Sunday, 25 January 2009
Sometimes The Alternative Is Better!
It is difficult for a middle class guy to be a cheese connoisseur in Malaysia. Look at the price of real cheese in the Malaysian supermarkets and you would know why. I knowlah that these cheeses are imported, but why are they so expensive even for simple cheeses like cheddar and Edam. This grates me because natural cheeses overseas are actually quite affordable, but then I cannot really purchase them there for one because usually they are sold in shops that sells pig products so their halalness is compromised, secondly some of the cheese products themselves undergo process that may include non-halal stuff, so it is case of see no touch for me. It does rankle me a bit when I saw a Philippines food program showing that over there they are manufacturing various types of natural cheese already, but there now seems to be a ray of hope that locally this situation will improve when a natural cheese making factory Friendly Farms has set up shop in Langkawi, but then their market is still limited and not mass marketed even to Kuala Lumpur yet.
So that leaves a typical consumer like me to satiate my hunger for cheese with processed cheeses like single cheddar cheese slices, and all this while those from Kraft are the numero uno brand in Malaysia. Although other brands like Anchor that has since been replaced by Chesdale and Laughing Cow have been around, Kraft seems to have maintained their lead in the local cheese market simply by offering good value products. There are also local brands that have entered the market like SCS and Mack but I have not had the heart to try them yet, doubting the taste will be up to mark though I must say that the taste of Kraft's slices has also become less creamy and cheesy than before, I guess pandering to the local tastes.
Nonetheless when I wanted to buy some Kraft Chesse recently, imagine my surprise when a two dozen slice pack now cost an even twenty ringgit, almost double the price the last time I bought a pack. The local cheese brands's price are still reasonable though so I was thinking that maybe it was time for me to give them a try. However while scanning the cheese racks, my eyes fell on the price for Bega cheese that is at a good discount to the price of Kraft's, and since I always felt the brand to be a premium brand due to its European sounding name the pricing intrigued me. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was an Australian brand just like Kraft, so I thought might as well give it a try. I must say that this was one action that I did not regret, because the taste was real cheddary like what Kraft tasted like a long time ago. Emmm this will make this brand the default brand for my family now. The best thing is that looking at their website, it seems that they also have natural cheese slices, so this will be something that I will look up at the cheese rack the next time I am at the supermarket.