Other Nations’ Processed Foods

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Image courtesy of DianaMoon. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I have a complete fascination with the processed foods of other nations (see, for example, my love of choco paste). So, when a friend and I found ourselves in a grocery store late at night this Friday and looking for breakfast taco supplies, we took some time to explore the Jamaican/Mexican food selection next to the tortillas. Part of what makes that aisle section interesting is that it is so small, and varies from store to store–why, exactly, is Goya ginger beer always in stock at my local Publix, but not at the Kroger down the way, for example? Why this particular brand of Mexican hot chocolate, or corn masa, over another?

I’m always curious of Jarritos really is so common in Mexico, or if it’s just a Cheerwine equivalent that’s gained a really good distribution deal. (The internet informs me that it really is that popular, and also that in Mexico the hibiscus flavor is sold as “Jamaica.”)

We came away with three new things to try: the alarmingly-named Big Bamboo Jamaican Irish Moss Peanut Drink, Aloe Drink, and a bottle of sorrel and ginger juice.

Fortified by pumpkin beer, we decided to dive head into the taste testing with the peanut drink. We were not totally sure what to expect from something that had both “iron” and “peanut” on the label, came in an aluminum can, and instructed us to shake “gently.” Continue reading

The Best Terrible Thing

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Here’s a fun thought exercise: come up with the worst-possible English-language name for a chocolate-based baked good that you can. Are you thinking? Good.

Now, was what you came up with half as weird as Choco Paste? (Answer: probably, because the image was at the top of the post. Shh.)

Because that is a real thing that exists and can be purchased on every street corner in Senegal for $.30/150 CFA. And guys? It is so good.

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