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Old 29-07-2010, 03:44   #1
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Purchasing Meat in Pacific Islands

Just read in another thread about poor quality meats available in Tonga. I too had heard that we in NZ export pretty low grade meats to the Islands...was wondering if it is a price point thing as I know here at home in NZ meat is so expensive now that I have to limit my buying.

I have found the meat dishes offered in Fiji when on holiday to be pretty fatty and definately quite gamey almost a homekill flavour.

Anyhow my question for those who have cruised there recently is how did they find the meat availability in the various islands?
Type?
Quality?
Availability?
Price?

I reckon I have room in my Waeco freezer for approx 15 or so meal packs plus there is the bottom of the chest ridge which freezes of a sort so thereby you can pop things in there you intend using soon.

Which leaves us looking for some meat to buy en route pretty soon into the travels. Not that we will eat meat daily but still.

Thanks for your help Clare
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Old 29-07-2010, 04:14   #2
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FYI, you can now get canned chicken in the supermarkets here on the North Island. A bit pricey, but not much more than tuna these days. Safe sailing. Cheers.
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Old 29-07-2010, 04:18   #3
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Originally Posted by matauwhi View Post
FYI, you can now get canned chicken in the supermarkets here on the North Island. A bit pricey, but not much more than tuna these days. Safe sailing. Cheers.
Thanks Matauwhi...I have one can in my cupboard here on board...yet to be brave enough to try it lol! Cant be to bad tho eh can smother it with sauces and spices. Am waiting for it to be on special then will do a big stock up before departure.

Thanks for your input :-)
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Old 29-07-2010, 14:43   #4
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We use it all the time, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, stir frys, etc. We have also had mates who can their own meat before they head off. FYI, the meat in Vanuatu is o.k. It's still best to leave here with the most you can store. Cheers.
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Old 29-07-2010, 15:33   #5
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G'Day,

The different island groups vary widely in availability and quality and price of meats. For instance, Beef in Vanuatu is cheap and of excellent quality, but best bought in either Vila or Santo. Beef in New Caledonia is superb in quality (the French care ablut their tucker) and suberb in price... that is, very dear indeed. And so on...

Frozen imported chooks are available most places, usually not too dear in price, and some red meat from NZ shows up throughout the Pacific islands. Once out in the villages, don't count on anything fresh, and little frozen... tinned corned beef and fish (of poor quality) is about the limit.

And be aware that most nations (and do remember that these little islands are pretty nationalistic) have quarantine restrictions on bringing in frozen meat. We've seen folks in tears as the grinning quarantine officer carries off their freezer's load of NZ beef and lamb to be "destroyed" (ho,ho).

None the less, we and countless others have cruised these islands for years, and managed to eat good meals. It takes a bit more planning, and in truth we sometimes eat things that we might turn up our noses at elsewhere, but it's all part of the adventure and the learning experience.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly, Qld, Oz
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Old 29-07-2010, 16:23   #6
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Great post Jim and Anne

P.
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Old 29-07-2010, 16:38   #7
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Some of the best beef I have ever had is in Vanuatu

How can these guys not taste good

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Old 29-07-2010, 16:48   #8
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EllanVannin, not sure where you will formally clear out of N.Z., but if do so in Opua, you can "top" back up again. You can anchor off Paihia and there is a Countdown within easy walking distance. There's a Caltex right across the street for LPG and petrol if need it as well. Cheers.
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Old 29-07-2010, 17:34   #9
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Some of the best beef I have ever had is in Vanuatu

How can these guys not taste good

I will second the Vanuatuan beef, it could also be that the last good steak was had soon after sailing out of San Francisco.
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Old 30-07-2010, 12:24   #10
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I buy organic canned chicken from amazon. Works great for salads and the such. Precooked. Not quite as great as a real chicken breast.

Valley Fresh Organic White Chicken in Water, 5-Ounce Cans (Pack of…
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Old 30-07-2010, 13:07   #11
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Ellan, I tried tine chicken for the first time this year. To paraphrase Jessica Simpson, "Tastes just like tuna!"

No, not really but it makes you understand the phrase "chicken of the sea". Tastes a bit like bland soup chicken to me, I'd never confuse it with fresh meat but it makes an alternative to put in things. I've only tried commercial brands but they all seem very "tinned" as in cooked until the texture has broken down. Not at all bad, no funny off flavors like the Underwood tinned spreads, just not something you'd ever have a craving for. Well, unless maybe you crave tofu.<G>
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Old 30-07-2010, 23:39   #12
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Wow thanks guys.....great information here. Gives me a bit more info for preparation.

Quarantine ...doh... of course I never even thought about that and how that would affect us lol.

Got to say that last time I was in New Caledonia I think I packed on 5 kilo in a week from indulging in their fabulous cuisine....can't stop too long there or we will be into the Wanted: Fat Sailors territory again

Good to hear that generally there will be places to stock up...after reading on another thread (What Does Vava'u Need ?) about one members dire problems in Tonga I thought it worthwhile following up.

And yes we will be clearing from Opua I imagine at this stage.

Cheers Clare
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Old 05-08-2010, 18:05   #13
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Chicken in Tonga

We bought great chicken in Tonga. It was just pieces in random plastic bags in a freezer in the "supermarket".

Unsurprisingly, it was native and very "free range". We peeled the skin off and the taste was fantastic.

I am told by a very reliable source that the same is true in Samoa.

The chickens get to really run around and eat whatever they come across.
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Old 14-08-2010, 04:46   #14
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I am having a great giggle reading this thread.

At the supermarket here in Nice, France there is cryovac NZ legs of lamb for 6.5 euros per kg (NZD$12, AUD$9) sensationally cheap!

Now for all you cruisers dying of starvation in Va'vau or other bits of the Pacific or Asia & the Middle East may I please describe the supermarket here? Its is about the size of a football field (OK not MCG, but definitely a soccer field) the canned, dry grocery areas are quite small, or at best medium size. However the fresh, refrigerated and deli sections are frekkin HUGE. The Fromagarie (cheese counter) does 3 laps of the supermarket and the butchery does another 3 laps. The deli covers the area of 3 Sydney suburbs and the bakery and patisserie covers a couple of small African countries. Any further space under the creaking roof is full of wine.
We can’t afford the restaurants but we can go wild in this supermarket.

Plus the anchorage is free, the bus fare 1 Euro and I'm becoming a fat pig.


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Old 14-08-2010, 05:02   #15
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I buy organic canned chicken from amazon. Works great for salads and the such. Precooked. Not quite as great as a real chicken breast.

Valley Fresh Organic White Chicken in Water, 5-Ounce Cans (Pack of…
$42.15 for 20 ounces ...and that doesn't include any duties! That better be some fantastic chicken!

Don't think I'll be ordering any for here in Thailand.
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