the united kingdom of snacks

back at home in the US, we have a pretty good range of snack time food available in our local supermarkets. though not always the best foods for you and sometimes infamously processed (i.e. twinkies or pretty much anything made by hostess), if hunger strikes you know you've always or a friend in the confectionary/chips aisle. i'm pretty patriotic in this sense and until recently believed the US dominated the on-the-go snack category. recently being when i arrived in the UK.

maybe it had to do with being in love with london and thus blurring any potential imperfections, but almost every snack i ate ended with me stating "this is my new favorite snack." i left the UK with a lot of "new favorite" snacks, but there were definitely some that stood out among the others. and some that have developed into addictions worthy of a rehabilitation program.

my parents traveled a lot when i was younger and frequently brought back treats from europe, asia, and the uk, so when i arrived i was knowledgable enough to head straight for the cadbury racks at the supermarket. cadbury fruit and nut bars were always a favorite of my mom and step dad, but of course i wanted nothing to do with anything that didn't at least involve some caramel when i was younger. now that i've matured and developed a more refined taste necessary to truly appreciate a candy bar, however, i decided to give these chocolate bars another go. what a great/terrible decision. they were nothing like what i remembered, and were completely and utterly delicious. and on special in sainsburys offering 4 bars for 1£. so, at least i was getting my "5 a day" one way or another.

if my roommate in college (yes, roommate is both versions of english since we did live in the same bedroom) taught me one thing, it was that you always need a little salty with your sweet. that's a joke that almost no one but her will find funny, but if it made her do an embarrassing snorting noise reading this in her office, then it was worth it. taking this "advice" into consideration, i sought out a little salty to go with all that chocolate and discovered the wonderful world of english crisps. ok, i'm not really a huge chip eater in general and with flavor offerings like "cheese and bacon," i didn't really have anything tempting me to jump on the wagon, but i did find a few crisp alternatives that became fast favorites.

while in NZ there seemed to be a divide between vegemite and marmite, due to the number of marmite products and sheer availability of the spread versus vegemite, the preference was made perfectly clear in the UK. among these snacks were some marmite flavored rice cakes which peaked my interest. don't even TRY to make fun of me for enjoying rice cakes either. it's just about my one redeeming quality as far as my health is concerned. they might not necessarily be a snack enjoyed by all, but it was a nice little twist on one if my staple snacks.

my favorite by far was sweet and salty popcorn. so maybe this was a bit of a two in one deal as far as "a little salty with my sweet" goes, but trust me the quality was far from most botched combination efforts (i'm thinking of shampoo + conditioners of course). i assumed this was a simpler title for what we call "kettle corn" in the US, and i honestly can't outline the difference to you, but trust me it's different. whatever that secret difference ingredient is makes sweet and salty popcorn awesome and it's likely i'll never be able to have kettle corn again without facing disappointment.

last but not least, of course, were the infamous and addictive mcvities digestives. i'm sure most of you don't need me to describe these graham cracker-like biscuits that come plain, topped with milk or dark chocolate, or even topped with chocolate AND files with caramel these days. these biscuits are a british classic and for good reason. if my country made these cookies, i'd make sure the whole world knew they were american. i'd probably even pretend to be related to whoever created the recipe. depends how many glasses of wine i've had really.

i won't go into how many rolls of these i ate my way through while i was in the UK. it's embarrassing. i mean but if they didn't WANT you to eat the entire roll in one sitting, they wouldn't make a package that isn't resealable. right?

No comments:

Post a Comment