I’m sure everybody knows the rhetorical question ‘What are we eating today?’or ‘What should I cook?’ Very often we can’t find a practical answer. An easy way out is the ‘Let’s go get Indian or Chinese food’ But where can you get it? The restaurant on the corner, the fast food one with the Call Nr. or the supermarket?
Inspired by an Italian blog presenting instant food inspired in the Italian cooking (http://www.einespressobitte.com/un-minuto-di-silenzio-food-disaster/) I want to show you and comment some of the International delicacies we can find in supermarkets.
First of all an introduction of one of the most famous chefs in German supermarkets must be done: He is Dr. Oetker, and he is a star in every cooking discipline, from a simple soup with noodles to a chocolate chip cake. Difficult? No way. I was referring to Dr. Oetker as a he, but maybe I’m wrong and it’s a she! Dr. Oetker, a mysterious character we may encounter in German kitchens… One thing I have to recognize that his or her recipes are almost infallible, provided you can read and follow steps accurately.
There are other brands in our German supermarkets, for example, Knorr and of course the no name products of best buy supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl. These shops are famous for their super retail prices and their simple arrangements of products. In those places you find a simple rack with the open cardboard boxes showing the products and that’s it. They are also proud of having the fastest cashiers where you have to almost catch your products and put them in your caddy at an astonishing speed, almost like the Flash 😉 Nevertheless, you usually have to stand in line for a long time to be able to pay because of the 5 cashiers only one or two will be working.
Talking about international products in our supermarkets, what is one of the most popular Mexican products that you can find in every supermarket over here? Can you guess? Of course the vegetable mix, with kidney beans, red paprika and golden corn… Does it sound familiar to my Mexican readers? No? Of course not, we don’t eat that combination in Mexico. How about combining it with tuna? A Mexican tuna salad! Very simple.
However, we are more fortunate than our Italian friends, they find from the pizza burger, the newest Dr. Oetker’s creation to the spaghetti carbonara in the cup… The French have not been forgotten. Dr. Oetker created a special line on the French cuisine, called le Bistro. All types of frozen ‘baguettes’ with several fillings, such as cheese and … Jalapeños!! Very French!
If you don’t know how to cook or let’s say read, or you don’t have time and love International dishes, you may then run to a mini supermarket at the gas station close to your place and grab a ‘Ristorante Pizza’ with salami, mozzarella and pesto. Lots of the so called Mexican dishes have to have red kidney beans and corn and the Italian ones, pesto of course.
Has Dr. Oetker ever been to Asia? I don’t really know, but another well known Mister, Mr. Knorr, surely has 😉 The choice of Asian specialties is huge. From Bami Goreng noodles to Asia Curry Noodles sweet ‘n sour. Very Asian!
As for people who worry about ecology and ecological products, Mr. Knorr offers the new Spaghetti Bolognese. The most “tomatoly” ( a word only invented for this sauce) Bolognese of all time with sustainable green tomatoes, especially enriched with many herbs. This is the new Knorr’s Bolognese with a fruity taste… Mmmm, I don’t quite understand the effect of the herbs in the fruitiness of the sauce, or are the sustainable tomatoes responsible? As everything is dried, made to powder packed in a small bag I still don’t get where the freshness comes from… Ah, it’s part of my imagination! The mind is very powerful indeed…
Our American friends have also a special selection of products, for example, the All American pizza! With chicken or barbecue and a thick dough, very American, of course.
To be fair, I have to mention the products we can find in mostly every kitchen, the different types of broth or soups where you only add water. This makes me think of another brand, Maggi! Do they also have international products? Italian friends, please, close your eyes and don’t read… Yes, they even have the ‘fix’ for spaghetti all’amatriciana!
How about instant typical German dishes? You can find almost everything starting from the famous “Jägersauce” or “Hunter’s sauce” a little bit similar to a gravy to add to your “Schnitzel or pork steak that you’ll still have to buy. To accompany your meat, you can choose among many side dishes to serve on a Bavarian meal such as “Kartoffelknödel”, or potato dumplings, the ready fix mixture for the salad with “real” herbs and the “Bayrische Creme” or Bavarian creme for dessert. Do vegetarians have a choice? Yes, they may buy the instant “Käsespätzle”, similar to gnocchi, but smaller and served with melting cheese… a little bit like maccaroni and cheese, no problem.
So, cooking international meals at home isn’t that difficult! Long live the chemists! 😉