Three Ridiculous (and Ridiculously Amazing) Things I Have Seen in London

I've been in England for about two weeks now. That's enough time for me to have seen some genuinely ridiculous (and ridiculously amazing) things in the local grocery stores. I'm currently living near the Sainsbury's in Camden Town, which seems to have at least eight different aisles of desserts. Here are just a few examples of food products that have delighted me:

Müller Corner Crunch Yogurt Ltd Edition Toffee Shortbread & Golden Digestive

Digestives were created in 1839 by Scottish doctors and were believed to have antacid properties that would aid in digestion. They're also known as "cookies." (But if you want to trick yourself into believing that eating an entire package of Oreos was a strong life choice, you can always call them "digestives" instead.) As a Chobani Flips addict, I was relieved to see that the UK had its own brand of Greek yogurt with toppings. Except that these toppings were a little different than what we're used to in the US: toffee hoops, banana chocolate flakes, vanilla chocolate balls, etc. They even make a "British Classic" box set where you can try Eton Mess Style ("creamy yogurt with a strawberry underlayer and crunchy egg free meringue") and Cherry Bakewell Style ("cherry and almond flavour yogurt with a raspberry underlayer and pastry crumble"). But, without a doubt, the best one that I was able to find was the limited edition toffee shortbread and golden digestives.

I thought that "golden digestives" might mean vanilla cookies. Oh no, my friends. "Golden digestives" means exactly what it says on the tin. Digestives. That have been covered in gold. Like King Midas got into the Oikos factory. After I got over my initial shock, I tried them. And they tasted UNBELIEVABLE. Was it the gold-plating? Was it the digestive underneath? Was it the toffee shortbread (!) flavored yogurt? Who knows? I haven't been able to find one at Sainsbury's since, but I'm definitely keeping an eye out for them.

Le Froglet Wine

Apparently, there was a big to-do about whether or not Le Froglet's wine-in-a-cup should be considered "tacky." Then Le Froglet Rosé was named the Great Value Champion Rosé at the International Wine Challenge (apparently the Oscars of wine tasting). I don't know if that officially makes wine in plastic glasses with a peel-off paper lid NOT tacky -- but I'm willing to take my chances. The best part is that you can buy Le Froglet Wine at the M&S shops in railway stations. So I can lounge around King's Cross with my disposable wine glass, sipping chardonnay like a Real Housewife of London. (And I can be a Real Housewife on a budget because they only cost £2.95 for a glass, comparable to what you'd find in the pubs.) I've never actually bought a glass of Le Froglet Wine but, as I have a long commute from Glasgow (for study) to London (for research), I'm looking forward to at least once donning oversized sunglasses and sipping on some portable shiraz.

The Laughing Cow Mini Cravings

Living in the UK has convinced me that, yes, portion sizes in the US are far too large. However, Laughing Cow Mini Cravings bring an entirely new meaning to "small portion." They're individually-wrapped bites of cheese. Since they're soft, I can only assume that they're designed for spreading. I've definitely been popping them straight from the refrigerator into my mouth though. As someone with an extremely limited food vocabulary, these have been fantastic for helping me adjust to new cheese tastes -- cheddar, smoked cheese, and blue cheese. In general, the UK has a brilliant knack for snack foods. They're the only country where you can buy individual Graze packs at the check-out aisle. I'm a long-time Graze subscriber who sometimes forgets that the company originated in the UK, despite the fact that one of my favorite Graze packs is the delectable honeycomb flapjack. (If you've never had a flapjack before, it's a delicious buttery rolled oat biscuit. Like imagine if granola bars tasted good. Less like health food, more like cake.) I have yet to find a Sainsbury's or Tesco that carries the Holy Grail of Graze Punnets, the snickerdoodle dip with cinnamon pretzel sticks, but I'm on the look-out everywhere I go.

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