OK, fasten your seatbelts, here goes.
When we land at the airport, we will be met by Mario who will take us to San Pedro Sula to the Price Mart store. Price Mart is like Sam's Club or Costco, but not as big. We get in on Mario's membership (he runs a Christian school) and start stocking up on our basics. We will get big packages of plates, bowls, napkins, forks, spoons, knives, aluminum food trays, cups (hot & cold), prepackaged crackers/cookies & chips, some meat, sandwich bread, sandwich bags, etc. We use disposable everything we can because washing dishes for 45 people in cold water (more on that later) is just too much time wasted in our day. Oh yeah, left out garbage bags, paper towels, extra large bottle of hand sanitizer & toilet paper. If they have large cans of tomato sauce, vegies, ketchup, mustard and mayo we will get those too! The meat department is a "treat" (some sarcasm here). We can usually find ground beef, pork chops, breakfast sausage, etc. Then we run across such delicacies as brain & tongue (obviously an acquired taste), but these are very popular down there.
Our next favorite store is in El Progresso and its the Maxi Bodega. Like the Price Mart it is super clean & very organized. At this store you have to lock your bags in a locker. You can carry your shopping list, a pen and have your money in your pocket. There is an armed guard at the door and guards in the store and parking lot. They don't mess around with stealing at this store, these men have big guns. This is our go to everyday store. We can find most stuff we need and the prices are reasonable. Instead of buying whole chickens to cook for chicken & dumplings, I buy the rotisserie chicken...they are the same price! They have great salad ing. and fresh fruit that is locally grown. Yummy cantaloupe, watermelon & pineapple in Jan.
Then comes our hole in the wall, super crowded, messy, we can find some great bargains grocery store. You walk in the front doors and once inside you realize the store takes up a whole city block. This is where the locals shop everyday. We get our vanilla there for .75 - $1 a bottle, hot sauces for .20 a bottle, and other goodies. This is the store that has a meat dept. that just turns my tummy. I won't buy meat there. They probably have a slaughter station outside for fresh meat...just a little too yucky. They too have a good produce dept. and canned goods section.
The locals shop daily for their food. Alot of the houses don't have power, so they have no way of refrigerating their meat, milk, cheese, etc. Our kitchen at the church usually has a freezer and may have a fridge. Last time our fridge was a drink dispenser with a glass door, but it was better than before when we had nothing. We buy the milk in boxes "shelf stable" when we need it for a recipe. What we can't buy down there are packets of grits/oatmeal and tea bags. Their tea is different and very weak. We have already shipped those down. Any items that are produced down there are very inexpensive to purchase, imported items are a whole lot more.
My very favorite, I can't wait to get it drink is ... Mirinda. It is an orange flavored soft drink that puts any orange drink in the states to shame. It is so orangey and so good! I will drink it everyday, several times a day! I brought a 2 liter back with me last time for the kids to taste and Amy is hoping I can bring it back again. I packed it in my suitcase and checked it, we'll see. This is made in Honduras, and I think Pepsi makes it. The closest I can find here is at Kroger in the Mexican section. They have a bottled orange drink that's close but not exactly there.
Tomorrow, I'll tell ya about food prep and cooking in our church kitchen.