Just a little look at how crazy food prices can be in Moscow. Maybe my perspective is off because I've been an expat for so long. It is possible that I have 1999 American prices locked in my head and everyone else has moved along except me. If so, please tell me.
But here are some things I bought yesterday at my grocery store. This is not, by any means, the most expensive grocery chain in Moscow. It is what I would call mid-range. I am in the center of town, and things always cost more here. But still. There are much more expensive places to buy food.
Below is the price label on chicken breasts. You can see that they cost 266.90 rubles per kilo, the package weighed slightly more than a kilo (1 kilo = 2.2 pounds), and the price for this package was 270.37. As I type, the exchange rate, which has been very much in flux as of late, is 32.9 rubles = $1US. Let's use 33 rubles to the dollar to make the math easier.
I paid about $8 for a little over two pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Not cheap, but within the realm of reasonable, right?
Moving on. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are, as I recall, always more expensive than green ones. Below you see that a kilo of "premium" peppers (this one was orange) costs 275.90 rubles/kilo or about $4/pound. I bought one pepper, and it cost $1.54 (51.04 rubles), which seemed okay to me by Moscow standards.
I had seen James Martin's show about Brittany on TV this past weekend. He and a chef friend made a sort of cauliflower and cheddar cheese mash that looked really good. Certainly the classic low-carb answer to mashed potatoes. I thought it would go well with the Parmesan chicken I was planning to make.
I looked at the small heads of cauliflower, but rejected them because they were well over 200 rubles apiece. Like in the 230 ruble range. A head of cauliflower, CAULIFLOWER! costs something like $7. Forget it.
I decided to get zucchini instead. I selected two average-size zucchini. I took them to the woman who works the scale to get them weighed and priced.
Two zucchini . . . a little over a pound of zucchini (700 grams) . . . cost me $8.50. More than the freakin' chicken breasts!
Now, I get 15% off my total bill through a combination of specials the grocery store has been running this month. But still. Four-Dollar Zucchini? What's up with that?
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