Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Breakfast (and Dinner) Humor

The cupboards are pretty close to bare when Doug, Fergus and I arrive, so a trip to the local grocery is top of the list. Super U, InterMarche, Lidl and Aldi are a few of our regulars. Put a Euro or a token in the slot on the grocery cart to release it and away you go. Cruising up and down the aisles, I can't help but chuckle reading the names of some of the products. I particularly love "McEnnedy" bread---it's the American Way! Take note of the Statute of Liberty.
I did buy some McEnnedy American bread, but none of the other items. I'm sure all these cereals have their fine equivalent on our American sugar bomb cereal aisle. But I did wonder whether "Vanilla Pillows" was actually a breakfast food or maybe a sleeping aid.

When you look at the packaging, it appears that they are manufactured in France, but might well be Dutch or German products. Anyone with insight is welcome to share their knowledge. This is critical early morning stuff.

When buying foodstuffs in a language that isn't your mother tongue, certain assumptions are taken for granted: identification of the product by placement in the store; recognition of any main ingredient on the label; tolerance for risk-taking in trying a new product; and the promise to bring a French-English dictionary next time.

When I was in college (for the first time) near Chicago, a friend and I dined weekly at a different ethnic restaurant. There was little chance of running out of new ethnicities. Our routine was always the same. We would be seated, receive the menu, order something that we had absolutely no idea what it was. We vowed never to ask questions. This was all about trying new things and accepting the consequences.

One particular Friday evening (@ 1970) we were at a tiny, tiny Chinese restaurant. We were handed menus written in Chinese characters and we pointed at what we wanted. The waitress' face expressed it all---absolute shock, but we weren't certain at what. Nevertheless, we pointed at the same characters again. She walked away and a short while later an older gentleman (the cook) came out. He apologized and said we must order something else. We asked why. He sort of explained that what we had ordered we would not eat. We did not understand. Then he more-or-less identified the ingredients. Brains, claws, internal organs, etc. The kindly cook chose something else for our selection that night. Bon Apetit.


gabriele gray said...

"Lidl, Germany’s second largest discounter – is the only player to have two key brands for cereals: Crownfield for flakes and children’s products, and Mastercrumble for muesli.

Crownfield cereals for children include Choco Rice, Choco Flakes, Honey Balls (crunchy sweetcorn balls with honey), Sugar Flakers (cornflakes with sugar) and Fruit Rings (cereal rings with fruit flavor), Choco Moons (crunchy cereal balls with cocoa), Cornflakes with Honey and Peanuts, Zimtinos (cereals with cinnamon flavor), Choco Puffs and Golden Puffs (cereal balls with chocolate or honey) – all at €1.89 for – in most cases – 750g (with many packs containing 2x375g bags)"

Really enjoy your blog, this is my contribution to say thanks.

Anonymous said...

Since I eat banana-nut Cheerios for lunch frequently...I enjoyed your tour of the cereal isle...all those products with the unfamiliar names looked quite familiar in the box-front pictures! Junk food is a universal pleasure! HA!

Enjoy your time in France. Luke

Peggy said...

Bien sur! A trip to Safeway is pretty boring, but a trip to the Super U is always an adventure and takes twice as long. Carry on intrepid explorers of the grocery aisles.