There are few things that I miss food wise living in Germany. The way we eat (lots of produce, fresh meat, not a lot of processed foods) is very conducive to living here. The weekly markets are a great place for produce. And the grocery stores carry a decent selection of meats, dairy and non-perishable items that we may need. In general, we haven't had trouble feeding ourselves over here and have actually enjoyed incorporating some more German specialties into our meals (spätzle anyone?). Although, I wouldn't object if someone wanted to open a Taco Bell over here, or a decent Mexican place. Anyone?
In many of the grocery stores, there is also an aisle or two devoted to "international" foods. In the US, this was where I could find the uncommon Asian spice the stir fry recipe I was making called for, or a can of refried beans for my Mom's 7 layer dip. Here, American foods are considered international and boy is it interesting!
To start, most "American" foods have an American flag on them. The stars and stripes make them conveniently easy to spot in the store. Case in point:
Second, the food is often a brand that neither Aaron nor I have never heard of before in our life, and he has experience in the specialty foods industry. Exhibit A: Carters Root Beer. I have never heard of this brand before and now I understand why Germans think it tastes like medicine. This stuff is terrible. Almost so bad you have to try it to really believe it.
And then there are the shelf stable foods. Never in my life in the US have I bought hot dogs that come in a jar, but over here they seem to be a staple in the ''International'' foods section. In this special offer from Trueman's, you even get one free! Thats 7 for the price of 6! Of course, you're still eating an ''American'' hot dog ... that came out of a jar ... in Germany, also known as the das Land des Bier und Wurst. Really, just skip the hot dogs and try the delicious, fresh, local wurst, you won't be disappointed. Hmm, I just noticed that they seem to have forgotten an R in the brand name on that jar - it reads Meica, but should read Merica.
Peanut Butter is one thing that is becoming more and more popular in Germany. Most of the time, they don't understand the American obsession with the stuff, but you can find it reasonably priced in most grocery stores. However, if you want to show that your a true colors, buy the one with the American flag on it. You can even get the American Chunky variety (whatever that means....). Oh, and note the Poptarts next to the peanut butter :)
While Germans aren't particularly known for their pizza, it is available and it's pretty good tasting. They may put some weird toppings on it (I really don't understand the tuna on the pizza, but whatevs), but in general, it's tasty. But on the off chance that we are craving some real, American pizza, we can always get Pizza Hut. They even have stuffed crust over here!
So there you have it, some of the American foods available in Deutschland. There are more - marshmellow fluff is also readily available - but these are some of the common ones we see between different stores. The only thing I've really bought from the American section is popcorn. Most of the other stuff looks just a little bit sketchy, like it's been sitting there a while. And with German food, it's not even necessary.
Now that I come to think of it, if this is what Germans think of as American food, how bad have we messed up the international foods available in the States? Open the gallery to see the additional 'Merican food items we have found in Germany.
- Meghan -
NOTE: We will be traveling all next week so posting may be limited or non-existent, depending on our internet connectivity. But be prepared for the post that will come after it - I can guarantee that they will be awesome :)