Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Great Penang Turkey Shortage of 2013

I have lived in Penang for 6 years now and have roasted a turkey for each of those years, except for one when I bought an already cooked turkey, which was terrible. Every year I would buy my turkey from Cold Storage in Island Plaza, where they always had a good supply from the end of November until after Christmas. The largest you could buy was about 5 kg., which would be about 11 lbs. back home. This year was different.

I noticed there were about 4 small turkeys at the very beginning of December, but into the second week of December until now there haven't been any. I checked out Cold Storage in Gurney Plaza, where they were sold out until just before Christmas. I also checked out a store in Tanjung Bungah famous for their frozen meat and they had been sold out since the first week of December. Tesco's had turkeys, but they were only about 6 kg. (a little over 3 lbs.), which is the same size as a big chicken. Yesterday I finally checked out Sam's Groceria in Gurney Paragon and they too were sold out, but were expecting a new shipment in today. I reserved the biggest one,5 kgs., and picked it up shortly after they called. When I got to the store there were only 5 turkeys in all. Luckily I got the biggest one.

Each of the stores said there was a shortage of turkeys this year for some reason, but the prices seemed to be the same. I paid RM120 ($40USD). Back home the same turkey cost about RM30 ($10USD), which isn't too bad considering the poor bird had to travel over 12,000 miles! Hopefully the rest of the fixings for Christmas dinner won't be so difficult to find.


  1. Glad you got your turkey sorted. My problem was finding a French 'Pain de Campaigne', country style loaf. Not too hard to find normally but my normal supplier (Gusto Cafe) is closed until 3 Jan. I scoured everywhere and drew a blank. Had to opt for an alternative. Will plan it better next year. Plan to ask Gusto where their bread comes from, unless they bake on premises. Biggest waste of time was traipsing down to Straits Quay to Four Seasons Bakery. Closed each of the three times I went there. Delete. Better things to do than waste my time travelling to shops that can't can't keep regular opening hours, or post signs to indicate closure days. What was eye opening was the amount of sweet, sticky, milky junk that is sold. Yeughhh :(

  2. I think Cold Storage used to bake that upon special request. I have seen it there before, but I can't remember seeing it lately.