Andrew and I have been living in Germany for just about two years. (Yikes! where has the time gone?!) And within those two years we have almost mastered the grocery shopping.
Can't find the cinnamon? Look for zimt. It's April and you're craving Kale? Be patient, it'll be back in 6 months. Need Patron Tequila? Pick it up the next time you're going through the airport dutyfree shop.
And yes... thank heavens that we are living in Germany during the time of Amazon Prime & Google translate, because I don't know how others did it before us!
But there are just some things... that you'd rather buy from the comfort of a Target, stop & shop or Trader Joes. (or it is just 1/4 the price to buy it in the US). So now every year when we go home for Christmas, we purposefully bring one carry on suitcase which is purely meant to bring back our favorite American treats. (seriously)
Here is our list of must-have items that we always import back from the US:
- Trader Joes Crunchy Almond Butter - yes, I have heard from several people that you can buy almond butter here in Germany... but crunchy almond butter? no. We brought back 6 jars.
- Canned Pumpkin - As I described in my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe post, there is no 'canned pumpkin' to be found in Germany.
- Pumpkin Spice ANYTHING: For those of you who know me, you know I have a mild obsession with anything relating to pumpkin spice. Coffee, oatmeal, cookies, candles... anything.
- Lara Bars & Questbars - the equivalent paleo/gluten free bars here are SO expensive! almost 3 euros each? no thank you!
- Chili powder, chipotle spice, taco seasoning - Germany (or at least Nuremberg) still has not figured out true mexican food. The only way you will get it is make it yourself.
- Fish Oil Pills - i'm sure you can find this here... but this is the brand we like & trust.
- Medicine!! - Advil, advil cold & sinus, dayquil, nyquil, tums, sudafed, emergenc-y, sleeping pills. Yes, of course they have medicine in Germany... but I would prefer to not put anything in my body that I cannot read the packaging. AND... America has the best & strongest meds. :) when i'm sick - give me the good stuff.
- Tide Pens - these things are lifesavers.
Additional items we miss while living in Germany:
- Packed brown sugar
- Graham Crackers - impossible to find here. Which makes baking cheesecake & making s'mores extremely difficult. By now we've found a cookie-substitute, but its not the same.
- Vanilla extract
- Good chocolate chips - for the country that makes AMAZING chocolate, they don't make them in chip-form for baking... whats that about?!
- Strong aluminum foil - they have foil here, but it is like paper thin!
- Bourbon whiskey - take a guess which one of us misses that?
- Skippy Peanut Butter - they have peanut butter here... but its not as sweet. this stuff is the best for baking peanut butter cookies
That's all I can think of for now... please comment below if you can think of anything else!