Saturday, January 5, 2008

It’s a Decadent Life We Lead

As much as I’ve posted about our standard bean, carrot and potato menu, I really ought to talk about the other side of shopping and cooking in this country that was only recently introduced to ready-made-meals and cake mixes.

We live a Velveeta-less existence here in Denmark, so instead I make macaroni and cheese with melted Gouda and Brie. Per pound, these cheeses are just as inexpensive as cheddar and, wow, mixing them with your standard elbow noodles make you feel like you really ought to rename it to something more snotty-sounding than "macaroni and cheese."

We also are able to access things like Greek yogurt and Häagen-Dazs ice cream a little more readily and affordably than in the States. On the other hand, the Danes just started importing Ben & Jerry’s. I know this because on every bus they have a sign advertising a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked for only $11.86 USD. I find myself staring at that sign on a regular basis; somehow always putting a firm end to the wistful thoughts with, "Holy crap! I can’t spend almost $12 for a pint of ice cream!"

And then there is Nutella, in all it’s chocolate-y, hazelnut glory. I held off on buying any until last week. You can buy Nutella in the States at most grocery stores, but there is something about eating it here in Europe that seems very decadent and high brow. “You Americans with your pea-nut buttarh thinking you are the equal of Nuu-tella! I laugh through my nose in your general direction!” I offered Michael some on a graham cracker and he looked at it warily, channeling his inner 4-year-old who still suspects that a piece of broccoli is somehow cleverly hidden in all offers of new food. It's been five days and we're already on our second jar.


David said...

Ah! Nutella! I learned of the stuff across the pond as well, and was thrilled to be able to get it in grocery stores here. Every once in a while Loren grabs a jar for me, and it is an intense battle of the will to keep me from eating it in fewer than two sittings. I love it with pretzels, on fresh baked bread, or on a giant stirring spoon! (Perhaps I'm only embarrassing myself here...)

Phil P. said...

I'm very very jealous. I agree, though, that Nutella is much better in a foreign country (I first had it in Cananada--ooh, exotic--then in England). It just feels wrong and unpatriotic to eat anything but peanut butter here.

Brie Mac and Cheese sounds awesome, if a bit like pearls before swine, like topping a hot dog with caviar or drinking expensive wine with a TV dinner. You must eat as much as possible while it's cheap. And if you haven't tried it, I recommend brie baked in puff pastry.

Anonymous said...

I love Nutella!