In this installment of Around the World
in Eight Items (or Less), an exploration of the “International Aisle” at
your neighborhood grocery store, I set out to examine some cold,
imported beverages from across the globe.
Except perhaps in remote rural neighborhoods, fast food restaurants are like gas stations — they are everywhere.
Wherever you are right now, there is more likely than not a McDonald’s,
Wendy’s or other such restaurant within a short walk or drive.
The “International Aisles” at chain
supermarkets have evolved greatly over the past couple of decades.
Though they probably vary depending on what part of the country you’re
in, most I’ve seen play up the “international” flavor of the designated
aisle with national flags and foods categorized by country.
A couple of months ago, this column
examined the rise of non-drinkable caffeinated products on your local
supermarket shelves. It was inspired by news of two forthcoming products
coming from a pair of major corporations, but they hadn’t hit local
shelves yet, so I sought out other “edible speed” instead.
One of the rising stars of U.S.
supermarket aisles, particularly for the health conscious, is quinoa. If
you browse the health food racks, you’ve certainly seen an increase in
products that tout their quinoa content.
Why would Ed Hardy make mints? Because
these mints — King Dog Energy Mints — have a little extra party juice in
them. They are “intensely caffeinated”; five mints equal (according to
the packaging) a cup of coffee. (Having tried them, I can attest to
Here’s the big secret, for those who
haven’t tasted “Greek yogurt” — while some claim it’s creamier (maybe,
barely), less sweet and more sour, it really tastes practically exactly the same as regular supermarket yogurt.
Besides just out in the community, you
can now see signs of the Latino growth in neighborhood supermarkets. Two
decades ago, to find authentic Mexican and Latin American ingredients
and other food products not made by Taco Bell in Greater Cincinnati, you
had to really search.
I’ve always had some sense of “beef
jerky” over my lifetime. It’s always been in gas stations and convenient
stores. And I’m certain I’ve eaten jerky before. Not en masse, but a
bit. And not on a dare, even.