Monday, February 7, 2011

A few of your favorite things?

What foods would you miss if you lived outside of the U.S.? It's hard to really answer that until you know what your options are in another country. It is endlessly amusing for me to see what you can get here and what is generally not available. For instance, if you love Doritos you are in luck. M&Ms? Snickers bars? Mars bars? No problem. Pringles? Got 'em. Even Snyder's pretzels are here. Cola-cola appears to be universal so no worries there. But if you are a Pepsi drinker, you've got trouble. Root beer? No way! Butterfinger candy bars? Three Musketeers bars? Nope.

I love to bake and I have been frustrated by the differences in baking supplies. I can't find brown sugar (though I have found it in all neighboring countries), baking soda, vanilla extract (they use a powder/flavored sugar instead) or vegetable shortening.

The big supermarket nearby just revamped their International Foods aisle and I was tickled to see an American section. American food is international? Well of course it is in Germany. The nearby sections for Italian, French and Greek foods looked so exotic and sophisticated with their fancy pastas, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and stuffed peppers. The American section looked like an accumulation of products advertised during Saturday morning cartoons. The delicacies available, and presumably in demand, include marshmallows, Swiss Miss cocoa mix, Pop-Tarts, Aunt Jemima syrup, real Canadian maple syrup (that's funny, huh), microwave popcorn, peanut butter and Lucky Charms cereal. They also had Crisco and baking soda. Maybe one of these days I'll stake out the store and watch who buys all this stuff. Maybe I could make an American friend!

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