Meat!

Have I written on the  blog about the adventure that is acquiring meat in the Bahamas?  Well, today I made a meat haul.  

meatLook at all that frozen goodness!  You’re looking at 18 pounds of meat: salmon, beef, pork, and chicken breasts (in the box).

I’m thrilled!  Besides having a freezer full of awesome, which leads to MUCH easier meal planning (we don’t have to be vegetarians any longer, honey!), this represents another turning point for me: neighbors who are becoming friends.  Our next-door neighbors are an architect and his wife and their 14 year old daughter.  He’s Austrian, and she’s Argentinian via Venezuela.  The architect is leading the effort to construct a new office and residential space for the company, which is supposed to last two to three years.  L (the wife) went with me to Bahamas Food Services (BFS) today to purchase these four cases of meat.  

We brought our meat home and split it between ourselves and one more family, a Russian couple who have an almost 3 year-old boy.  N, the wife, and I have been taking the kids for walks 1-2 times per week.  

In case you’re curious, here are the prices per pound (all great deals for the Bahamas):

  • Salmon: $13.64
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: $4.82
  • Beef Tenderloin Steaks: $11.99
  • Pork Tenderloin: $5.75

BFS is a wholesale food supplier that services grocery stores and restaurants and also sells to the public.  Their warehouse is a solid 30 minute drive away, and the process is a bit of a hassle:

  1. Drive 30 minutes
  2. Pull up to gate, tell them you are there to shop.
  3. Park.
  4. Enter order area, where ladies at desks will look up prices for you for your items of choice.  There is no price list, and there also isn’t a great list of what is available.  (For example, would you like a whole side of salmon, or would you like neat little vacuum-sealed 8 oz portions?  Organic or conventional? 4 oz steaks or 8 oz?)
  5. Wait while an item is weighed so correct price can be quoted. (Doesn’t happen every time, and this took an extra 30-45 minutes today.  Thank goodness for L who kept the baby and me entertained!)
  6. Go to a different set of ladies to pay.
  7. Bring your receipt to the warehouse.
  8. Wait for your food to be pulled. (This has been surprisingly quick both times I’ve been.)
  9. Walk to the car with the warehouse worker who will load it for you.  (Nice with a baby!)
  10. Drive 30 minutes home.

Another drawback is that you most certainly need to have a deep freezer or someone to share your goods with since everything comes in 10 lbs+ quantities.  Why go to the hassle?  Well, first, the price can’t be beat.  Second, it’s not a frequent need.  Once a month or less will leave you very well stocked.  Third, I love that everything comes individually packaged, which makes storage easy (no transferring to freezer bags) and thawing simple.  Fourth, most importantly, it might be the ONLY place in Nassau that everyone trusts for the quality of its meat.  

I’m not sure you want to know about the kinds of things I hear about meat from the other stores, even the fancy organic store.  We’ve eaten meat from other places, and we’ve been fine, but why chance it when we have a much better option in BFS and new friends to share the bounty with?

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4 thoughts on “Meat!

  1. Wow, that’s a side of Bahamian life I never considered! I didn’t realize food safety was such an issue there. Sounds like you’re navigating it all well. I’m having a totally different kind of meat adventure. I just placed an order for my first side of beef and a whole lamb. I have to wait until they’re “ready” (aka big enough to eat), and then I’ll have to make decisions about how to have the butcher cut them up. Definitely the closest I’ve ever been to the cycle of life.

    • How interesting, Alison! The main issues here are suspect “sell-by” dates and meat being sold fresh after previously being frozen or sold refrozen after defrosting in transit or in the aisles of the store. Also there are safety issues with local fish due to environment pollutants, which is a major bummer.

      I’m very excited about your beef and lamb! Can’t wait to hear more about that! Please keep us posted.

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