I used to pay $7 for a can of root beer

True story. When I was on study abroad in Paris, I would develop these cravings for some foods only available in the US like peanut butter, root beer, and Oreos. My host parents were able to track down peanut butter (buerre de cacahuete) for me and this one sandwich shop on the Right Bank had Oreos by the register, but root beer was impossible to find.

Someone told me about a store called Thanksgiving that sells American foods — a little taste of home when you’re craving it most.

It’s fascinating though to see your country summed up in packaged grocery store foods rather than traditional recipes which is why I really enjoyed seeing what’s on the USA shelf in the “ethnic” section of a German grocery store.

I should caveat that I don’t believe Betty Crocker mixes or marshmallow fluff are things you should eat instead of local cuisine, but  I know that when you’ve been away for a while, sometimes a nibble of the familiar makes you feel better.  Sort of like when my mom would send me delicious baked goods in college… except that my mom didn’t love me enough to do that. (Sorry, Mommy, but it’s true!)

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One response to “I used to pay $7 for a can of root beer

  1. I did not know grocery stores in Germany have 14 shelves. Did Willy Wanka design that store?

    The closest I get to a American isle is the “Western Food” section at my local grocery store. Here, three continents and nearly all NATO and UN members are forced to share one shelf. Pita breads sits atop peanut butter. Croissants next to hotdogs. Really anything produced west of Turkey is tossed in the Western Isle. It’s chaos.

    Best from Hong Kong!

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