Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Glutton for American Food!

I amazed myself the other day by my reaction as I walked down the aisles of an American supermarket after 2 years of not touching US soil. It was like I was a kid in a candy shop. Yes, there were mounds of candy because this particular supermarket, located on an American military base, had a special section dedicated to Halloween candy even though that holiday is a month and a half away. But I really wasn't interested in the candy since Italy makes better varieties, especially when talking about chocolate, for example.

My eyes bulged to see great big bags of Tostido tortilla chips and salsa, chocolate chip cookies, humus, fluffy and soft Wonder hamburger rolls, cheap peanut butter, maple syrup, pancake mix, rice pilaf, cranberry juice and root beer. I went a bit crazy filling up my cart. Even basic ingredients like brown sugar and oats were a treat to find and buy for future recipes.

I live in a land of excellent food but some things are missed here in the bel paese. A question for other expats: which foods do you crave when abroad? Do you share any of mine?

Some of the American food truely tastes good. Some has become rare to see in Europe so therefore it takes on greater importance for me. Other foods bring back memories of childhood.

At checkout, it was the best $50 spent in a long time!


  1. That's funny, you probably didn't even give those things a second thought until you saw them on the shelves, huh? The only thing I really craved was New Mexico green chile. Sometimes I could actually taste it in my dreams! A neighbor came on a tour and brought us 20 cans of it, such a friend!

  2. Wow, you have a real friend!

    I usually dream about making a good Cosmo cocktail at home with cranberry juice.

  3. I don't know how you live without easy access to peanut butter. I'd have to buy a case.

    While in Argentina, I bemoaned the lack of bacon, good non processed cheese, decent bread and vegetables.

    When I traveled to Belgium a few years ago to visit a friend, I asked her if she needed me to bring her anything. She didn't need me to because her husband worked on the SHAPE/NATO base and they had access to a similar American supermarket. It was amazing to me what was available there....even American BEEF and dairy.


  4. The US beef is the craziest part about the military supermarkets abroad but I can's trust something that has already been on a plane for at least a day minimum, unless frozen, and then thawed-out meat is a bit depressing to buy in a grocery store.

    I stock pile the peanut butter, eating it slowly, and divide purchases into smaller unopened containers to keep it fresher.

    Sorry about the Italian bacon being left in the mountains when you wanted to try it here. Hope you'll forgive me, Eileen.