Thursday, July 12, 2012

Store of Wonder

There is a little store hidden under some other stores (there's a lot of that here - in Baltimore you don't often hear, "You know, the store underneath the supermarket," just like you also don't hear, "that great restaurant in the gas station.").

It's called Shum Pilpel v'Shemen Zayit - and it's a store full of wonder.

First of all, they have cool baking supplies that you can't get anywhere else.  But EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY they have American products.  You often see olim standing wistfully in front of the freezer case where they hide the Entenmann's donuts, or paying homage to the Solid White Tuna section (I still haven't gotten used to Israeli - catfood - tuna).

Today I went there in search of a gourmet food item - Baco Bits.  I am addicted to putting them in salads.  I haven't seen them anywhere and this week I got it into my head that I had lived long enough without them and I need them for Shabbos.  As you can see I need get a life.

I had so much fun wandering through this little bitty store - on my right was French's mustard, on my left was Ken's salad dressing.   Amazing.

I took my time to make sure I didn't miss anything.  I even asked one of the workers about the Baco Bits - yes they have them sometimes, but not today.  But then the guy picked up a can of something and said to me, "Kazeh?"  I decided to smile and walk away - Baco Bits definitely do not come in a can.  Someone on Facebook kindly sent me a link where I could buy these bits of deliciousness on Ebay but that somehow seemed a little TOO obsessive.

So, alas, no Baco Bits for my salad.  But I did find something else - are you ready?  You people who see this all the time will be very nonchalant, but I found CHEESE CURLS!  Yes, Herr's Cheese Curls.

OK, I hear you.  I mean, those things should not even be considered "food" but in a country where Bamba is considered one of the essential food groups, I mean, how bad is it to eat the occasional cheese curl?

And then, a miracle - real milchig cream of mushroom soup!  I can make tuna casserole!  I felt like dancing!

I know that I wrote a long time ago (when I was a naive new olah, not like I am now, after 6 months) about getting used to Israeli food, and I was really doing ok.  So maybe I shouldn't have gone into that store, but when I saw the ShopRite cream of mushroom soup I felt so happy.  Weird, no?

Anyway, I came home and I am not ashamed (well, I am a little ashamed) to admit that I tore into that bag of Cheese Curls like nobody's business.  You know what?  They are pretty delicious.  But after a few, your mouth feels all weird and your fingers have that fake yellow powder on them and that's when you feel like maybe you need to go to a 12-step program for Cheese Curl-aholics.

So I closed the bag and put it away.  No, I did NOT throw it away, I mean I may need a fix later on.   Or maybe I'll call my sponsor.


  1. Come to Jerusalem. The German Colony has LOTS of American products. If I ever see Baco Bits, I'll pick some up for you.

  2. I admire your willpower. I would have polished off the curls in one sitting.

    And I once devoted an entire blog post to tuna casserole and discovered your daughter is just as passionate about the dish as I am....