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In Mayotte, one of the most useful things you can buy in the local supermarket is a Tupperware (or similar) container. Here, the brand is Eda, so they're Eda containers. They come in all shapes and sizes and are absolutely wonderful.

The reason for this is that anything that is sold in paper or cardboard packaging needs to be removed from its packaging upon arrival at home and instantly transferred into a container.

And, in turn, the reason for this is that if you leave things in their original packaging, lots of little insects find their way in. Flour, sugar, pasta, rice and spices quickly become infested with ants, weevils and even cockroaches if you're lucky.

Quite often, the container itself isn't enough. I have containers of flour which still seem to accumulate weevils, so I've learnt to automatically sift flour whenever I'm cooking. The theory being that the weevils stay in the sieve. That works about half the time. It doesn't work so well with rice or pasta, though, so I treat it as added protein. Knowingly and unknowingly, I must have eaten a good couple of hundred weevils over two years. Plus half a colony of ants and possibly the odd cockroach.

Once in the container, the sugar, spices or whatever then have to go in the fridge, which appears to be weevil-proof so far. There's not always a lot of space, though, so what goes in depends on how tight the container lids are. I rather like the idea of fridges being advertised as weevil-proof.

Even everyday splashes and spots have to be carefully wiped as soon as you see them, also because of the insects. A crumb of anything food-related quickly attracts a colony of ants who come to chew on it and try to carry it away. Close the page now if you're eating, but I have a stinking cold at the moment, so I spend my time generating a large quantity of used tissues. I left one by the side of my computer for about half an hour while I finished what I was working on... and it was covered with ants when I picked it up.

                     

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