Are there little goodies that you can get in Europe that you can't get at home? We've recently seen discussions about Christmas Crackers, with their corny second grade level jokes, flimsy paper hats, tiny gifts and bits that go <bang>. Many people the world around love the atmosphere they bring. I know I am now in Seventh Heaven now that my neighborhood Aldi (or is it Lidl) is stocking Mozart Balls!!! No need to go to Salzburg this winter to stock up!! Yay! There was lots of discussion about Kinder Surprise Eggs... freely available here in every filling station and supermarket - illegal to take to the USA. For those confused about the Surprise there is a clear explanation from the makers, Ferraro - the same folks who make Ferraro Rocher. Have a look at http://www.ferrero.com/products/the-most-famous-products/kinder-surprise/surprise-play-chocolate/ What other things do you wish you could take back?
Quark Balchen !!!
I've only briefly returned to the US since moving here, so this list may no longer be accurate: Most Cadbury products. Cadbury chocolate is available in the US, but it's made under contract by Hershey. It just doesn't taste the same to me. Oddly enough, here's a tough one to find in the US- Heinz Baked Beans. Despite being a US-based company, and baked beans being a staple of the US diet, I've only seen Heinz's version sold in the "imports" section of a few grocery stores in the US. Actually, any number of food items that are readily available here, but difficult to either find or find in good quality, but the list is too long.
Insect bite cream with local anaesthetic included to cut the itching down. Seems to be either not sold or prescription only in the UK.
My husband LOVES McVittes Shortbread cookies (biscuits). We can get Walkers brand shortbread and sometimes some of McVittes other cookies, but not McVittes shortbread. We used to bring back 10 oe more packages when we'd visit the UK. Sure wish I could find a package to give him for Christams this year (he could use the boost after his cancer surgery and now starting hormone therapy because the surgery didn't get it all).
Philip, I got that cream in Boots last summer, and very good it was too. Might be that they sell it seasonally. I miss American bacon; which is funny, 'cos when I was living in N America, I missed English bacon. The grass was greener too ;-)
Boots sells some products like moisturizers and hand creams that contain cucumber. Very nice. I think Lemsip (cold remedy) is a British product; I've used it and like it.
My guilty pleasure is the children's biscuits BN - the ones with the "jelly" in the middle and a smiley face cut out! I usually bring home 4 or 5 pkgs.
When visiting our friends in Germany, I trade Skittles for beer.
Thorntons fudge in the UK - my husband is addicted - luckily I have a sister there who sent some over for Xmas...tho not the choc smothered stuff...sigh...and he discovered Specaloos (or Speculoos) cookies on this trip to France - brought home a pkg, but he hasn't been able to make himself open them yet - guess the anticipation will prob be better then the memory of the cookies...lol...and I was so happy that our local grocery store is stocking Ritter Strawberry cream chocolate - after experiencing it in Switz in 2010, I have been on a fruitless search for that flavour here in Canada, until this Fall...it is as good as I rem...and I better get lots in my Xmas stocking! And when we or any family visit the States - A&W vanilla cream soda and Vanilla Coke....and it used to be as well Brown Sugar cinnamon pop-tarts for hubby, but they now have them in Canada...
Turning the tables a bit, close relatives living abroad wish they could get Chex Mix and Twizzlers. Let's face it, Mozart Balls are fun, but anything Ferraro makes is substantially inferior to the great chocolates one may purchase in a fine chocolaterie, like the ones many love in Belgium. We're lucky enough to have a place here, Chocolaterie Stam, that is exactly like Dumon in Bruges. In fact, they're based in Amsterdam with a shop in Des Moines of all places (go figure). Why buy Ferraro when you can get the real thing!
I really don't know if these can be found in the US or not, but I've become attached to Borders brand ginger biscuits covered in dark chocolate.
Nicole we get the Speculos cookies here, forget the brand, the ones in the red foil packaging, maybe take a good look around they are often on the top shelf of cookies shelves.
Good beer, everywhere.
The "Milky Way" candy bar sold in England is different (and better) than the version available in the States. I bought several at Heathrow before the trip back, but they're long gone now.
Scandinavia is my focus and one there is one thing that you simply cannot get in the US: Wild strawberry flavored anything. I don't mean some marketer who calls their generic strawberry flavor "wild", I mean proper alpine strawberries which are smaller and sweeter. In Sweden (and Russia), "smultron" as it is called in Sweden is available in a lot of places (including at the train stations in the summer, picked from countryside, but here in the US? Nowhere. It simply isn't part of our flavors. I've been forced to grow my own.
Cask Ales. There was also a Cadbury candy bar that I found on the Isle of Skye, It had the creme egg filling. Unfortunatly I can't remember the name off hand.
FYI - Returned, recently, from a month long trip to eastern Europe. Purchased very little while there but did buy a carved wooden toy for each of the grandchildren. I listed "toys" on my customs form. We found ourselves sent off to be checked! After checking our bags, the agent could not figure out why we were singled out - he had us describe the agent who put the "C" on our form and went off to question him. He came back and informed us the agent sends anyone mentioning "toys" to be checked fearing we had purchased Kinder Eggs (I had never even heard of them). So, take heed if entering the US in Dallas/Fort Worth! Agent told me I did not have to be as specific on my forms - could have just said souvenirs since we were not anywhere near the $$ amount of items the two of us could have brought in. All in all, it took 1 hour extra of our time....on Thanksgiving Day no less!
Percy Pigs at Marks and Spencer. I found a similar item at the Bulk Barn but it wasn't quite the same. (the local U.K. Shoppe got a bunch in a few years ago and I bought a pile)
Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Twix candy bars... they have them here of course but they don't taste the same... corn syrup vs real sugar. And in France.. pastries and french bread... pain au chocolat, eclairs, and french bread here, even from the best high end bakeries, are just not as good.
How about bread - particularly the breakfast rolls in Germany. The inferior grade Kaiser rolls from American bakeries are a poor substitute for the German ones, with their crisp crusts. Sometimes I feel like ours being called "Kaiser rolls" is an ethnic slur.
In the U.S. there is a law of 1938, which prohibits the presence of inedible objects in foodstuffs. That's why the Ferrero kinder eggs are prohibited.
The sandwich selektion at Pret a Manger is much better in the UK than in New York and Washington. Although the last time I was in London I couldn't get a coronation chicken sandwich or a chicken tikka sandwich, so maybe Pret is declining to American standards. Also, one can't find a decent Scotch egg in America. I did have one, once, but it turned out that it had been smuggled into the country from Britain. (I'm a simple man with simple tastes.) As for Christmas crackers, I see them everywhere in the USA now. I believe they are being marketed as part of a sophisticated English celebration!
Real cheese, made with raw milk. Saucission that tastes like something. BEER, everywhere else, is better. I would love a refreshing pint of Calendonia RIGHT NOW, and cannot have one, because I am in Seattle! (Well, also because I am at work, but that is another story.) A fresh baguette HOT out the oven, if the oven is in FRANCE. Pain au chocolate is not the same in Seattle. Neither are the "croissants." (Well, there is that one bakery on Eastlake, but still... not quite.) Fish 'n' chips worthy of eating. Mushy peas. All the fresh and smoked seafood in Denmark. Worcestershire Sauce flavored crisps. Cockles! In a styrofoam cup! While standing up! Brighton rock. A slice of that pizza I had in Venice, with buffalo mozzarella, olive oil, rosemary, and potatoes. OMG. Made my head spin with deliciousness.
Schweppes Agrum. We discovered it in the south of France. Not available in Spain. Then over the border into France again and there it is in the small train station vending machine. Anyone know a source in the US? Kopparburg Pear Cider. Discovered in Belfast. We can order it online. Does anyone know of anywhere to buy it in person west of the Mississippi? The commercial coffee served in many restaurants in France. I think it is Richard's or something similar. Whenever I thought the coffee was very good and I asked about it, that was always the brand. Simply not available here so far as I can tell.
Definitely the coffee... even Starbucks is good in Europe... I think they divide up all the coffee and the good stuff goes to Europe and the old burnt stuff goes to the US (they must think we will accept anything) I am so mad at myself for not bringing some home as I was just there last week and I usually do... I just forgot. Also... don't think we have Bounty Bars here...and the Mounds bar can't begin to compare, it does not even taste like coconut. We do now have Magnum Bars a few places in the US. I used to crave the ones with the almonds. And, of course the bread and Presidents Butter (we have it here at about $7 lb at Whole Foods, but still doesn't taste the same on our bread) Also Paprika Chips... yum
Good German Pickles
Amer Picon from France. Sad story :( It used to be widely available in the bay area and was very popular in French, Basque and Italian Restaurants, particularly in North Beach, where they would make a drink called a Picon Punch. North Beach even had competition to see which bartender made the best Picon Punch. Our family always made them on the holidays. Then about 10 years ago, France stop exporting it to the US. No idea why. You can still get a Picon Punch made with an American alternative, but it's awful! So, I now have to travel to France to get it. And I'm about out, so it must be time for a trip!
Definitely Kit kat bars - taste SO much better in Europe. Also I have never seen Lemon Fanta in the US so I always drink it overseas. In Greece I loved goat milk everything - yogurt of course, but also
coffee creamer! Finally shhh... I have imported kinder surprise into the US - I did not realize at the time it was illegal!
It is just not what we can't get here we had in Europe but sometimes regional things we can't get in US. Years ago we used to have to send my cousin out west either Tasty Cakes or something similar he couldn't get in California.
German-made Haribo gummi bears. Simply cannot find them here; they are all manufactured somewhere else. The ones made in Germany just taste better.
Iced Tea frozen on a stick like a popsicle - made by Lipton but I've never seen them in the U.S. Great, refreshing treat during the summer in Italy.
Hi Nigel- I was planning on bringing a ton of Kinder Eggs back with me as they were one of my favorite things in Germany. I went to your link and couldn't find anything about them being illegal to bring back with me. :( When I first tried to find them here at our Military Commissary years ago. I was told that they couldn't sell them as they were considered a choking hazard for children under 3.
Almost forgot... Mezzo Mix (although they do have it at Epcot)
"Almost forgot... Mezzo Mix (although they do have it at Epcot)"
For free, and all you can drink to boot! My guess is that it's some kind of test marketing scheme, as Disney isn't known to give too much of anything away for free. PS- I liked the watermelon-flavored soda best (forget which country it was from), and the Italian soda the least.
Decent paprika. Slightly-cooler than room temperature ales. They're served WAY too cold here, unless the bar knows what it's doing. Water backs with your espresso-in most of the US. Fortunately for me, I live down the street from the only two Julius Meinls outside of Europe. I forgot the name of the sour cherry soda popular in Hungary under communism that made a comeback. It is quite good.
@Tom... yes, the Mezzo Mix is free and it might be part of a test market, but it is in that area where they have all the sodas from different parts of the world...never tasted the watermelon one (next trip) We just go straight for the Mezzo Mix. I am thinking I could make my own by just mixing Coke and Orange Fanta?
We love tomato chutney from the UK = Baxter's is our favorite but all are good. Paprika from Hungary is the best-just about used up the good stuff from the market in Budapest :( .
Happy Nose......I buy it everytime I am in the UK. Used to be in Boots, but last time I got it I had to go somewhere else. It is like Vicks only gentle and soothing, but still a decongestant.
You don't get Kinder eggs in States?! Really , wow, you can get them here , guess we don't love our children much then ,, lol And yes, I have to say it, you sell guns are Walmarts, but Kinder eggs are too dangerous to sell, ha,, something is wrong here folks. Those of you who like a lot of the UK treats can pop up here( Victoria ) its pretty easy to find alot of that stuff here, being "little England" and all, we import alot of it and can even get it in grocers not just fancy import type shops.
Pat, That would be a wonderful reason for me to return to Victoria. It is one of my favorite places.
Stacey, if you do a google search, you'll find two reasons - one is the choking hazard for children under 3, and the second is the law that Claudio referred to in his post. You cannot have an inedible item completely enclosed within an edible item. Pat, here's a link to an article from the Huffington Post from July of this year. Apparently, two guys were held up for more than two hours by US Border Agents for trying to bring eggs in from Canada. The article states that more than 60,000 eggs were seized last year. LOL http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/brandon-sweeny-christopher-loo-kinder-eggs-border_n_1682236.html The craziest part is that the toys are completely enclosed within a golf ball sized plastic egg that is virtually impossible for a small child to open on their own. I do them bring them back from Germany, though, and haven't been caught yet!
Well said Pat! Guns... no problem. Kinder Eggs... illegal. Wondering why Cracker Jacks are legal here when Kinder Eggs are not? Because the toy in Cracker Jacks is not "enclosed"? Seems il-logical to me.
Perhaps big candy businesses secretly lobbied behind the scenes to enact that law, therefore eliminating the imported competition ,, cause those egg things are fun,, my little ones used to love the toys and collected them.
Ok its a bit of a "conspiracy theory " thought process but hey you never know, lol
You make it sound as though there is something wrong with America. We hate Kinder Eggs, that's all. And we don't like PSY anymore since we found out he's anti-American. But we love to carry loaded 9mm handguns in our pants. We like to weigh a lot. We love Honey Boo Boo. We love God because he's Christian. We like NASCAR alot, too. We love tattoos. We like to invade other countries. We don't like math and science, however, and please take your hands off of my health care. We also hate The New Yorker. Oh, and we hate passports. So as you can see, hating Kinder Eggs is just part of the fabric of our society. There's nothing wrong with us. :)
That's not so far-fetched Pat. Like your humor Michael...
Pat: Please send some Scotch mints. Thanks.
Could we have a like button? Very good Michael.
Ginger cookies with stem ginger. If you look really hard you can sometimes find it in the imported foods section. Rittersport candy bars. I liked the one with raisins and nuts and that's harder to find in the US. And, of course the brotchen (just can't get that umlaut in there). We also used to get wonderful pretzels and pretzel rolls. They are not the same in the US. We used to slice them in half, butter them with unsalted butter and slather on raspberry jam. Pam
Now Michael, thats just foolish talk, we ( the rest of the world) all know that America is perfect cause they say its "the best country in the world" and we believe everything we read... plus we live in a frozen uncivilized wasteland where we eat nothing but poutine and salmon jerky all day long , while drinking strong beer and watching hockey or BBC mini series.. while our neglected children choke on toy filled candies . Ps You guys don't have Scotch mints either, what in heck is wrong with you people, lol , everyone knows your granny has to keep some of those loose in her handbag to feed you in church when you are a fidgety little kid,, the added purse lint texture makes them a bit of meal and a candy in one.
Wow, it took a whole two pages for the America bashing to begin. Must be a new record.
America won't be truly perfect until we can get 1) potato chips (crisps) sold in similar flavors - Prawn Cocktail, Lamb & Mint - just 2 examples that are difficult to impossible to find in the U.S.; 2) Walmart to sell chocolate eggs with loaded 9mm handguns inside of them. Although, personally, I'm Old School and would prefer a .38 or a nice sawed-off shotgun in my chocolate egg as there's no chance it will get jammed when I need to fire it. And while our neighbors to the North may not own as many guns, they sure know how to make the best with what they do have. Like that infamous decapitation and subsequent cannibalism of one of the passengers on a Canadian bus a few years back with a giant buck knife. Maybe the cannibal was just tired of eating all that poutine and jerky.
Not Europe, but when I go back up to Camada I bring back: Pork pies, Coffee Crisps, and Frost 222s. The last usually involves visits to multiple drug stores.
@Ceidleh, To clarify, the case you were referring to was committed by a Chinese immigrant with a history of mental problems. Unfortunately, we've had our share of crimes committed by home-grown mental cases as well. Many countries have to deal with that sort of thing. @Bruce, Safeway should have Scotch Mints. They're on the shelves here.
Rik there is no America bashing here, its a JOKE , seriously what is wrong with some people? No Rik.. your right, America is bad because they don't get chocolate eggs,, yep thats it , its there chocolate importing policies that make them the bane of the free world. Anyone with half a brain gets how stupid that is...
Perhaps I was referring more to an earlier post Pat. But feel free to keep insulting me.
Speaking of silly laws....did you know in British Columbia it is illegal to kill a sasquatch.
Also I'm required to state the following: No Canadian NHL team has won the Stanley Cup in almost twenty years!
Well, of course you can't kill Sasquatches, they make Nanaimo bars , and yes , this year in particular , hockey bashing is ok, we are po'd ourselves, no chance to win now either( for those who do not know our stupid NHL is on strike!)
Most of the treats that remind me of my childhood growing up in German I can find in a large city like Calgary - albeit at prices that dampen my appetite quite substantially :-( That includes Haribo!!! London Drugs has a great ion at somewhat reasonable prices. I've even done a taste test of Haribo vs generic gummi bears with my daughter's Brownie group which was great fun. Fortunately, we even have a fabulous Belgian baker in town that makes the best croissants and pain au chocolat outside of France. Some things that are very hard if not impossible to find. That includes * quark - I've seen it in some stores but it is not only outrageously expensive but also tastes bitter * Mon Cheri - another Ferrero treat: boozy chocolates filled with a cherry, and no, those other cherry chocolates are not the same
* Ahoy Brause - lots of fun stuff you can do with them, like putting some in the palm of your hand, spit on it, watch it foam and then lick it up ;-)
Nigel, I'm thinking the other way. The American things. I miss blackened grouper fillet sandwiches. Maker's Mark 46 in a rocks glass, neat. Hot wings, made with Frank's or Trappey's wing sauce. Shrimp, oyster, or Buckhead beef po'boys. "Inside-outside" pulled pork b-b-q sandwiches. But, the good things I love here in Europe. I can have as many liqueur filled chocolates as I want now. Real German Gummies. Tomatoes and vegetables that have real taste. I can have as much hot potatoe salad with the crispy bacon bits. Anything with Grüne Soße, (green sauce), on it.
Plus incredible beers. And Susan, funny about the Twix. The American ones have better wafers, but so-so chocolate. The European ones have so-so wafers, but incredible chocolate.
I have to agree with Kira about Pain au Chocolat and Croissants. It is easy enough to get these in Australia. It is just extremely difficult to find one that is any good. On the other hand fish and chips are very common and very good here in Australia. There are differences though. In England, I understand they usually use cod, whilst here we use other types of fish such as flathead. Pizza in Italy is also far better than any where else in the world. I also miss the huge variety of Italian biscotti.
Crash, yes! You're so right. The better quality chocolate makes the European Twix better too!
I love Costa coffee in the UK.
Here in Germany, I miss good, decent Mexican restaurants where a simple burrito won't set you back 10 euro and the idea of adding corn to anything and everything automatically makes it "Mexican". Fresh, white, sweet corn!!!!!!! Reese cups (yes, you can buy them here, but expensive) Pumpkin in a can Wider variety of frozen veg and canned veg Dunkin' Donuts (not here in Frankfurt yet) Sausage pizza Pizza with sliced black olives instead of whole ones with the pits still in them. Cheddar cheese varieties, including shredded Monterey Jack cheese Vanilla in a bottle that doesn't cost an arm and a leg
Soft brown sugar (we make our own with molasses and white sugar)
Yes, Coffee Crisp bars from Canada are the best. I discovered them when I visited my relatives in Vancouver when I was 14 (the summer Elvis died, that's what I remember about my Canadian vacation) and anyways, anytime anyone I know goes to Canada I beg them to bring me back some. And from Italy, Fonzie Chips! They're like Cheetos but with a Parmesan like cheese and oh so yummy. And clotted cream from the UK. I can't wait for my trip in April so I can get my hands on some.
My kids love Fonzies, we have to buy them everytime we go to the grocery store. They are pretty good, I have to admit...
It's hard to get cod in Britain now, as the North Sea population is so badly overfished.
One of my favorites is the Fruits Rouges Fanta that I've had in France. It's probably available elsewhere, but I've only had it in France. It's been years, though...I also adore Jean-Paul Hevin chocolates in Paris. And what are those sandwich cookies called? Prince cookies? Does that ring a bell? More sentimental than delicious, I'm afraid...and Larambars? Is that right? The totally cheap taffy-like candy? Not great, but reminds me of my study abroad 10 years ago. It's been too long; obviously time to go back. Thanks for the fun question, Nigel!
One thing I miss from Britain is cream teas with scones, jam and clotted cream. The Australian equivalent is called Devonshire tea and uses whipped cream instead. I like both but prefer clotted cream. Sadly Devonshire tea is not very common in Australia any more. Plus there has been the rise of a franchise chain of bakeries called Bakers Delight. They do make scones, but they are terrible, they are too hard. It is now difficult to get a proper scone in Australia, and they used to be quite common.
Oh, I too love Prinzen Rolle, one of my childhood favourites: http://www.griesson-debeukelaer.de/enDE/brands/prinzen-rolle/ You can get Bahlsen Hit around here which look the same but they are not quite as good as the DeBeukelaer brand.
Polish yogurt - I don't know what makes it so much better than what I can get here, but I loved it. Bigos - a Polish stew that is made up of things I would be very unlikely to eat alone, but together...magic! Knorr dehydrated soup packets - I'm not much of a cook, but these packets, together with some nice Polish cheese and a slice of bread, made a cheap and tasty meal...more often than I'd like to admit. And from the UK, my guiltiest pleasure - flapjacks? I think they're called. They look harmless enough, even wholesome like a granola bar, but they are insidious, and pack probably 500+ calories each :P But they are sooo good in an obnoxiously sweet way.
In Italy, I discovered a chocolate hazelnut candy bar called Tronky. Love that. It's made by Ferrero, maybe I can start a petition to get them sold here.
Becca, the caramel candy is Carambar - love them. Also brings back childhood memories. I buy a large bag at Monoprix everytime I'm in Paris/France.
This is such a great thread, Nigel! I'm looking at it and making notes to make sure I try these things on my trip in April. Any goodies from Barcelona that I should try?
Have been home for about a month and would really enjoy a Nurenburger sausage on a German roll with fantastic butter and yummy mustard along with a good pils. Will have to wait until next October to enjoy my favorite!!!
Have been home for about a month and would really enjoy a Nurenburger sausage on a German roll with fantastic butter and yummy mustard along with a good pils. Will have to wait until next October to enjoy my favorite!!!
Wow - I certainly didn't think there would be such a response. Now I'd never actually consumed Kinder Surprise Eggs so I tootled down to the Aldi last week and bought a box. There's not much chocolate is there? What there was did taste very good. I can't see how a 3 year old could break into the inner egg - it took me and my wife nearly 10 minutes to get it open. The airplane inside is kind of cool. We haven't tried to open the next yellow egg yet. You guys all have such great memories.
Norglund Akavit from Denmark, croissants spun of butter and air,and pain au chocolat.
Hello there. Just got to this forum, and so my answers are a bit late.
Havent been to Europe yet, that is coming next year, but have a European ( German) close relative and lots of friends who bring back ideas and food. I think the German Sausages, although we do get some occasionally when we see German owned butchers and delis. Aldi is a good source too. Real German beer, although again you can go to the Bavarian Bier, or Lowenbrau and get some of these at outrageous prices. I am also thinking the cheap good wines, and pastries and cheeses of France.
part 2. But I have some comments too.
1) early poster. I cannot believe that US do not have Christmas crackers!!! They have been around for decades in Australia. From very cheap as in 12 for $4 , ( useless cheap paper pattern, explosive often does not work, maybe no joke and stupid gift) to really expensive ones with gifts worth up to $3 each. We buy medium value. This year, got not only a joke but conversation starters, and a puzzle, plus gifts like screwdrivers, staplers, metal puzzles and sewing kits. Not Christmas without them. 2) Angela. Haribo gummy bears are in our Aldi stores, usually all year. not al lof the varieties but enough and authentic (* acc to my daughter in law, the aforementioned close relative) 3) Ted. You really need to get out and 1. make your own scones, so many recipes to sink a ship available, just flour, milk, cream maybe lemonade, not hard really. 2. go to a real High Tea such as at the Museum of Sydney and get clotted cream, even Woolies sells it sometimes. cant verfiy if as good as English but at least these days you can get double, and clotted King Island creams worth trying. 3. If you hanker after some European cheeses and biscotti, take a trip to Quatro Formagi at Warringah Mall, near Bunnings ( not close to the rest of the mall) You have slices of Italy plus bits of France, and lots of biscotti, pasta, cheeses, and sit down cafe with Italian menu.
Bitter Lemon. I can't ever find this in the States. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places?
If you people can't find good beer in the U.S., where the modern microbrewing revolution started (arguably, I guess the UK can duke us out for this title) then you can't really be that into beer at all. Too many countries in Europe don't understand that there are other producers of beer and wine that are quite good, and as a result you can't get decent American (or South American for that matter) wine or beer in Germany or France except for exorbitant prices at KaDeWe. Which I pay. Luckily not all European countries are so short minded. Just a few minutes ago, a friend home for the holidays in Denmark sent me a picture of my beloved San Franciscan Anchor Steam ale at a store in Denmark. Danish beer shows far more inventiveness and creativity than German beer, but unfortunately it's expensive. Anyway pretty much no matter where you live in the U.S. (and I"m assuming Canada too, it's not like people up there don't like their beer!) you can get great microbrews, many of which are made in German or Belgian styles and taste as good or in some cases, better than the "original". For much of the rest of everyone's desires, have you checked out a Cost Plus World Market (assuming you live near one?) They carry a LOT of hard-to-find-elsewhere European food treats. Honestly there are a lot more things I miss from the US food wise, than I'll miss from Germany, but I'll second a previous poster and say quarkballchen as well as the more esoteric flavors of Ritter Sport. Those will be hard to give up.
I miss Robertson's Strawberry Jam from England. I can't find that particular flavor here in Atlanta and actually could not find it at the stores I went into while in Manchester, England this past March. We always bring home at least 1 or 2 jars of jam from Germany or England, it just tastes so much better than the Smuckers brand you can get here. Next year I think I will be mailing quite a few more home.
We also miss the Bavarian style mustard, hubby misses the German sausages, I miss European chocolate (what you can get here doesn't always taste the same). My all time favorite is Cadburys Time Out bar. I did find it at an English specialty store but its not something I purchase on a regular basis. Although I may have to go get some soon.
Paprika chips. No comparison to barbecue. I have a package in my cupboard from last summer. It's waiting for an especially bad day to chase the blues away. Also, any candy from Haribo you can't get here.
Karen, My favorite from the UK is Robertson's Silver Shred Lemon Marmalade.
I have gotta start an illegal exporting businessrom here to the States, we seem to get alot of the stuff you anglophiles are craving.. I can make a run to the store this afternoon, anyone care to put in some orders, lol just price plus postage and say... 50% mark up,, cheaper then flying to England. lol Ps we have the Robertson jams( strawberry too) and the Silver Shred marmalade( which I have not tried but I saw it today and may have to try it!)
OH BOTHER!!!! The Mozart Balls were seasonal!!! I don't BELIEVE it!!! Now I'm going to have to wait until I can run down to Salzburg to stock up... Previously smug face now grumpy...
Thanks for an informative post, Nigel. Just returned from the Christmas markets last month and I love to shop in the grocery markets in Germany and Austria. Here are some things we brought back. For my mother who is Slovak, pkgs of mohn and walnut filling for making kolache/strudel and pkg of dried soup noodles. Pkg of dried spaetzle, pkgs to make a jagerschnitzel sauce, pkg of coating to make schnitzel (not breadcrumbs). As you can tell, we love schnitzel. Variety pkg of cookiesyou can get these in the States, like at Trader Joe's, but they just aren't as good. Like others have said, it's the chocolate. I know this isn't necessarily a "goodie", but for the pipe smokers, we buy my husband's pipes in Europe because they have filters in them whereas American pipes have no filters. I'll stock up on filters on my yearly trip and the pipes are much more reasonably priced. Not necessarily "goodies" to eat, but goodies for me are the down comforters and pillows. Also, there is a wonderful variety of comforter covers and shams and the prices are very reasonable. And the quality of the fabric is so much bettersofter and long lasting. Love the zippers, instead of buttons, to close the comforter cover. Somehow, it just makes sense. Haven't found these in the States yet.
Oh Nigel! The treachery! Aldi/Lidl should be off your list forever! How dare they tempt you and then take away??? :) What do I miss from back home? Reese's peanut butter cups, and peanut butter in quantity. Most other things, it seems are available here now (at a price of course). Going the other way, I take my parents chocolate Buttons, ginger nut cookies, Bonne Maman tartelettes in framboise. . . . My dad always takes home a baguette an wraps it in paper/cloth, NOT plastic. Even though it's not tops by the time he gets back to Oklahoma, he says it still tastes pretty darned good to him.
Black licorice ice cream. Melon gelato that tastes like luscious summer ripe melons, not of fake melon flavored mix.
Just curious, but why are Canadians, Australians, Brits, so surprised that we don't have Christmas crackers in the US? Or other British products? I'm going to assume it's because we are all part of the English speaking world, but does that really mean we all have to have the same stuff too? In my opinion, Canada and Australia are vastly more "British" than the US will ever be or has ever been. This assumption/shock just seems so odd to me.
I don't know, I was pretty shocked when I found out the English didn't know what a s'mores was. What a travesty! I think it is part of the assumption that shared language equals similar culture. I actually did grow up with Christmas Crackers in California - but my dad special ordered them to go with our traditional English Christmas dinner of a crown rib roast with yorkshire puddings. My dad's not really an anglophile so I don't know why we did that, but it kills me I can't get a good rib roast in Germany.
I miss Pocket Coffee. A chocolate candy with a liquid espresso center. Yum!
I think Christmas Crackers are available at Michael's stores in the US. I saw some in December and I have been to a dinner in the States that had them. I miss lots of stuff from Britain, but I have found that the Fairway markets in NYC have decent British import aisles. The one thing I love that it's too expensive to have sent here is Harrods English Breakfast tea. I bought two boxes of fit bags each when I was there in August, and won't let myself have more than one a week. We also liked having Cuban rum in other countries. My husband spent a year in France as a child, so he misses very dry French goat cheese, as well as candy like Haribo.
"Dunkin' Donuts (not here in Frankfurt yet)" I know you wrote this over a month ago, Jo, but I'm responding now. I saw a number of Dunkin Donut stores in one of the Nordic capitals, but since I've been to all four of them in the past year, I don't remember which one! I think it was either Helsinki or Stockholm.
No Dunkin' Donuts in the UK any more that I am aware of (used to be a couple in north London) but if I can tempt you, Krispy Kreme has made big inroads in many parts of England - has it made it to Germany yet? We have a few Cinnabon outlets now, too.
Dunkin' Doughnuts is everywhere in Berlin, but I haven't seen it anywhere else in Germany. There was a Tony Roma's in Berlin, that shocked me. My American expat friends get excited about Chipotle in Paris but I know there are better Mission-Style burrito places in Berlin. Chipotle's not that great in the U.S. and the French version is apparently more anemic. I won't get really excited til I see a Jack in the Box or an In'n'Out.
Dunkin' Donuts is also in Cologne, and a store on the Zeil in Frankfurt is supposed to be open sometime later this spring. This has been a long wait, but there is a "Bring DD to Frankfurt" FB page which hopefully moved things along a bit quicker. That is funny about Tony Romas. I worked for them for a while in Col. I would be happy with any of the Mexican chains coming over here, even if it was just Taco Bell. Sometimes you just want a cheap fix, and the Germans can't seem to bring the price of a simple bean burrito down under 6 euro or more. Edit: just found out they are supposed to open a Chipotles here in Aug. yay!
Karen, if you read the postings you'll see it's the expats who are talking about missing things like dd or chipotle in Europe. That got kind of mixed in with the discussions of returning travellers talking about their European discoveries they can't find at home. I haven't seen anybody here talking about missing their favourite fast foods from home while traveling in Europe.
I remember way back in 1999, I was stationed in Wurzburg, Germany and they built what was the biggest PX (like a military department store) in Europe at the time on our base. They had a big grand opening and the biggest attraction was the Taco Bell in the food court which was actually the very first Taco Bell in Europe. The paper did an article about the grand opening and they interviewed a bunch of people and one couple they interviewed said they drove all the way from Brussels just to eat at the Taco Bell. Tom can probably help me out but I'm guessing that's at least a 5 or 6 hour drive just to go to Taco Bell? Cripes...
Brussels is well over a 4 hour drive from Frankfurt (probably closer to 5 or even 6 if traffic is bad), and Wurzburg is a further 90 minutes from Frankfurt... so yeah, that's a LONG distance to drive for Taco Bell.
Well, it looks like the Kinder Eggs will now be available in the United States..... http://www.chocotreasure.com/surprise-chocolate-egg-version-legal-in-USA-kinder-surprise-wonderball-w-patented-safety-features-toys-safe-for-all/
"Dunkin' Doughnuts is everywhere in Berlin" I'm originally from the Boston area so DD was a daily part of life before I came to Europe. On my first trip to Berlin after two years in Germany I remember coming up the stairs out of the train station and the first thing I saw was a Dunkin Donuts sign. I dropped my bag and I swear I heard the angels singing somewhere in Heaven. Never seen one anywhere else in Europe since then but I've been in Italy so long now that I've been ruined to regular brewed coffee anyway.
Rik, that is too funny. A few hours after you typed your response, I was sitting in the upstairs of the Dunkin' Donuts in Alexanderplatz checking my e-mail in the best Internet cafe in Europe! I also had a coffee ;)
in france i p/u some coffee creamer in a tube. It didnt need any chillin and i like the packaging. of course, if its chocolate, im all in.
Typhoo Tea from England. Horseradish sauce also England. Fresh tomatoes from Sicily in September. Grapes in France/Italy/Sicily
Good Bread from France When I'm in Europe I miss............?
I really miss the lays receta campesina crisps from Spain. they are addicting!