When was the last time you went grocery shopping and you were not in a hurry but browsing the shelves, looking what your local Bingo has to offer? Yep, thought so. Nobody ever takes their time when they go grocery shopping, I have been the same back home. But when you are in a new country you spend way much time between the shelves, mostly in search of food you miss dearly. For me that’s good bread, always. Oh… and maybe cheese. How come there’s just never enough good cheese outside of Germany?
But I am not browsing the shelves only for the sake of moaning about things that are not on offer. I actually love to explore local supermarkets! That might sound weird to you but when you’re abroad the next time do it! It’s so fascinating! There are so many things to explore, it makes you feel like it’s a whole new world. Maybe it’s even in the supermarkets where I realize most that I’m not in Germany anymore. All those price tags written in a different currency, all those labels in a different language and all those foods I haven’t seen before…
Now, Bosnia and Herzegovina is not Thailand so maybe I’m going a bit overboard talking about all the foods I have never seen before, you might think. Well, hold my beer, I will tell you what you have on the shelves that I haven’t seen anywhere before, I will tell you which of your quirky foods I love – and what you could do better (at least speaking from my German perspective).
I mean, let’s start with the obvious: Why did nobody in Germany ever get the idea to fill pretzel sticks with peanut butter? It’s downright genius. I mean pretzel sticks are one of the most boring fingers foods on the planet – but when you add a bit of peanut butter, they just become absolutely delicious! So why the heck did no one in Germany ever get the idea of at least importing Štapići?
And then there’s Nutella – or all the different options you can buy instead of the original thing. The first time I got introduced to Linolada I was skeptical of course. How could something be better than the beloved chocolate cream I grew up with? But I’m open to new things and so I made it a challenge to eat my way through all the different Linoladas and Mazas out there. Are they better than Nutella in the end? I seriously wouldn’t know because there are so many of them, it will take years to try them all! And maybe that’s the whole trick of the food companies: flood the market with different brands, the people forget what the real deal actually tastes like!
Oh… and have I mentioned Kajmak already? I don’t think so and you might not find this very special but for me it was something like a revelation: There is a mix between clotted cream and sour cream? And you can spread it on bread, put it in sauces, eat it with sausages and buy it in the supermarket in a hundred different varieties? Oh yes, sign me up for that! So, I know that the opinions differ here but suggestions for the best Kajmak in town are very well welcome in the comment section!
However, I have to ask you: What’s with your bread? You know, this white stuff is not proper bread, even if you sprinkle some seeds on it. It’s just not – ask my mother-in-law, she’s Bosnian but she knows my feelings. So luckily, I can always ask her where to buy my fix of bread that’s as dark as Bosnian coffee!
And coffee, I mean I do love your coffee culture and I will talk about that in just another column, but why do you only get the good stuff in the cafés? That stuff I can buy in the supermarket…well, let me put it this way: Nescafé is not real coffee. And it’s nice that I can get it in flavors I have never thought could be mentioned in the same sentence as coffee (coconut anyone?) but those are like soft drinks for me. It’s not what I want when I wake up. So, I have to officially thank Spazio Caffé for having a shop in BBI that supplies me with what I really need in the morning – good old plain coffee that’s not ground to dust.
And please don’t be offended by me saying that. Living abroad is always an adventure and the things you miss most are always the things you grew up with. But the good thing is: You add new things to your daily menu. There are not only things you miss, there are also things you grow to love. Well, actually every place you live in adds more things to miss to your list, when you leave again. But for now, I’m here so I will just buy all the things I love in bulk and enjoy them as much as I can!