One of my favorite things about a new location is buying things. I know that’s a weighty statement to make, and we could talk ad nauseam about the social, cultural, ethical, economic and/or political implications of such of statement. Regardless of how you feel about consumerism, the fact remains that a region’s products reveal much about the region, its culture and its inhabitants. A quick trip to the grocery store led me to the two products I will share with you now.
1. EnerBio Pfanzliche Pastete (Schwarze Olive)
This purchase was an accident. “Bio” is the German term for organic, and I found a whole wall of products by this EnerBio brand. This particular can was on a shelf of things you spread onto bread, i.e. the foundations of the German diet. The can said “Schwarze Olive,” black olive, so I thought it was some kind of olive spread or tapenade and happily tossed it into my basket. When I got home, I cracked it open, scooped out a large bit with my fork, and tasted it.
You know that split second when you’re expecting one flavor, but get something completely different? That second lasted about a minute. After I managed to swallow it, I snatched the can up off of the counter to double-check the label. Ah ha! I had missed the “pfanzliche pastete” line, which means vegetarian pastry. A quick internet search later, and I learned that a pastete is a pâté-filled pastry. The contents of this can were supposed to replicate the filling. Now, I am not a vegetarian, but I am what I call “veggie friendly”: I do not eat a lot of meat. I also enjoy tofu, tempeh and seitan, so it is not as if I have an aversion to meat substitutes. This pastete, however, crosses the line. It seems totally unnecessary, and is definitely un-delicious. Trust me: if you can live without bacon and fried chicken, you can probably forgo the faux pâté.
2. Leibniz Choco Sticks
Leibniz bakes a killer cookie. The basic Leibniz is a thin, buttery cookie (good), which also comes in a chocolate-covered variety (better). Imagine my delight in discovering this new version the chocolate-covered Leibniz – the Choco Stick. How fun! The backside of the box explains the motive behind the Choco Stick.
No more chocolate fingers! You see, the original chocolate-covered cookies are covered completely on one side with chocolate. There’s no way to eat one without getting a bit of melted chocolate on your fingers. I guess I am not the only one who loves a chocolate-covered Leibniz, since there are die-hard, chocolate-covered Leibniz-eaters out there, who are willing to complain to the company about the messy fingers. Furthermore, the Choco Sticks packaged for eating on the go! So, if you’re pig enough to want to scarf down, say, six on the way to work without getting chocolate on your scarf, thus exposing your shameful eating habits to your co-workers, the Choco Stick is for you!
In all seriousness, these are delicious, and the handle makes the perfect for dunking in coffee. The only downside is that they come in packaged in sets of six, but a serving is three. You can’t stop at three.