As American as…blueberry cookies.

5 Jul

Happy Fourth of July…a day late!  Not exactly celebrated here, understandably so I guess.  Over the last few days I sort of sadly (and almost stupidly, I mean duh) came to the realization that Fourth of July would come and go here without much fanfare.  And while I did take time out to think about the importance of the holiday on all the significant levels ( and by the way living abroad can make you really appreciate other cultures/histories while still boosting your patriotic feelings for your own country), mostly I longed for a good ‘ole fashioned American style barbecue.  It sounds silly and superficial but it’s true.  I really wanted that long picnic table covered in red and white checks lined with an array of summertime favorites.  And I grieved, if just a bit, for the passing of Independence Day without the usual feast.  And fireworks.  I don’t want to forget about the fireworks.

Moving on.  I went shopping this morning and one of my stops was Aldi.  I think most of you are familiar with Aldi right?  Discount store, no frills etc.  What was on special for the week?  Three guesses.  Your stumped?  Okay, American style food.  Seriously!  There was a whole display dedicated to all things “American” and they were seemingly even more specific to cooking out.  Ah, Eureka!  Surely I could find a taste of home here right?  As I excitedly surveyed the selections, anticipating the sweet success of finding longed for items, the first thing I saw was “American Blueberry Cookies”.  In a box.  What?!  I am not going to claim that there aren’t plenty of boxed cookies, and well boxed anything for that matter, in the U.S.  I mean, it’s true…we love us some preservatives and long shelf life.  BUT, when I think “American”, I DON’T think of boxed blueberry cookies.  Not wanting to be deterred I continued scanning the items to see what other familiar things may be available.  Hmm, mayonnaise (called Hamburger sauce), ketchup, pickles…seriously?  This was disappointing to say the least.  I did come across bagels and hamburger buns (neither of which I have seen previously) and bought those for an upcoming cookout I’m planning.  I guess all was not lost.  But, come on.  Mayonnaise, ketchup, and pickles are available here all the time.  So, the big “American” selection really boiled down to bagels, buns, and boxed cookies…I guess that’s how we’re seen over here!

Generic logo which was used for the packaging on all items in the "American" display. I had no idea Hamburger Broetchen was so American.

So the question is:  What foods do you associate with being American?  And what foods would you miss the most if they weren’t available to you?

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6 Responses to “As American as…blueberry cookies.”

  1. Katie Day July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I have a friend that just moved to Australia. She’s suffering from the same. Her 4th of July celebration consisted of some Australian interpretation of american classics. I’ll have to ask her if they had blueberry cookies.

    To answer your question, taco sauce. I use it on everything. If I couldn’t have access to taco sauce, I would be sad. I would definitely consider it American, despite its seemingly Mexican applications. I fear that cucumbers and tomatoes would need to be on the list too, but surely they have those vegetables in Germany, right?

  2. Rachael July 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Ah, you would struggle here! Mexican food (even Americanized Mexican food) is pretty much non-existent here. So hard to find. There is one really mediocre brand of “Mexican” food stuffs that you can sometimes find. I have had a really hard time finding fresh jalepenos and can almost never find black beans! But, cucumbers and tomatoes are very available 🙂

  3. Heather July 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I know that I would be totally lost without my dunkin donuts coconut coffee every morning. Also Chipotle for sure! I think I remember you posting something about that on your blog. But as far as fourth of July goodies. It isn’t quite the same without Watermelon and Bomb Pops!!!

  4. Rachael July 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Yes, Heather I definitely miss Chipotle! In fact right this very moment I could go for a burrito bowl…

  5. jen July 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    i need my pizza about once a week. how is their pizza over there? do they even have any?

  6. Rachael July 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Jen, they have lots of pizza! But, I haven’t found a lot that I really like. Tuna fish is very popular on pizza over here. They have something called Flammkuhen though which I love. It’s got a very crispy crust and no tomato sauce but instead a white creamy cheese base. Usually it’s topped with onions and bacon but there are lots of variations. It’s delish!

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