since i've been doing my shopping in London i've noted the sad absence of a few basic things i'd really like to have.
one of these things is Neutrogena Body Clear Body SCRUB. i love this super-grainy body exfoliating scrub -- i used to use it all the time -- and according to the internet it IS sold in the UK, but every time i check Boots or Superdrug or whatever store i'm passing through they never seem to carry it. the skin on my body just isn't as smooth without it...
another thing i'm missing terribly is T. Marzetti's Veggie Dip. the Dill Veggie Dip to be precise. i've been eating tubs of this dip with raw vegetables since my college years (and that's a long time) and i really REALLY miss it. my English partner had some when he was visiting the States and he agrees that it's awesome. come on, Marks & Spencer -- listen here, Sainsbury's -- you need to stock T. Marzetti's Veggie Dip!
the next thing isn't really an item, but rather the way it's packaged. you see, in British grocery stores it's almost impossible to buy a large bag of potato chips. in England they sell them in little single-serving packets (the kind you put in a kid's lunch box) and in the slightly larger Big-Grab-type bags, but if you reach for the full family-size bag of chips what you actually get is a big plastic bag with a bunch of single-serving packs inside it.
yeah, they stuff a large chip bag with a bunch of smaller bags and you end up with a terrible amount of plastic packaging and not very many chips. i have taken to eating Kettle Chips brand because they are the ones with the biggest bag. maybe i haven't been through enough grocery stores to find the REAL bags of chips, but i'm fairly certain they don't exist. what am i supposed to do when i have a cook-out and want to put out a big bowl of chips? sheesh.
something else i can't find is Brown Sugar Splenda. i am a big Splenda fan -- i use it instead of sugar on everything -- but when i moved to London i realized they don't distribute the "brown sugar" kind here. this is a problem because several recipes i like require brown sugar, and without Brown Sugar Splenda i've had to use regular brown sugar, thereby increasing my caloric intake by god knows how much. again, British grocery stores take note!
while i'm thinking about food i'd also like to mention that i tried some KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) in London -- and it was appalling. apparently the Colonel's "original recipe" didn't make it across the pond. the chicken served at British KFCs is fucking disgusting. they should be forced to shut their doors or change their name. really.
another food i miss in a guilty, i-know-i-shouldn't-eat-them-anyway sort of way is DONUTS. you know, deep-fried, glazed, sugar-coated and filled donuts. i have purchased donuts several times here in England and they are simply not the same as American donuts. they aren't even deep-fried. i don't know WHAT they do to them, but they're definitely not right. two days ago i passed a Krispy Kreme donut place (the kind that's just a walk-up counter but not a whole shop) and i was tempted. then i checked behind the counter and realized they didn't have any place where they were making donuts. this meant, obviously, that whatever they were selling couldn't possibly be fresh Krispy Kreme donuts. i might go back and investigate further later, so i'll let you know how it goes.
oh, something amusing i found over here recently is that Kellogg's doesn't sell Raisin Bran here. they sell "Sultana Bran." they also sell a cereal called "Frosties," which are actually Frosted Flakes with a modified name. why they thought Frosted Flakes couldn't be marketed as-is in Britain is a mystery to me...
also, i can't find slices of American cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. there are a hundred kinds of cheese over here, but none of them are American cheese slices. i understand that perhaps American cheese slices aren't in demand in England but come ON. i also can't find Muenster cheese here -- clearly it is sold under some other name here and i have yet to figure out what that name is. this week i couldn't even buy Bleu cheese. you know, the white crumbly cheese with blue-ish marbling in it? i had to buy Stilton, which i have yet to check for similarity. i used the internet to find a cheese name associated with Bleu cheese and came up with Stilton...
it would be nice to be able to buy Dannon's Fruit-On-The-Bottom yogurt, too. i can't find it around here. particularly, i'd like to find Fruit-On-The-Bottom in Cherry and Blueberry flavors.
oh, and can anyone tell me why they don't sell soy milk in gallon containers -- or even just half-gallons? every week when i buy groceries i have to buy like four small cartons of soy milk because it isn't sold in any larger size. what's the deal? where can a gal buy a gallon of soy milk in one big jug or carton? why do i have to deal with all the eco-unfriendly packaging? someone needs to fix the situation.
and well, that's about all i have on my mind at the moment. i'm sure there are a ton of other things i haven't been able to find here that i'd like to have, but right now i've got to go hit the treadmill to burn off some of those damn brown-sugar calories.