I thought that, having grown up on American TV and films, I knew almost everything about the US . But I am constantly finding new things that surprise me - like the way the even new houses have rooms without built in lighting, or the widespread belief that turkey is worth eating.
And then there are the strange products that lurk in the supermarkets.
Trader Joes Crescent Rolls in a Tube
Yes, this is bread in a tube. I originally thought it was a can - the ends are metallic but the main body is formed from layers of cardboard. Nevertheless, it is well sealed and the dough is under pressure and pops out alarmingly when you open the container. There is no kneading, the bread is pre-cut into little triangles that you just roll up and bake.
And the result? Not bad. The rolls don't rise much, but you get 12 per tube. It is not the tastiest bread and far to sweet for my liking, yet edible enough. Bread in general seems to be a lost art in the U.S. so I would probably buy these again.
Andy Capp Chedder Fries. Manufacturer's site in case you think I am making this up
Not so much these Andy Capp "cheddar" "fries". For some reason fake nasty American cheese powder tastes much worse than the proper fake nasty cheese powder we get back in NZ. But what really caught my eye was the endorsement from Andy Capp.
The last time I thought about Andy Capp was when he was a punchline in an episode of the Simpsons that was made over 20(!) years ago (Marge vs. the Monorail) but apparently he still carries enough cultural weight in the 'States to headline his own line of chips, with a "flavor punch in every crunch".
On the other hand, I did buy this packet from a vending machine in a bowling alley, so it might be a localized phenomenon.