Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Everybody Loves a Jolly Rancher...

Conversation over drinks this evening with my husband:

Him: I want to go out to the Aldi in West Philly.
Me: Ok, why?
Him: They're having a special on a bunch of German things.
Me: Like what?
Him: Bavarian sweet mustard and blah, blah, blah, something that's hard to make but they have frozen and so no one makes them and they buy them frozen.
Me: Do we like that blah, blah, blah frozen stuff?
Him: Maybe, but I need it.

So I will have some sort of frozen something and German mustard that is basically honey mustard but with more seeds.

It's a little known fact that Aldi is a German supermarket chain. Most of you probably don't know that because you don't actually go there. "Why?" you may ask. I'll tell you why. It's a rotten place that people shop for generic food products in poor neighborhoods. It is most certainly not the Whole Foods.

So this begs the question - why is my husband, who is having a mini affair with Whole Foods, interested in going to such a place? The simple answer is the following (and please excuse my SAT-like format):

America is to Target as....
Germany is to Aldi

It's the place that is cheap but cool. Unfortunately here it is more like this:

America is to Aldi as...
Being homeless and unemployed is to eating badly and shopping with coupons.

He recognizes this fact but signed up for their weekly circular anyway (online of course so I couldn't throw it in the trash).

Now before you get on my case for not giving it a chance, let me share the following story. Many moons ago he found an Aldi circular in the mail with an advertisement for a mop. He was highly dissatisfied with our lack of mop and thus dragged me to the Aldi, kicking and screaming, to get a mop. We arrived and he gave me a serious guilt trip about being a snob. So I gave in and looked around.

I found the least offensive thing in the store and bought it - Jolly Rancher lollipops.

Several days later I was sitting home and I thought I would have a lollipop so I opened the bag. Digging around I couldn't find a watermelon or strawberry lollipop. Odd, they were all lime and tamarind. In retrospect this should have been my first clue - after all, what the hell kind of flavor is tamarind for a lollipop? What is tamarind anyway? I selected lime and started licking away.

After the third lick I noticed a funny sensation in my mouth. I kept licking and my mouth was soon assaulted by a horrific burning sensation. My first thought was "Dear God! These cheap ass candies are expired and I'm going to end up poisoned! I knew Aldi was going to kill me!". I grabbed the bag. That's when I noticed several things:

1. The bag was almost entirely in Spanish.
2. There was some Latin pop star on the packaging.
3. Chili powder was in the first three ingredients.

I trashed the lollipop and the rest of the bag while desperately trying to rinse my mouth out.

I used to have a theory that everyone loves a Jolly Rancher. I admit now that I was wrong, so very wrong.


Rich said...

OMG, I've HAD one of those suckers.

I think my experience wasn't that different from yours, except instead of an Aldi in West Philly, I was in a candy store in Tijuana. (I was really little.) I picked the most delicious-looking thing in the store. Like you, I waited until I got home to try it.

It was NASTY, and I was PISSED OFF. "I waited two days and carried this thing 2,200 miles home just for THIS?!"

I finished it, though. I had gone to all that trouble, it was exotic, and I thought it might be some kind of acquired taste I could learn to enjoy and then be snobby about. It wasn't.

The Mexican jumping beans I bought on that trip turned out to be a much more satisfactory purchase.

kate said...

When you come over, remind me to take you to the Lidl. I think it might be in the Aldi family, and is also where the homeless shop for cheap cheap goods and even cheaper prices. You have to actually check the spelling on the labels to make sure it's not some Polish knock off of the real thing. Like Stellah.

P.S. you should have tried the Tamarind one...tamarind is yummy. It's the plummy sauce you get with samosas.

Maurice said...

A hot lime lollipop sounds delicious! Now I want one.

Luckily an Aldi's just opened near me. They did picked the most cursed strip-mall in town to house themselves, so I know it will only be a matter of time before the building burns to the ground or people find out the ground beef is actually donkey, but if I can get spicy lollipops there, I'll make the trip!

Offended Spanish Person said...

Typical white people. spicy latin foods make you instinctively go yuck!

Tamarind is a fruit. It is grown in pods, similar ot beans, and is popular in latin areas liek the carribbean and central/south america and southeast asia.

It's amazing how something can be popular in more than half the globe and white people have no idea it exists,

now you know how we feel about bland, flavorless foods like wonderbread that you people seem to LOVE.

P.S. If you had been less lazy and maybe read the packaging you wouldn't have bought them. How hard is it to notice in big letters FRUTAS ENCHILADAS: aka fruits IN CHILIS!