayo I emailed unilever and asked as the package is similar and to me tasted the same. They informed me it was the sand product. They own Helmanns... Well unilever own hand the world don't they?

LandOfCross Fri 03-May-13 07:51:34

I don't like Spud Shed. It is cheap, but the quality is really bad.

If they are nearby, I would recommend a visit to Maibu Fresh in Safety Bay or Claremont Fresh Provisions.
Both have quality fruit and vegetables and stock Gourmet Cookies' Hommus, which is delicious.

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 08:07:50

Hommous is easy to make..Jamie Oliver has a good recipie

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 08:43:49

Ok thanks for the tips on hommous - another one resolved - hadn't even thought about the hommous until you said it but knew I hadn't enjoyed it here.....

We are not particularly near either Claremont or Safety Bay (5 mins SOR) but Claremont not too far from Cottesloe where we go regularly, and I thought the shops looked nice so will pay that one a visit next time.....

Lamazeroo Fri 03-May-13 09:10:50

In my opinion the best tea in the world is Australian - Nerada. I actually get it sent over to me here in the UK! It's absolutely lovely; try some the next time you're in the supermarket.
Also, if you're SOR try Rossmoyne IGA. A tiny place in a boring out-of-the-way suburb, but the best non-Waitrose in Perth, in my opinion.

lisianthus Fri 03-May-13 09:45:34

Ther's a few branches of Fresh Provisions about. There is one in Mt Lawley too, if that's closer.

Tea- I like Twinings Assam Bold as it's nice and strong, but will try Nerada now! Thanks for the tip.

Hummous- found a nice one in a kilo container in the kosher fridge section in Coles. Can't remember the brand, but it was the only one in a kilo container. The DC won't eat the hummous I make sad.

Not sure about the bacon thing. I love Australian bacon as I really missed proper crisp bacon rind when I lived in the UK.

You can get normal unsweetened creme fraiche in Coles, that's where I buy it. Childrens' snack creme fraiche such as Fruche cups is sweetened, but the plain stuff isn't.

Not sure about mayo, as I make my own. Sorry. it's pretty easy to make though, perhaps you could try making a low fat version?

Re the Spud Shed, it is fabulous and cheap, but as with most Australian vegetable/fruit places, you have to buy stuff that is in season to get quality produce. Spud shed is even more so that way.

StupidFlanders Fri 03-May-13 09:58:45

If you don't want to pay for delivery, the Coles near me does parcel pick up and I pay online and wait in the car so collect on the way home from school. The woolies near me makes me go inside to collect. It's only $7 delivery isn't it?

differentnameforthis Fri 03-May-13 10:41:35

chloeb2002 Maybe it is me then, as they taste very different to me..

shellybr Fri 03-May-13 12:55:11

All the Coles and Woolies around the Northern Suburbs have PG Tips in the british section. There is also a large british store up in Joondalup. For Bacon look out for PJ O Loughlins Irish Bacon, it is usually in the pork section in Coles it is made by an Irish butcher so it is more of what you are used to.

idlevice Fri 03-May-13 14:15:45

I remember finding powdered cinnamon tasting slightly less sweet & I never found bacon the same as UK bacon except at one cafe that did a mean bacon sarnie. You will adapt after time. I have been back in the UK for a year & really appreciate the supermarkets & Ocado but sometimes I miss the Aussie supermarkets as I would be in & out in a flash whereas here there is so much stuff to browse it can take much much longer if I'm in a wafty mood!

Mutley77 Fri 03-May-13 16:08:35

Great thanks for all those tips. Yes the delivery is only $8 but that is $32 a month and when I have "nothing else to do (!)" 3 days a week with both DCs at school I am too tight to pay for that when there is no reason for me not to go myself...

Now this eating in season is something I definitely think works better here as things actually grow in season locally. I am very dense though and can't work out what is in season when so is there an easy way to work that out (other than looking at what is cheap)? Or I guess going to spud shed where they primarily stock what is in season?

Is good to know what I can find in Coles as I think it is the looking that I find tedious when I don't know if what I'm looking for exists! So I have the kosher hummous, the creme fraiche and various teas to try on my list!

2 more questions - can I have the mayo recipe please lisianthus, sounds like a good idea?

Also, is there a readybrek equivalent as DD prefers her porridge totally smooth (over uncle toby's which is more like oat so simple IIRC)?

Thanks again.

chloeb2002 Fri 03-May-13 18:24:19

Just remember.. You shouldn't eat home made real mayo whilst preggers.. Whole raw egg. They heat treat the stuff in jars :0)

chloeb2002 Sat 04-May-13 10:18:04

Ohhh and aldi sell Jaffa cakes now.. Yummy ones!
Two things that can't be bought here.... My favourite is metainium for nappy rash.. None here and I spend huge sums importing it! and a friend likes piriton and that's not here either.

Longdistance Sat 04-May-13 11:32:14

They don't have Piriton, but use Phenergan instead.

chloeb2002 Sat 04-May-13 17:32:46

Yes I agree or one of the many slow release anti histamines :0)

Mosman Mon 06-May-13 11:54:32

I'm thinking of flying to Singapore just to sit in the airport and eat m and s food. That's how badly I'm missing it

lisianthus Tue 07-May-13 12:23:01

Yikes, yes, home made mayo is one of those dodgy foods for the upduffed. Sorry, forgot. Anyway, I use a variant of the Felicity cloake recipe from the Guardian, being to whizz an egg yolk with a good pinch of salt for about 30 seconds, then add a quarter tsp of English mustard powder. Then I drizzle sunflower oil in really slowly until it starts going thick (i think I use about a cup of oil total). At this point it is really thick, so I let it down with a combination of white wine vinegar and lemon juice, with some dijon mustard to taste. I use a stand mixer or a stick blender.

Not sure about the readybrek, as i tend to use rolled oats and then soak them/cook them slowly. I'll have a look when I'm at Coles next.

This might be a handy quick reference for seasonal stuff.

Mutley77 Wed 08-May-13 07:01:25

Thanks ladies - I won't get round to the mayo imminently anyway (too lazy!) and I will check the link for seasonal stuff. Thank you for the mayo recipe I will keep it for after baby's arrival.

Just discovered Aussie Farmers Direct (they gave us a free voucher when we moved house) and they do a veggie&fruit box which looks reasonable value and is obviously seasonal - anyone with any experiences?

Couldn't see readybrek in Coles but there was a pot of creme fraiche - in the end I didn't buy it incase it was sweetened but it was nice to see it there smile

redvelvetpoppy Wed 08-May-13 11:35:25

I did an order with Aussie Farmers direct a couple of weeks ago ( am in Sydney) and was really pleased with it all - got the family fruit/veg box and a weeks groceries for less than $100.

I do my shopping all over the place now - Woolies/Coles/IGA/Supabarn/local shops & farmers markets...my shopping & cooking styles have changed since moving 2y ago. I remember really struggling at first & being a bit lost but have adjusted. I still haven't found a decent hoummus, unless it's a fresh one, the shop ones have such a long shelf life & I think it must be the preservatives that make it so foul.

DH is a yorkshire tea man but finds the Twinings & Nerada teas ok.

I've always cooked with sour cream rather than creme fraiche as I honestly didn't think there was much difference in the fat content when I made comparisons in the UK. Spice wise, I like the Gourmet Garden tubes of herbs & Master of Spices from Deli/grocers. I still think fondly of Sainsburys & M&S but you will adjust smile

chloeb2002 Thu 09-May-13 08:31:23

blimey.. i just looked up aussie farmers .. wow.. expensive here in brisbane

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