Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cool American

I understand the notion of being sentimental about food. There are lots of foods that I like to eat to be reminded of something, or to feel comforted. Yes, I often 'eat my feelings.'
But most of these foods not related to a brand, flavor or nationality. They are related to fat, sugar and salt content. I suppose this makes me lucky.
Cookies are biscuits are koekjes.
It's not hard to find good ice cream. It doesn't need to be Breyer's Vanilla with the little black dots.
By not missing a particular flavor or brand, I get to try lots of new ones without disappointment.
And who isn't tickled by prawn flavored crisps?
If I miss any sort of food from Brooklyn, the feeling is related to the context as well as the flavor. I miss ordering a giant fancy sandwich from Bierkraft in Park Slope because it was delicious and because the store employees were so adorable. Seriously. Adorable. I used to imagine that they all lived Flight of the Conchords style, trying to make it as band, selling fancy beer to pay the rent.
I miss the $6 goulash night with a friend in the neighborhood at Cafe Steinhof. I miss our ridiculous summer trips to Beer Island in Coney Island.I miss the unbelievably delicious salted bread cubes from Draft Barn served by gruffly handsome Ukranian men who let you park your bike inside if you ask nicely.

I bring this up because last week I listened to some Americans opining about not being able to find Cool Ranch flavorings in the Netherlands. They missed the flavor enough to be sad and homesick about it.
I did some mildly alert shopping at the supermarket (the chips were on a giant display rack near the beer aisle) and I found Cool Ranch.

It is called Cool American.

I hope these chips will make those Americans happy, but I suspect they missed more than just the flavor.


  1. When I lived in Germany in my early 20s I knew an American girl who had her dad ship her really large boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Peanut Butter, Pop Tarts, and, I think, some cool ranch dressing. We had a real junk food feast on her dad. The Mac and Cheese was tasty, but I still find Cool Ranch flavor repugnant. I guess it's kind of like bonding over old, bad tv when you're hanging out in the youth hostel.

  2. Sniff. Sniff. Now you're making me nostalgic. Ahh, those were the heydey bike riding days of NYC....