As Seen in Ireland, Pt. 1

Junk Food Nation, while I was in Ireland, one of the first stores I saw getting off the plane was SPAR.

The Dublin airport SPAR

SPAR is a British Isles-based convenience store chain, similar to 7-11, Wawa, or Sheetz.  As I chuckled at the name of the shop, I stopped, realizing that in the US we have convenience stores called 7-11, Wawa, and Sheetz.  Hmm.

Full of possibilities

I realized upon stepping into this store that the entire country was going to be a gold mine, in terms of this blog. Weird snacks, funny sounding items, interesting flavors – stores like SPAR, and later, EuroGiant and Dunnes Grocery would provide endless material. And who doesn’t enjoy laughing at another country’s expense? I know I do. I mean, if I can chortle about there being blue bubble gum soda here in the US, then I can certainly guffaw at Prawn Cocktail chips, right?

That IS hunky dory!

Of course, I also realized right away that I wouldn’t be able to BUY everything I saw or wanted to talk about. In many cases, it was because even though the packaging and names were funny, the flavors were probably predictable, not unlike things we had here in the US.  Or the item itself would’ve been a pain in the ass to bring back.  Or they were just too gross and I didn’t WANT to try them.

Anyways, the following is just a small sampling of things I saw in Ireland that were not purchased.  We’ll revisit this topic again, soon, not to worry.

Bison-flavor! Oh, wait.

I loved this because of the picture of the Buffalo. I wonder if they know that in the US, Buffalo-flavored things usually have a picture of a hot sauce bottle.  Unless these really WERE bison-flavored, in which case I certainly missed out.

1 of my 5 WHAT a day?

Heinz is apparently a big company in Ireland, as every single tomato based product had the Heinz label on it.  Including this treat above – spaghetti in a can, PLUS sausages.  Well, thank God its PLUS sausages, because this would’ve been gross WITHOUT the sausages, right?  While I realize this is probably similar to Chef Boyardee, I can’t help but imagine noodles in ketchup here.

Better than Nutella?

Makes sense – butter up a piece of toast, and then sprinkle on bacon bits and dried mushrooms.  Hey whatever, I’ve eaten weirder things on toast.  Dried mushrooms throws me a little, but I might start making Bacos sandwiches tomorrow.

Ah, the jar o' noodle hoops. MMMMM

Spaghetti-Os? In a jar? By Heinz? I mean, I guess….sidenote, this “Fridge Pack” was not in the fridge at all.  The yellow colored jar is throwing me off too. I am now imagining Spaghetti-Os in mustard.

Worst salad dressing ever

Gross – I never ever want to try a dressing called Salad Cream.  Especially a Chef’s Salad Cream.  That little chef on the bottle is grinning too much.

Gummy confusion

This gummy candy is only 1.50 euros!  But what the hell is it??? I get that gummies have taken on random shapes through the ages – but Shrimp and Bananas???? How is that a combination that even makes sense? Shrimp can’t peel bananas with those tiny arms.  Let’s get real here, people.

Cadbury, what are you TALKING about?

These Crunchie Rocks were apparently solid cookie lumps covered in some sort of toffee or sugar.  Sort of like your store bought version of no-bake cookies.  I don’t understand, however, the design element of putting them inside a glass ball and adding the tagline “Shake things up this winter.” First of all, what? Can these only be eaten in the winter?  Do I need to wait until winter and then break these out to shake things up?

Also, is this treat going to change my life or something?  “I was going to be a lawyer until I ate some Crunchie Rocks, I shook things up, and now I’m a surfing instructor” – that sort of thing?

Simplicity is sometimes best

Welp, that’s simple enough. If this can were clear you’d see eight dogs standing upright in salty liquid. Excuse me while I retch.

So glamorous

KIMBERLY!  Er…KimberLEY, I mean.  I like the move here.  Forget the plural!  No Jaffa Cakes, no Digestives – go for the singular name like the Miami Heat, the Utah Jazz.  I’m eating KIMBERLEY! (pause for childish laughter and rib nudging).

Sidenote: I realize that technically Oreos are just OREO on the package, so maybe people say they are eating Kimberleys.  Still sounds dirty.

Why not indeed?

These chocolate cereal bars just taunt you directly. “Why not” buy this product? “Why not” mix chocolate and orange? “Why not,” you loser? I’m waiting for Jacob’s to release it’s next generation of cereal bar, called, “YOU CAN AFFORD IT.”

Thoughts? Hit me in the comments below or hit me on Twitter @junkfoodguy or on my Facebook Page.

Sincerely, Junk Food Guy


Discuss - 13 Comments

  1. Wawa…hee…

    And this is only Part 1?! Awesome – so many hilarious products in Ireland. I didn’t see the Crunchie Rocks – I would have bought those – Crunchie is one of my favorite candy bars, I thought only from Australia / New Zealand. It’s chocolate covered honeycomb – super awesome.

  2. Shorneys says:

    That fridge pack of spaghetti hoops is for when you want spaghettios on toast but *don’t* want the whole can. My question, though, is why you would ever want spaghettios on toast.

    And 5 a day is the campaign to eat five servings of fruit or vegetables a day. Which is commendable, unless you just have five cans of spaghetti and sausages.

    Can’t believe you didn’t want to buy the shrimps and bananas. NATURAL COMBINATION. The next banana split I make you is going to have shrimp inside it, believe you me.

  3. Dr. Stanley Goodspeed says:

    I’m pretty sure Bubba mentions Shrimp & Bananas to Forrest as they are cleaning the latrine…

  4. Lindemann says:

    Great post, laughed out loud several times. When I saw the Shrimp & Bananas combo, I immediately said, “This shrimp is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!”

  5. Neil Tyra says:

    Catching up here, hilarious post. Remember that baked beans on toast is a very traditional breakfast over there. So the toast toppers and the hoops I get a little. But the 8 dogs in a can? That’s bizarre. My Mom is arriving today for my brother’s wedding (she’s British). Can’t wait to show her these posts. Endless hours, and I mean hours (have you ever met my mother) of discussion regarding food in the UK.

  6. Danielle T says:

    I’m from the UK (London) but we have these things here… I love reading to blog for all the US products and reading your view in our products was really good!

    Salad cream is like mayo, without the eggy taste!
    Heinz toppers aren’t dried, they are like a spread type thing (though not my thing at all)
    Shrimps and bananas are like Foam Fruit sweets, do you have them? They aren’t chewy? But I’ve never actually questioned the combo, now I think about it, IRS so bizarre!
    I do love Cruchies though 😀

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Danielle: Salad cream is like mayo without the egg-y taste? Now, I’m intrigued. Is it…just a cream dressing then? Like a ranch dressing?

  7. Eleven says:

    Wait there is no prawn cocktail in the US? What a shame!! It’s so good! PS, I ;love these Ireland posts, these are so funny and cool!

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