Thursday, August 18, 2011

Foods of Germany, Part Two

Eating out is all well and good, but the really interesting stuff is found in the supermarkets. One of my favorite things to do was just duck into a grocery store and see what I could find. As a side note, Germany doesn't have nearly as many combined shops as the U.S. does; I found one big store that was like our supermarkets, with foods and household items and a small card center and a small book section (you know, like Kroger or something). Most were strictly focused on food and a few personal items, you'd have to hit up another store for anything else.

Another thing about German grocery stores: you bag your own stuff. And provide the bags yourself. If you don't have any, most had sturdy big plastic bags that cost about 15 cents, but it wasn't unusual to see a big guy with a basket on his arm winding through the aisles.

But enough about shopping habits, you're interested in the food. One of the first things I noticed was that American was used curiously often to describe foods. For example, a common salad dressing was American, which was like Thousand-Island. But not bad, right? I mean after all, we have French dressing.
These, though? They're Cool Ranch Doritos, but Germany doesn't actually have ranch dressing (they do have something similar, called Gurke und Dill, though). So now you know what cool Americans taste like, they taste like ranch.
Germany, apparently, doesn't actually do marshmallows. I spotted one bag of non-American-referenced-ones, but they were flavored and being passed off as candy. So note that these aren't just American marshmallows, but for barbequing. I wonder if that's common over there? Oh, and if you needed convincing:
They really don't want these things identified with Germany.

I don't have a picture of them, but one of the first things I tried were Big Flippies. Click the link to see them. Note that the mascot is wearing an American flag-patterned hat, and the used of the American flag pattern again in the "BIG" part of the logo (thanks, Germany). Funnily (thankfully) enough, this isn't something we have in the Gigantic States of America. They're like puffed Cheetos, but instead of being permeated with delicious powdery cheese, it's peanut-butter. Yes, it's as wrong as it sounds.

Not that all not-found-in-America things are bad. These, for instance:
They're crunchy and yummy. And though I don't have a picture of them, Smoky Bacon-flavored chips were deemed by all Americans to be The Most Delicious Ever. Paprika (pepper)-flavored ones were good too, since they're really just a light barbeque flavor.

When it comes to candy bars, you'll find at least a few familiar faces: Twix, Kitkat (warning: saltyish and different, though), Milky Ways, and some are just repackaged, like Bounty (Almond Joy without the almond on top) or Daim (a Heath bar). But some things are completely new, like Caramac.
It's ostensibly a caramel candy bar. It was sweet, though not as sweet as I expected, and reminded me a little bit of white chocolate.
Ritter Sport bars are everywhere and come in a variety of flavors. You can, occasionally, find them in the U.S. but only a limited selection, and they're expensive. Four-by-four squares of chocolate, usually with something inside. Marzipan is my favorite (occasionally found at Target stores in America), though I'm also fond of peppermint. The one on the right is stracciatella, Germany's version of chocolate-chip.

For drinks, sodas are familiar but have a few new flavors. Fanta Lemon, which is essentially carbonated lemonade, is my favorite thing ever but isn't found in the States (though common flavors here, like strawberry or grape, are hard to find over there). I've mentioned Mezzo Mix before, a combination of orange and cola, that's quite good. Germany does like its carbonation, though. You have to double-check the water you want to make sure it's not mineral water, ditto with juice (Apfelsaft=apple juice; Apfelschorle=nasty unsweetened carbonated apple slime. Whoops). To illustrated this problem (do we need to send you to rehab, Germany?), this exists:
Sparkling ice tea. On what planet is this a good idea? Answer: none. I give you my word, it's even worse than you'd think.

There's more, of course, more than I could ever photograph, some good (grape-flavored Tictacs!) and some bad (honey and lemon Tictacs taste like cough drops). If you're wondering about real food:
It exists. We had some taco-mix spices in our house, but my roommate and I were able to buy the rest of our taco-night dinner at the big supermarket. I don't know if it had spices, but it had hard shells and flour tortillas and a lot of other Mexican-ish stuff that we didn't buy, and the rest is pretty basic. Another night we had a very American dinner of corn on the cob, fruit salad, and hamburgers (easy to make, though we substituted the little German brotchen buns for hamburger buns).

This barely even touches on the stuff you can find, but definitely take time to explore and try things out. Speaking of which, my Roast Chicken-flavored chips are still sitting on the counter...

1 comment:

  1. Kitkat definitely isn't salty here. And Erdnussflips aren't wrong.



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