When living abroad, you realize that while we fundamentally all eat and drink, there are serious global deficits. For example, one would think something as delicious as root beer would be revered around the world. In fact, it is not. Not only is it not loved and very difficult to find, Europeans and Brits* often actively dislike root beer. The usual response is “It tastes like mouthwash” or “It tastes like medicine” leaving me to wonder what genius flavors European medicines. So when our friend visited, he brought me the next best thing: A big bag of root beer barrels to give me that root beer fix when needed.
Other things lacking? Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix**, tortilla chips that don’t taste stale when fresh out of the bag, Mexican food in general, chewy browny mix***, proper chocolate chips, proper marshmallows, Gram Crackers, and proper hamburgers.
Don’t get me wrong, there are amazing things to eat and drink over here. In Sweden, you’ll find Glögg at the holidays, which is a delicious spiced wine. And hot smoked salmon. And Marabou chocolate with Daim. And not Cheetos brand cheetos which are way better than Cheetos. The UK had amazing yogurt. (No, I don’t know what they do different, but I suspect they add extra cream.) And Percy Pigs, an inexplicably good pig-head-shaped candy from one of their big, upscale grocery chains. And Tracklements Chilli Jam. And they eat roasted mushrooms for breakfast.
*One of the first things I learned living in the UK is that British people do not consider themselves European.
**I have had to find recipes to replace these things. Here is the corn muffin recipe.
***Here is the brownie recipe. I’ve recently started adding crumbled Daim Bars. Because yum.