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Almdudler, Beans, and the Taste of Home

Expat relief as Austria switches to UK recipe for Heinz baked beans... Ahh, the comfort of familiar food! I haven't eaten baked beans in years and would probably not know the difference but the headline from yesterday's Daily Telegraph got me thinking about the taste of home and the expat suit case. I have taken Kremser Senf, Gelierzucker, Mannerschnitten, and Almdudler to the U.S., brought Reese's Pieces, Mac'n'Cheese from Trader Joe's, and Meyer Lemons from our backyard back to Europe. (The list is incomplete.)

How about your suit case? I would love to hear about the things you schlep across the pond.


debi said…

Well, not across the pond, but across the Gulf of Mexico - don't tell anyone. On a cruise with Mom, Dad, Sis, Bro-in-law. We wanted a break from the exorbitant drink costs on-board, so my dad and I smuggled a fifth of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum on to the boat in two coke bottles. Yummy stuff!

Reese said…
Oh yea, traveling ritual...From the US to Asia, mine has always been Archer Farms' pretzel from Target.
I haven't brought anything from Asia to the US yet, but I know friends who stuff their suitcases with Malaysian curry paste and herbal spices when they go abroad. Can't leave without our spicy comfort!
Lorraine Seal said…
The things they schlepped . . .

From Ireland to Southern Californa:
Barry's Tea, Flahavan's Progress Oatlets, Cheese-and-Onion flavour Taytoes, a particular kind of candied ginger (to be served with the port and Silton at Thanksgiving), and marmalade. Oh, and for himself, Marmite.

From Southern California to Ireland, not food but Neutrogena Rainbath (if anyone one knows where to get this in Europe, please let me know) and wonderfully scented but inexpensive Trader Joe's Lavender Oil. And we used to bring See's candy and Jameson's Irish whiskey as gifts, the Irish whiskey being cheaper in the US than in Ireland.

I brought a jar of Coleman's mustard from Ireland to Salzburg - then smashed it when I dropped it on the veranda. We stocked up on bullion cubes that didn't list salt as the first ingredient. What I wish I could bring is fresh cilantro (coriander). I also scoped up a stash of English-language birthday cards, even though I suppose friends wouldn't mind a bit of German in the mail.

Nice post, Christina. Thanks for asking!
Debi, Reese, and Lorraine, thank you for sharing your lists. What an interesting mixture they make - from Jamaican Rum and Malaysian curry paste to Marmite and lavender oil.

Over the years I have found some of the items which used to be on my 'take to the U.S. list' in German owned shops in L.A. or at Costplus' which is always good for European fare. Buying Trader Joe's products in Vienna is impossible, but my family and I appreciate them the more when we are in California.

Looking back on my expat years I see that my suit case has gotten lighter. The things I can't do without seem to get less - and friends are not easily packed.

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