One of the joys of living overseas is trying all of the different flavors of processed foods. Some of the familiar American brands, like Lays potato chips, come out with flavors very specific to different regions. So here they have Oregano flavored Lays and Paprika flavored Ruffles. James especially loves trying new flavors of sodas. He’s partial to Frutop sparkling sour cherryade at the moment.
I find the cereal aisle a good place for experimenting with local flavors. I found this gem at the store down the street:
Chocolate-covered bran as near as I can tell. The box would lead me to believe it’s healthy. Although “Fitness” next to “Dark Chocolate” seem at odds. I can’t make heads or tails of the nutrition label. But it tasted yummy, so that’s what counts. Think I’ll have another bowl…
I’ve also been sampling the local Greek wines. I found both a red and white wine on sale for about 3 Euros. My dad buys this super cheap white wine called Winking Owl at Aldi, and it’s surprisingly good, so I thought I’d give these cheapos a whirl. Tomorrow is official wine drinking day (I saw it on Facebook, it must be true!), so if I don’t break into them tonight, I definitely will tomorrow. I also found a more high-end liquor store a few blocks away that might have more palatable options if these don’t pan out.
We’ve also been sampling a lot of the local restaurants via takeout. I’m managing about one home-cooked meal a week, which I do feel a bit bad about, but what with the whole sketchy and time-consuming shopping situation, children needing attention in the late afternoon, and a husband that can’t make it home sooner than six, I need all the dinner help I can get. Halandri is a hotbed of amazing restaurants, so we lucked out there. We use a local website called ClickDelivery that translates everything into English for us…more or less. We ordered tacos from El Taco Bueno (not affiliated with the one in the States), and we had to assume that “handjob” tacos mean soft tacos. Hand-tossed? Who knows. It made us laugh. We get a lot of menus stuffed in our mailbox, and I was delighted to find one in English the other day, a Japanese place. Sushi!! We’ve eaten a whole range of cuisines — Italian, Mexican, Burgers, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese. And it’s been fun to experiment with Violet’s diet. I pretty much feed her whatever I think she can chew. She’s had refried beans, spicy Tikka sauce, rice, pita bread, grilled veggies (those were a little too hard for her), marinara sauce, and cheesy bread, and she’s happily munched on it all. Who needs baby food, right? I’m hoping this will bode well for her blossoming interest in exotic foods. Even Liam is trying some new things, which is a freakin’ miracle.
Speaking of Liam, school lunch has been a bit of a bust. We’re one for four now, with the Greek version of a hamburger and fries the only menu item he liked. I have high hopes he’ll like chicken souvlaki, and maybe the chicken burger. But most days we have to brown bag it, and he basically eats potato chips and cheese crackers every day. I pack him a jelly sandwich and a banana, which he never eats. He told me if I get a plastic spoon that he can throw away, he might eat crunchy peanut butter out of a Tupperware dish. He doesn’t like lunch meat, he doesn’t really care for sandwiches (except the jelly one, occasionally), and he won’t touch cheese with a ten foot pole. At least back in Derby I could get him to eat school lunch one or two times a week. Any ideas out here in the blogosphere?