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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”
Sincerely, Junk Food Guy