Tuesday, February 19, 2008

American products you miss

My dear N is headed to the US soon for work. As usual, this prompted a flurry of internet shopping on my computer. Last time we went to the states, our credit card company called my mother-in-law because of the shopping spree going on. "No, no, no one stole the card. Just a hmm little Christmas shopping." We also just got a couple of bags of groceries from some good friends who can shop at the PX.

Anyway, all this has prompted thoughts of what are uniquely American products. OR, what is more common, what things are so incredibly cheap in the US compared to other places. Here's what kind of food we buy: big jars of peanut butter, dill pickles, italian salad dressing, powdered sugar, CAKE MIX, marshmallows, picante sauce that doesn't have sugar in it, Jell-O, Reese's. For other items, we buy lots and lots of English language stuff -- books, books for the kids, movies, children's clothing, all of N's clothes, ELECTRONICS.

All our ex-pat friends seem to have a different food item they're always picking up -- I get cake mix and pie filling to make a *fantastic* chocolate-cherry cake from the Cake Mix Doctor. Another friend loves that frozen spinach dip, so she gets Knorr vegetable soup mix (they don't carry the right kind here), another gets Karo syrup, another splurges on imported root beer or Dr Pepper.

And just think of all the Czech women in the US! They must hate the lack of mid-ground flour. Dumplings just don't turn out right without it! And where's the gulash mix? You call THIS sauerkraut?!?


Susan said...

I do remember tons of things I couldn't find when I lived in France so long ago. Hot dog buns, cheapie yellow mustard, cranberry sauce (and the Jello you mentioned already.) But missing stuff is not just for expats. When I move to PA from Texas, I'll be taking a case of Biskits and Pankits and as much instant roux as I can lay my hands on.

Morgan said...

You're so right -- the more places you live, the more things you miss. In fact, you don't even have to live somewhere to miss their food. eg hot chocolate in Madrid. I think I had it once or twice, but I can still hanker after it!