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Paying Luxury Prices for Imported Goods


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From England

Cadbury's chocolate - tastes maltier in England. Same formula worldwide, but raw materials sourced by each plant, so obviously going to be regional differences, and there are. Plus, I cant find the whole hazelnut/filbert bars here.

Birds Dessert powder - key ingredient in our in-a-hurry icecream recipe.

Marmite

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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From England

Cadbury's chocolate - tastes maltier in England. Same formula worldwide, but raw materials sourced by each plant, so obviously going to be regional differences, and there are. Plus, I cant find the whole hazelnut/filbert bars here.

Birds Dessert powder - key ingredient in our in-a-hurry icecream recipe.

Marmite

Just to point out that the Cadbury's commonly found in the US is made under license by Hershey.

Edited by rickster (log)
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Here in New York I found it's cheaper to have my food delivered to my door. I know that sounds crazy, but the food prices are lower using Fresh Direct. Probably because they don't have the costs of operating a store front.

Lurpak 8 ounces is $5.79

San Marzano 28 ounce can for $3.50

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Liquor, any kind, really. With the city of Chicago having the highest sales tax in the country, combined with the three-tier liquor distribution system in Illinois, buying just about any booze is cheaper abroad (with the exception of American-made products like bourbon, of course).

Above average French wine is another thing where I can't bring enough home with me. A good Pommard, for example, will set me back at least $60 here, with better offerings easily topping $100. Meanwhile, I can get something of the same quality for $20 at one of the shops in the village or perhaps $30 in Paris.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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$8 for Lurpak is fairly high. I've usually seen it in the $4-5 range for 250g, like most similar imports like Kerrygold, President, and my usual choice, Celles sur Belle. Seasonally they may edge over $5. I've tried the Parmigiano Reggiano butter, which often sells for $6-7, but despite the cachet of its origin, the flavor isn't that interesting.

A premium imported butter that I tried recently and liked is Polski Smak Masło Ekstra, from one of the local Polish markets here in Queens, and it has a very rustic cultured flavor and texture, and only costs $3, which is less than the domestic Plugra. I think the European butters for export to the US market probably try for a more refined, neutral flavor, but fortunately the Poles haven't gotten that sophisticated yet.

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Seriously though, why Coca-Cola from Mexico? Real sugar? Better extracts?

This

I checked again, the shop was restocked. $1.59 for a 500ml bottle. That doesn't seem like too bad of a markup, considering.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Hello all, good a time as any to jump on in I suppose.

I'd say tequila. We always get good tequila for a great price in Mexico, but it's expensive here in Canada.

I went through a bit of a phase trying to use it with salmon, etc. and it was okay but I didn't find a recipe that I loved and moved on. It's too expensive to waste, and less get's in my mouth that way.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who are good at math and those who aren't.

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It's funny, but I always find myself bringing back cans of tuna and anchovies. And from the duty-free shop, Campari and last time, Suze.

That's only because I bring you back the fennel pollen. It's dirt cheap in Italy and the price of saffron here in the States. why??

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My biggest mark-up standard item is easily salt. Uguni salt isn't all that bad in Japan, and French sea salt is very reasonable in France. Here, I pay upwards of $15/pound -- easily five times the local going rate.

Dairy products are number 2 -- sometimes I just gotta have me some clotted cream or Delitia butter.

Next up, spices. But spice mark-up has historically been the cause of the creation and loss of vast fortunes. Still, people who care about the provenance of their saffron or peppercorns are going to pay more than people who are OK with supermarket spices.

I forgot about salt. Sicilian sea salt is about .80euro cents for a kilo box. It's gorgeous totally unprocessed salt, and crazy cheap. It costs a small fortune in NYC...I near had a heart attack in Whole Foods. The most reasonably priced sea salt I can find is at the Sunrise Japanese Deli. I find that odd.

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We all want to have the items cheaper. But we have to look at the reality. Imported items sold in USA have additional cost for the merchants selling them - transportation charges, duties and taxes etc. Also cost of doing business is more in USA - we need to add the employee salaries, rent for the facility, utility costs and more. All these charges are built in to the selling price. The businesses exist to make money so they can create jobs and stay in business.

when we travel, if we can bring the items from a foreign land it is cheaper. But do we add the airfare, the time we had to spend to buy the product etc? And do we add the extra baggage fee, if we have to check in extra luggage with all our cheap purchases? Also with electronics and electrical appliances we need to factor in additional things - is the voltage same as the one where we will be using, is it covered under warranty, can we get replacement parts etc.

Also the selling price goes down when more people buy it because the sellers can bargain with their suppliers based on the volume. SO it is always catch 22 for specialty items. People do not buy that often because we think the price is more expensive than in the origination country. The sellers can not lower the price because it takes too long to get the return on their investment.

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I forgot about salt. Sicilian sea salt is about .80euro cents for a kilo box. It's gorgeous totally unprocessed salt, and crazy cheap. It costs a small fortune in NYC...

I don't remember exactly what I paid for Sicilian sea salt here in Boston the last time I got some, but I don't remember it being especially egregious. In fact, I remember it as being pretty cheap compared to other imported salts. Like $2-3 a kilo, I think.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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A frustrating one for me is txacoli (wine) from Spain's basque region. It's very versatile and goes with all kinds of food. In Spain, it's about 7-8 Euros a bottle. The same brand here is anywhere from $35 - 60. Not cool.

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