When you shop at your nearby grocery or convenience store, you probably have your preferred brands, right? Let’s say you’re travelling in another country, and you’re really in the mood for a Gatorade or Snickers bar. And, lo and behold you can’t find either. Do you settle for international brands like Coca-Cola and Nestle? Or, do you try a brand you’ve never heard before?
We get so use to our favorite brands and products. It can be a shock to see shelves lined with brands you’ve never seen before. That quick visit to the store suddenly takes much longer when you have to read packaging more carefully. I would encourage all travelers to try new things. That is one of the reasons we travel in the first place.
I had no idea it would be so hard to find Gatorade outside the United States. If you prefer Powerade, you’ll be happy to hear it’s everywhere — though it tastes quite different. While in England I discovered Lukozade, an alternative to both. You’re also less likely to find a Crunch Bar or Butterfinger. Instead you’ll find Cadbury Buttons, Blue Ribands, and to my amazement on my most recent trip to England, Double Deckers. Another great find was Smirnoff’s Vodka & Cranberry Juice in a can. Already mixed!
While in Interlaken, Switzerland in 2009 I went for a walk through town while my travel partners took a nap back at the hostel. I walked into the Coop Supermarket and found a can of wine with a straw (Sofia). Seriously? I had never seen such a thing. How convenient. Though it wasn’t the best tasting wine, it was the sheer novelty that I couldn’t resist. It wasn’t until this last year that I started seeing it in wine shops at home.
By far my favorite find from abroad are Kinder Surprise Eggs. I’ve been able to purchase them in Italy, England and Switzerland. These hollow chocolate eggs pack a surprise toy that requires assembly. I’ve never questioned why they were not sold in the U.S. For me, that made them more collectable. Each time I buy one, I can’t wait to assemble the pieces within the tiny yellow time capsule. Well, it looks like a time capsule anyway.
And now, I find there’s an Official White House Petition asking for the import of German-based Kinder Eggs to the United States. Of course I found it funny that other people had discovered these addicting chocolate eggs and perhaps loved them enough to petition the government. It’s quite likely that this petition will never reach the 25,000 signatures needed to have the White House review it. And for that I am thankful. If they were sold in the U.S., they would lose their charm for me.
Part of traveling to new places is discovering new things and having unique experiences. Things as simple as a drink brand or a chocolate egg become lasting memories.
What new drinks or food have you discovered on your travels? Share your finds in the comment section below.