September 23, 2004

Curious George: Food Swap Thanks in part to the the derailed discussion in this post and the excitement of trying new and different foods, I thought I might propose the idea of a MoFi food-swap. [more inside]

Spurred by Tracy's generosity and biscuit-offer, and thinking that we have monkeys all over the world, I thought it would be neat to set up some sort of "food network" (no affiliation to the TV network). People could pick a unique food item from their respective countries, and then share it with the other monkeys involved, or there could be requests for items that people can no longer get after having emigrated, etc. This could take place on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Either way, I wanted to see how many people would be interested in some form of the idea, and if enough people are, if anyone has any ideas on how to facilitate this endeavour.

  • I think that in the US (and maybe other places) it would need to go down to the state or county level - I can't think of anything that's unique to the US as a whole. (Someone will prove me wrong, as usual, but I love that.)
  • Twinkies are unique to US and Canada, I believe. We in America could inflict this golden spongy horror on our unsuspecting cousins over the pond.
  • Maybe peanut butter? I really haven't looked for it in stores across the world, but I think of it as a sort of US version of vegemite or marmite.
  • Twinkies may become a thing of the past. Just sayin'.
  • MmMmmm, Pocky!
  • I decided to do a google search for items which may be US only. In my quest for All Things American(tm) I came across an online shop called DiscountCatholicStore.com who are selling Hostess Devil Dogs. Somehow, this just seems wrong. http://www.discountcatholicstore.com/snacks.htm .
  • I grew up the Coachella Valley where we grow all kinds of neato delicacies. We are the worlds biggest providers of dates (the ones that grow on trees silly). If anyone wants to trade I'd be up for shipping you some. If you are shopping for me, I personally favor chili and spices and love chocolate treats.
  • From the outside, there are foods that are distinctly American, it's just that they certainly had an area of origin as well. Casseroles, Ice Cream Cones, Iced Tea, etc. For local dishes, you have Buffalo Wings, Cheesesteaks, Macaroni and Cheese (that's a Charlottesville dish, incidentally), Gator Tails, etc. Then you have regional dishes, such as the vast gustatorial delight which is Southern Food. Not that you can mail most of that internationally, but I'm just attempting to exercise the hard-earned knowledge from Good Eats.
  • even though thanksgiving is an american holiday, it might be a good date to send/receive the grub. sort-of a monkey harvest festival. note, i make a mean buterscotch cream pie... aunt helen's secret recipe. don't know how regionally unique it is but it sure is scrumptious. [recipe available]
  • What? You're going to give away Aunt Helen's secret? For shame!
  • Okay, if I was to get something from the US, I would insist upon the "bunny pasta" sold at Trader Joe-type supermarkets. I think the actual brand name is Annie's, but it's a purple box with a bunny on it. It's the best macaroni cheese ever in the entire world, ever ever. And it's organic! So if someone can get me some of that, tell me. Tell me now.
  • Pie in a Jar is uniquely American, isn't it?
  • Oh, I hate Trader Joe's, but I can definitely get some bunny pasta for you...
  • tracicle: I can get you that next time I'm in the US. Anything else? (I'll make sure to use airmail this time, and oh, US Mail too. =P)
  • I never really shopped at Trader Joe's except for wine - they had a good selection and imported NZ wine for the homesick among us. But a friend worked at a Bay Area equivalent called Staff of Life (or, in our town, Stick O' Death), and she'd bring home whole cartons of bunny pasta, which we'd consume in a matter of days. You could also buy it by the dozen at Costco and feed 60 people in one sitting.
  • Heh, Melinika, your CD hasn't arrived yet. I'm all a-quiver waiting for it. ;)
  • I know, I know. Grrrr Canada Post. =P I've learned my lesson and henceforth any packages will get mailed from Buffalo. Good to know before I try to mail out Xmas cookies. Um, oh yeah, I can send sponge candy and various Canadian things, you know, like Coffee Crisp or ketchup chips.... I'll have to think of things I want from other countries.
  • Sponge Candy! That sounds strange but interesting. So does this mean people are in? I realize that most monkeys are in the US, and that a lot of US foodstuffs are ubiquitous worldwide, so for the US we could do regional. Certain things are hard to find in different states. Oh, and tracicle, I can also send a couple boxes your way in return for the Tim Tams. E-mail me your address. I also realized my inline link didn't work. Here's the link again, hopefully working this time.
  • Anybody really desperate for some English food? Anybody? Hog Lumps? Mushy peas? Offal-on-a-stick? Guys?
  • I'd visited Toronto a few times before I moved here from Missouri, but it wasn't until I'd lived here that I discovered dill pickle flavoured potato chips. I'm not supposed to eat stuff like that (I hide them in the garage from my wife), but I was intrigued, so I bought a bag. Man, they are the best chip flavour ever invented. My wife informs me that there were cola, cherry, grape and orange flavoured chips marketed in the seventies up here. I can't imagine what they'd be like, other than frightening.
  • Hey, someone in Japan: I need Calpis. Lots of Calpis.
  • Real Maple syrup, anyone? All grades available.
  • I can supply whatever anyone might imagine to be ubiquitous to NYC. Which, frankly, aside from bagels (which won't keep) and a salami from Katz's Deli is probably slim pickings. flashboy (and any other UK folks), I have an on-going desire for McVities Dark Chocolate biscuits. I've got a supply in now, but will happily trade in advance.
  • tracicle The name of the bunny is Bernie and you can get free stickers from Annie's site. And shop there. Except for right now. Didn't know you could get it at Costco, thanks for the tip!
  • Bernie, who is a real live bunny, has his own page! Lucky us!
  • If anyone is planning on visiting Egypt, I'll take some Stella.
  • I ate someone's Jaffa cakes in the office cupboard, seriously intending to replace them before the weekend was over, but then I couldn't find them in local stores and had to substitute w/something Pepperidge Farmy. I've heard no complaints, but wouldn't mind having more Jaffa cakes.
  • Mmm... quorn.
  • Ah, now I don't mind a trade... traicile - anything you'd like from dear old Blighty in return for (Classic Dark) Tims Tams? Not sure why I thought this but: If this really takes off, we could start imposing sanctions! It's the new flame-war!
  • Maybe this is the time to introduce the wider world to proper kippers. It always used to annoy me that Nigel Thornberry was supposed to be obsessed with them, but nobody at Klasky Csupo could be bothered to find out what kippers actually look like - they invariably equipped him with something that looked like a tin of sardines. He'd have looked pretty damn silly trying to make kedgeree with that, wouldn't he?
  • Kippers from Craster available by mail order Who's up for Pie and Mash with eels and liquour Old-fashioned English cooking using offal highly recommended at St John Restaurant. Who wants to join me for a Whole Roast Suckling Pig? I need 13 volunteers... But I think our American friends might particularly enjoy faggots
  • Back before email became popular my friends from Ireland use to send timeout bars when they sent me a letter. Now I just get emails, and I'm not too happy that timeout bars can't physically pop themselves out of my laptop. They were so good compared to american chocolate bars. I'm not sure where besides Ireland that you can get them.
  • a22lamia - a quick Google search turned up this for Philadelphia and Baltimore. Not sure whether this will be useful to you however. There may be other such stores around though. UK monkeys should try this for all their childhood favourites.
  • Rats, second link didn't work. Let's try again shall we?
  • sadly, i think most of this stuff can be ordered on the internet now, and delivered straight-away to your doorstep. everything is so globalized nowadays where food is concerned! i returned from europe hooked on this one chocolate bar and was STUNNED to find it in five or six flavors at the tiny market right across the street from my house. THAT SAID... i think we should do a recipe swap! i've already emailed rxreed for the pie recipe. yum.
  • Thanks Dr. Dodger! I have a few friends that go to Philadelphia enough that at least one of them should be able to pick me up a bar or two. Fortunately philadelphia is far enough away that I won't be able to give into any midnight craving. There have been a few times I've justified driving two hours for the best egg and cheese on earth (Rocky's Deli in Millwood,NY) but seven hours is just a bit much for a candy bar. AHHH! I just really looked at the link and realized I could order them (It takes me a while to warm up in the morning) Once again timeout bars will be greating me at my mailbox! Hell ya!
  • i mean, really, who would be interested in such american delicacies as "Gram's Gourmet Sweet Cinnamon Pork Rinds"?
  • I live pretty near Detroit, the home of Uncle Ray's Potato Chips. On every bag, you get a bible verse and a (wacky wacky!) story about Uncle Ray's family. Beyond this, they have really great flavors like dill pickle, ketchup, "coney" flavored, and (my favorite) roasted garlic. The garlic is yummy, but guaranteed to keep away vampires and potential lovers. (Don't buy off of this site... it's waaaay too expensive. Just email me and I'll mail you a bag or two.)
  • I can't think of anything that's unique to the US as a whole. Oh yeah? What about (nasty) Moon Pies and (tasty) GooGoo Clusters? My potato chip vote is evenly split between Dirty Potato Chips and Zapp's. Best. Chips. Ever.
  • snackspot a nice cup of tea and a sitdown for all your snack needs
  • I'm surprised no one from the Philadelphia area mentioned Tastykakes. Since I live in the midwest now I only get to have them when I visit my parents. Oh, how I miss those peanut butter kandykakes. For relatively local specialties, I can offer the Twin Bing. The peanut butter one is good too. I would do crazy things to get some orange Fanta from somewhere in Europe. The US version is vastly inferior.
  • I have a great recipe for corn on the cob. It's the most amazingly easy and tasty way to make corn on the cob. Most of the rest of my recipes are, as of this moment, not personalized, so you'd do just as well going to Food Network's site and searching for Good Eats recipes. However, next year I should have some nice modifications. I have enough to do a round or two, but not too many rounds without cheating. I'm up for it, though.
  • Cookbooks By Famous Authors 'What? no Tolkien cookbook? Is it because Hobbit's all taste like chicken?'
  • I live pretty near Detroit Hmm... I wonder how many other monkeys live near the Motor City.
  • I got Idaho taters! Anybody want a tater? *crickets
  • mmm crickets. Anyone heading to Oaxaca?
  • Insanely rich Nanaimo Bars
  • AAAaaaaahhhhhhh, Nanaimo Bars are the devil's food! Far too good to be....well, you know, good. Anyhow, I'd love a crapload of Saffron without the wicked price! Anyone???
  • here's some taters on the house
  • Recipe swap is a better idea than food swap for me, SideDish. Not that I don't trust all of you with my life, but eating food that a stranger mails me just seems a little wrong. And if you try and trick me by slipping the instruction 'add a teaspoon of arsenic' to your recipe, it's my fault if I do it.
  • While it may be a little messy to send through the mail, here is another example of fine Canuck cuisine, a veritable heart-attack-on-a-plate, named for our former Prime Minister Jean Poutine
  • I've only had one bite of poutine in the last two years - and the memory of that bite lingers with me soon. If the gods were looking for a substitute for ambrosia, that would be it.
  • BlueHorse do you have a line on some peanut poatatos? I'd give beeswacky's nose hair for a bag. Man those suckers are good. Used to get them at the State Fair in Alaska, roasted, a buck a bag....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • PatB, I haven't a clue what they are. Describe, please? Could they have another name, I'm wondering?