Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Butter Shortages

The first time I heard about this issue was in a brief mention in the blog of another foreigner living quite nearby me. Then I made a (delicious) quiche that exhausted all the butter in our fridge. When Minako went to get some more she found that our local supermarket Santoku, normally a veritable cornucopia of comestible delights from around Japan and overseas, had almost no butter on the shelves. Single stick packages of pre-sliced pats was all they had in stock.

I had some time to check out the situation yesterday and found that margarine has almost entirely replaced butter on the shelves of two high-end supermarkets near my office: National Azabu and Meidi-ya. What they did have was predominantly imported and they both had signs describing their policy of one package of butter per customer. Naturally the prices were higher than usual as well.

After being used to American and Japanese abundances, this was pretty shocking. Apparently increased costs for dairy food stocks as well as higher demand for dairy products is to blame.

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