We went to the store specifically for some Thanksgiving shopping, a holiday that UK stores do not stock for. The contents of this tiny, bodega-like store were amazing. Teddy Grahams. A multitude of flavors of Pop-Tarts. Dunking Donuts coffee. A shocking number of Betty Crocker cake mixes. It was truly entertaining to walk around and gawk at these products that are apparently in demand among the American residents nearby. They even had Tab, a soda I have not seen in a really, really long time, even in the States. Maybe it’s special ordered for a local American who really needs his Tab fix. Not surprisingly, prices were high. A large box of cereal was £6.50, or almost $10. No competition from larger supermarkets plus desperate Funfetti-seeking resident equals you can charge whatever you want.
What was on our shopping list? No Thanksgiving is complete without green bean casserole. And not some fancy casserole. This dish HAS to be made with canned green beans, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and French’s Fried Onions. There are no alternatives. There are no substitutes. If you think about putting a fresh, organic, perfectly al dente green bean in my casserole, we are going to have issues. This is a dish best served with the lowest quality ingredients.
And yes, the French’s Fried Onions were £4.95, or over $7. That is a lot of money for onions that were fried in a factory probably a few years ago, but that is the price you need to pay for great green bean casserole.
We left the American Food Store, its actual name, with the large shopping bag displaying a rather huge American flag. I wish the bag was a little less garish and conspicuous, but maybe I deserve it as I drink my Diet Barq’s Root Beer. There is no better time to celebrate all things Americana than when you walk out of the American Food Store, carrying bag full of American ingredients for your own private, American-friends only Thanksgiving, while the rest of the British population just has a boring, routine Thursday night.