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What food items are expensive/not available?

Costa Mesa...
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What food items are expensive/not available?

Hello everyone,

I understand that there is an increasing amount of food items that are available in the stores. I noticed on this site that people are bringing food from their home countries. My question is what items are really expensive/not available in the stores that you would recommend bringing with you to the cook islands? We will be traveling there soon and are unsure what to bring/not bring. Thanks in advance.

Arorangi
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1. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

Kia Orana

I would love to buy Russian Caviar - but it's never available. French Snails are also hard to come by - but we make do with the local sea slug wrapped in young taro leaves and accompanied with boiled taro yum...

Can't beat the local fresh seaweed - rimu (flown in fromAitutaki). Full of iron and rumoured to put lead in your pencil.

RBB

Edited: 17 June 2011, 22:26
Vancouver...
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2. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

Consumer goods in The Cooks are expensive. No way around that. However, bringing in food from The States is just silly. If you decide to go to The Cooks, decide to pay the price and budget accordingly. Remember that 80's TV show, Dallas? Well, JR Ewing used to say: "If ya gotta ask the price, ya can't afford it". Chuck...

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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3. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

The only thing we brought from the States was the trail mix we were eating on the plane (prior to getting on ANZ).

US dollar vs. NZ was very good at the time we were there, we turned in $1000.00 US, got back $1800+ NZ. We spent a lot of money and enjoyed the best restaurants.

Have a great time on Raro!!!

4. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

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nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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5. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

Regarding milk, it really depends which type of treated milk you want.

If it's pasteurised, then it's expensive. But if it's UHT, which is most commonly used in the pacific islands, it's very affordable at well under $3 per litre.

Some people do bring pasteurised milk with them to save money. I certainly wouldn't bother. The UHT type is fine. But apart from that, have you ever tried to get rid of the smell from milk leaking in the boot of your car? I wouldn't want to risk it leaking in my bags.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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6. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

I should have also mentioned that most things are now readily available in Raro. Exceptions would be some foods required for people with medical conditions such as gluten intolerance.

Maybe not all brands of favourite coffees are available and the range of specialty cheeses is limited.

But the selection of fresh fish (unless weather prevents fishing) and tropical fruits (all at very reasonable prices) makes up for everything as far as I'm concerned

Costa Mesa...
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7. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

Thanks everyone for the responses. You guys have been very helpful. I am truly grateful for all the responses. I'm not a milk person so no problem there. I believe I will only take a few snacks as I thought that food was ridiculously expensive. If it is a few dollars more like $3 for a litre for milk then I imagine that prices are not as bad as I had initially thought.

Nzlilibet...as far as the fish I understand that there are occasional outbreaks of Ciguatera. Are there any types of fish that I should stay away from. From reading the other posts they say stay away from reef fish is this true?

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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8. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

I'm afraid that nowadays fish from within the reef are not safe - for ciguatera and other reasons. They even recommend that people shouldn't feed fish caught inside the fish to dogs - it can poison them, too.

But the fish from outside the reef are fine and the two reputable fish shops serving locals and tourists are entirely trustworthy. And I'm sure there are other sources I don't know about.

Species vary according to the time of year and sea conditions. But when I was there last October/November I think I counted 11 or 12 different types on sale at various times - some familiar, some I'd never heard of.

So if you stick to Ocean Fresh (first choice) and Blue Pacific seafoods (second choice and owned by Trader Jacks) you won't get into trouble.

Pan fried fresh fish, rice and snake beans - a wonderful meal.

New Zealand
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9. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

From what I've discovered on these forums (very helpful they are ;) is that fresh milk is about $15 for 2L!!! But if you're not a milk person then that wont be a worry for you.

We're taking quite a bit of food as we're going over for a wedding, but some things I could suggest is maybe some cheese and crackers if you like that sort of thing? I'm definitely bringing some of my fav cumin seed cheese from Mercer (NZ) and some other varieties - I do love my cheese with a wine in the evening :)

We're absolutely going to be supporting the local economy by eating out sometimes and buying our wine etc at the local supermarket. Fresh fish I've heard is about $10-$12 per kg.

<I wonder how Chuck makes all his millions since he's constantly on these forums telling people how cheap they are if they have to ask the price. Must be an IT job. Nice to be a rich as him not to have to ask the price of anything! "I'll take that house, and that car please.... oh and throw in that yacht as well......">

Vancouver...
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10. Re: What food items are expensive/not available?

Once you get to Raro and see the prices of things first hand, Jo, and then if you take the time to interact with the locals and learn how very little their income is, and then if you can make that leap between the high cost of consumer goods and low incomes, then, you, too, will(hopefully)understand why I try to champion buying local instead of bringing in products. If a person can afford the cost of the trip, the lodging, then please afford the cost of the local goods. Thanks. Chuck...

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