Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top 10 List: Things Y'all Take for Granted When Living in the States (con't)

Without further ado, here are the final TOP 5 "Things Y'all Take for Granted When Living in the States". You may see a reoccurring theme here. Trust me. This isn't only my stomach pains talking, but each of my other expat friends as well.

5. The Traditional American Breakfast. The very reason the majority of Americans are overweight. A staple of our culture. Pancakes and bacon. Oh, that sweet smell of grizzle. There are no more Sunday brunches or even Bisquick to be bought at the grocery. And, they say they have bacon, known as speck over here, but it is no crunchy, blackened, fatty strips like we see at home. I am sure somehow the Swiss have also managed to make this healthy for you. It probably comes from "happy" pigs, which means no extra goodness and no extra yummy taste. I have had to learn how to make pancakes from scratch and Mom had to smuggle in the Aunt Jemima. Gotta do, what you gots to do.

4. Turkey. You can go to the grocery here and pick up any cut of pork possible, but there are no "happy" turkeys laying around. I shouldn't say none because they do have a few turkeys in the store around Thanksgiving if you want to pay about $10 a pound and there are a couple tiny slivers packaged up in the refrigerated section, but there is no walking into Central Market (oh, I miss you too) on any Tuesday morning to pick up a 5 lb breast to bake up for the week. Oh, no, no, no. There is none of that. And, not that my kosher upbringing has made me stay away from pork for the religious reasons, but I just didn't grow up eating it and my taste buds reject the squealing now. Leaving only chicken and beef as choices. Poor Josh. He is stuck grilling up hamburgers at least once a week now. For that, I am not complaining.

3. BBQ. I think I might have to bust out the last vacuumed sealed package of Rudy's that Marc brought tonight. Surprising that this is number three on my top 10 list since I grew up hating the stuff. But, once I figured out not all BBQ was the same and that there was way better out there besides Angelo's, now my heart beats for some 1/3 lb moist brisket, small cream corn, and an orange Fanta from Rudy's to wash it all down or even some baby back ribs from Artz Rib House. I'm flexible.

2. Mexican Food. Including, but not limited to, queso, quesadillas, fajitas, and margaritas. If I could only have one more day at Curra's. There is nothing even close to mexican food out here, which you could probably guess considering where Switzerland is located in relation to where Mexico is, but still. I need to start developing my business plan for the first queso/margarita food trailer in Zurich. As long as I can control myself from eating and drinking all the profits, I think we could have a winner.

And....the NUMBER ONE thing Y'all Take For Granted When Living in the States...drum roll, please...

Photo by benketaro.
1. Velveeta and Mac 'n Cheese. Hands down this is the number one requested item to be smuggled into the country. I realize we are living in cheese central, but there is just no replacement for good old fashioned, processed cheese food. On my first trip to the grocery store, I may have even cried as I walked endlessly up and down...and up and down...and up and down the aisles hopelessly looking for a blue box of goodness. I found one microwavable meal that they called mac 'n cheese, but it was no Kraft. Mom has now been responsible for my macaroni needs. I have to ration the stuff out to me depending on when the next trip from the parents is scheduled. The stash is getting low. Just another reason for the trip to San Francisco. I think I can make it another couple weeks. It will be  hard, but I will be strong.

Here's the take home message for all you friends of expats living in the States. You need to take one for the team and on your next trip don't question our crazy rantings for which processed foods we need brought over, just smile and nod your head "yes". We need your help.

I think it is only fair that a Top 10 List of what Switzerland has to offer that the States can't make an appearance on Peterthals.com. This probably won't be driven by my obsession with food. And, even as I look at all the snow falling outside, there are still many other reasons to be here. Next list coming soon.


  1. This should have been a Top 11 List. Oh, dear Target...I miss you too!

  2. tarrrrget, oh gosh. also, this list made me taste buds cry. :( i have been mentioning how good mexican food sounds almost every day for a week straight

  3. Saying Rudy's is better than Angelo's is like saying you prefer to eat seafood at Red Lobster or Italian food at Olive Garden.

    Rudy's is good and is better than anything up here, but NOBODY makes better brisket than Angelo's. NOBODY!

  4. Love your #1...What is it about us Americans that even when we live in the land of cheese we need our processed food?

  5. I had to down the Stove Top Stuffing that Mom brought over for Thanksgiving last night.

  6. I know it's not the same, but the pancakes at Bohemia are really really good and really fluffy. They have real maple syrup from CA for them too.

  7. just moved here from austin/brooklyn, and am desperately looking velveeta for some queso! will keep you posted on the results

  8. J: I wish. Pretty tough to find anything processed, especially cheese. I recommend having a friend come visit soon! Good luck.


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