Munich: random thoughts for the day #2

  • Who the hell convinced the Germans that orange cheese-like-food in a spray can is an essential part of the American diet? This stuff makes an appearance in every single “American Foods” section of every single grocery store in all of Germany. This is not a new thing, either – I remember seeing spray cheese at the KaDeWe in Berlin way back in the 90s, when their American food section consisted of little more than that, marshmallow fluff, Dr. Pepper, and DM10 jars of salsa. What do you think it would take to get the international food stockers to forgo the cheese in favor of some real American essentials, like vanilla extract and peanut butter cups?
  • I’d just like to mention how cool it is to live in a neighborhood (and city, for that matter) which has more than two grocery store chains (I’m looking at you, Zurich). Oh, the choices!
  • All I can say is kudos, CNN, for breaking the latest Britney Spears news even before MTV did (um, not that I’ve been sitting around watching Date My Mom all afternoon or anything like that…). That’s some quality international reporting right there.
  • This beautiful building? Oh, that’s just our neighborhood swimming pool.

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16 thoughts on “Munich: random thoughts for the day #2

  1. I think maybe the supermarket thing is some sort of universal truth. The local Texan supermarkets here have an equally useless concept on what ‘British’ food is.

  2. Let me know if you need vanilla extract. I can get a big bottle at Costco over here and bring it with me when I’m in Munich in a couple weeks. I need some more too, so we could split a bottle if you like.

  3. Gordon – I was thinking about that angle. Specifically, the food is catered to what the locals (in my case, the Germans) want, not what actually represents the cuisine of the foreign country. In which case I can deduce that the Germans are way more in love with spray cheese than Americans ever were.
    Also, I know who you are. :)

    Andrea – I haven’t been inside yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

    Janice – thanks for the offer, but I stocked up when I was in the US last month. Looking forward to seeing you when you come.

  4. Spray cheese in a can? Barf! But I suppose it must sell, right? Otherwise all those stores wouldn’t be carrying it?

    I’m loving your nifty neighborhood swimming pool (even though I don’t swim). :)

  5. *Sheepishly remembers going on a camping trip with a bunch of American friends and a German intern from hubby’s company and one of our friends showing the German gal the wonders of Cheez Whiz sprayed onto a cracker.*

    Maybe part of it is also what’s easiest to import? I don’t know. I do feel quite lucky that Geneva is such an American-expat-filled city that we have our own store with lots of American goodies like pop-tarts. Though when I tried to find vanilla extracts I only found immitation stuff…

  6. How about chocolate chips for cookies? My wife’s roommates were not familiar with chocolate chip cookies a staple American food. I had to smuggle some chips into Germany so they could try some. The funky German vanilla did make the cookies too sweet though.

  7. Making vanilla extract – interesting idea. I wonder if vanilla beans are easy to come by here.

    And I’m going to have to stake out an American foods sections and watch to see who actually buys spray cheese.

  8. Chocolate chips:
    1) buy some Swiss dark chocolate bars
    2) unwrap them and put them in a ziplock bag
    3) seal the bag and drop it on the floor. Keep dropping it until you have pieces of the desired size

    You can also just use a good knife to cut up the chocolate bars.

    Not as pretty as real chocolate chips, but every bit as tasty!

  9. Try the American food section at Karstadt (Bahnhof) or Kaufhof (Marienplatz) – they should have most that you are longing for, including peanut butter cups and pop tarts. In addition there are some American food shops existing in Munich – for example close to U-Bahn-station Fraunhoferstraße…

  10. Thanks for the suggestions, twerner. I wasn’t actually looking for American foods – I just came across the section in the store. I have to confess I think poptarts are pretty nasty. But maybe I’ll have to go on a vanilla extract hunt at the American store someday (if this homemade stuff doesn’t pan out…)

  11. @jul: yes, pop tarts are pretty nasty… but some people like marcy seem to love them :-)
    And the Müllersches Volksbad is a nice place to go for swimming and on most days open until 11 PM and entrance fee is about 3 Euros… So go and try it!!! It is a cool place!

  12. Got no comment on your blog…
    Just wanted to write & say – Zurich misses you.

    Also – I know EXACTLY where that swimming complex is. That’s really funny. Last time I was there I stayed right across the street. There’s a McD’s right by there no? not that I had a late-night McFlurry or anything.. (ya, gross. I know).

    So anyway… we miss you.

  13. Yes, Marcy can have my share of the pop tarts. :)

    I’m not big on indoor swimming pools (I breathed in way too many chlorine fumes in 10 years as a competitive swimmer), but maybe I’ll go check it out one day. It’s probably nice on the inside, too, I’d imagine…

    mbnsl – aw, nice to be missed. :)

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