Yikes it’s Chusday again and I meant to publish the answers to last week’s Supermarket Quiz a couple of days ago! Only one brave soul publicly attempted the quiz – so, whatever your score Chris, you are the winner! Answers below.
Singapore Supermarket Quiz
1.Do black chickens lay black eggs?
I’m going to say NO (even though Google seems to offer a couple of suspicious photos which may prove otherwise!). The salted black eggs you can find in the supermarket are charcoal-covered as part of the preserving process. I was surprised to find that black chickens have black meat…and even though they taste like normal chicken, the look of it made me feel like I was eating a crow, or a blackbird. Slightly unsettling!
2. Which is more expensive: a) this 300g box of Cheerios or b) this 5-piece serving of fresh salmon sushi?
Yes, it must be the Cheerios or else I wouldn’t be up in arms! This medium box of Cheerios is $13.50 (£6.30) whilst the sushi is a reasonable £4. Thankfully Cornflakes and Rice Krispies are cheaper, but most of the less-healthy but child-pleasing cereals are currently off the menu. Most people would prefer a bowl of noodles to a bowl of cereal for breakfast over here!
3. Which two British supermarket in-house brands can be found in Singaporean supermarkets?
a) Tesco b) Sainsburys c) Waitrose d) Asda
Random fact, but you can get a limited range of Tesco and Waitrose products (at NTUC and Cold Storage, respectively) but we’ve not seen anything on the shelves from Sainsburys or Asda.
Oddly enough, when we buy the Tesco cereal from NTUC it always has a white blank sticker covering up the bit that reads “fortified with vitamins and iron“. So…what’s this all about? Do they ship all the unfortified boxed cereals to Singapore? Bizarre.
4. What is this?
This is called “Old Cucumber”. It’s literally a kind of matured melon/gourd which looks like a seedy cucumber on the inside. The Chinese use it for cooking soup! One of those things my mother knows what to do with but I have yet to attempt…
5. What is the difference between:
a) English Cucumbers from Holland and b) Telegraphic Cucumbers from Malaysia?
Yes – more cucumbers! You get a fascinating variety of cucumbers here for some reason. But the “normal” British supermarket kind is actually quite elusive. These two looked the closest to what we are used to, and were on the same shelf. Upon closer examination I struggled to tell the difference between them. But at that price, I decided it’s perhaps not worth finding out the answer! (English cucumber: £3.70, slightly larger Malaysian cucumber: £4.90!) Local and Japanese cucumbers are much more affordable but are more bitter-skinned. Sigh!
6. This little box of grapes costs:
a) $15 (£7) b) $48 (£23) c) $82 (£38)
Ok – a slight trick question as these are from a local Japanese supermarket – which imports their extra-fancy fruit. This wee box is an eye-watering £38 from Meidi-Ya supermarket! Amazingly, one of the staff offered us a plate of free samples, so I got to try a couple of grapes which probably cost about £2 each. It was really delicious but I suppose one would be severely disappointed otherwise.
Other fancy fruit on offer usually include melons, strawberries and peaches. I guess people buy them as gifts rather than for everyday consumption?!
7. What is in this box?
These are Water Caltrops – a rather evil-looking variety of water chestnut resembling bulls horn’s with a tiny tuft of hair on top. I think they are only available during the mid-autumn season. Just bought them to let the kids have a play!
8. Can you buy fresh fruit and veg in the supermarkets that was actually grown in Singapore…or are they all imported from other countries?
Apparently, you can, although I honestly haven’t seen any yet! If I come across a grown-in-Singapore label, I will post a snap of it here. There is rising interest in locally-grown produce, even though it tends to be pricey.
The government is supporting a lot of R&D into Vertical Farming and the like, to make Singapore less dependent on imported food.
After years of not having a garden or balcony to call our own, our new place will have a pretty large patio where we hope to start growing some edibles ourselves! Perhaps not on this scale.