When I travel for work, I’ll still pick up breakfast supplies from local supermarkets. Not because I’m trying to be thrifty (and sometimes it’s more cost effective to just buy breakfast), but because I enjoy seeing what supermarkets have in different places. I like to see what fruits and vegetables are available, what is considered ‘exotic’, the popular cuts of meats, and also, what fun things are in the breakfast food aisles.
In Los Angeles, it seemed as though a lot of the fish was frozen, and sometimes thawed for sale. I’m not sure if that’s common, but the fishmongers I see in Australia who sell fresh fish, actually sell fish that hasn’t been previously frozen. The meats were pretty standard, as were the vegetables, and the things that were considered exotic weren’t really that exotic, though they probably would have had the same novelty of newness in Australia a few years before. The price of berries at the time horrified me though. 98c a punnet when in Australia we’d be paying on average about $5 even in season. Even taking into account the exchange rate and US state sales taxes, it was pretty remarkable. Not sure if it’s changed much in the last couple of years, but it’ll probably still be much cheaper than here.
Living in Australia, we’ve gotten pretty used to paying exorbitant prices for things, but the price differences still amaze me. A USD$350 + taxes KitchenAid stand mixer goes for up to AUD$850 including GST. Digital software downloads that have no good reason for being more expensive, can be up to twice (on rare occasions three times) the US price, to the extent that our consumer watch groups and federal government raised an inquiry with major software companies about the price discrimination Australian buyers faced. The inquiry resulted in what was essentially a recommendation that Australian residents circumvent geo-blocking to mitigate against this market failure. Crazy right? But I digress.
I don’t often indulge in sugar-laden cereals, but I can’t help myself when I’m travelling. In Malaysia I’ll pick up the single-serve assortment packs of cereal which usually contains Frosties, Milo, Honey Stars, Froot Loops, Rice Bubbles, and Sultana Bran, to have with Dutch Lady chocolate milk (also sugar-laden I’m sure). In the US, I stocked up on berries, because they were so cheap, and bread goods from the Kosher bakery (they do such good baked goods). But while I was meandering through the peanut butter and jellies and marshmallow fluffs, I spotted these:
Snack packs of nut butters?
Aside from the insane amount of packaging this uses, what do you do with it? It’s described as a snack pack, but are you expected to have a portable knife with you to spread on your matching snack bread? Or are you just meant to squeeze it straight into your mouth? At 69c, I bought three with the full intention of skipping a carby delivery mechanism.
They were pretty amazing. I swear there was a maple flavour, but I cannot find it, and I didn’t see any of the others Barney Butter has in their Almond line-up. However, this false memory of a Barney Butter Almond Butter with Maple Syrup has stuck with me all this time. When the hippy-dippy nut butter craze kicked off here, I looked for it, because surely someone would have thought it was a great combination too. But alas, I have to take matters into my own hands.
While grocery shopping with my husband, I lamented once again at the lack of my imaginary Maple Almond Butter in the spreads aisle. About half an hour after we got home, I wandered into the lounge munching on still-warm maple almond butter spread on home-made sourdough toast, and my husband asked “Where did that come from?”. “Made it.” was my reply.