A few days ago, Bill became aware of a special sale going on at the local Lidl. They were selling their interpretations of “American” snack foods. Because Bill and I are easily entertained and we have seen some interesting European adaptations of American foods, we decided to pick up a few items and try them. Yesterday was the perfect day to do our experiment since the weather was bad and I happened to have a touch of pink eye thanks to contact lenses and allergies.
We visited the Lidl in Nagold on Saturday and picked up our “treats”.
Bill bought a large used freezer over the summer that should have been able to handle all we’d want to bring home. Unfortunately, the freezer is on the fritz and needs to be repaired, so we limited ourselves to three things. We bought a “snack box”, “Southern fried chicken”, and donuts. We haven’t had the donuts yet because after trying the snack box and the chicken, I think we were about done. Let’s just say that German style American snack foods are kind of underwhelming.
It was fun shopping for the snacks at Lidl. You never know what or who you’ll find there. Lidl is not a particularly large store, but they don’t just sell food there. I saw a smattering of different items being offered. I guess Germans would be equally puzzled by some of the things one can find in an American grocery store.
It appeared that the American snacks were all made by a brand called McEnnedy American Way, which I gather is a Lidl label inspired by our very own John F. Kennedy. A cursory Web search informs me that American week at Lidl has been a thing for awhile. I also see that plenty of English speaking bloggers abroad have also tried Lidl’s American Way stuff. Score one for non-originality.
Need socks or underwear? Lidl has you covered.
These displays were all over the store. It appeared that McEnnedy was catering to the perceived American sweet tooth.
We don’t usually eat this kind of stuff, but…
Who doesn’t like the odd chicken strip? Especially when it comes in a red, white, and blue star spangled package with the Statue of Liberty on it?
The popcorn was probably okay. They had it in salted and sweet varieties. I like popcorn, but I don’t eat it often because it gets stuck between my teeth.
Peanut butter “flips”. I actually really like these, but I have never seen an American version in the States.
The cashier was probably chuckling. We had wine, ice cream, and various “American Way” snacks.
For your tyke who wants to be helpful when you shop. Be sure to bring a coin so you can free the buggy.
So anyway, Bill brewed his latest batch of beer yesterday. I didn’t bother to film him this time because my eyes were hurting and I needed to hide away in the darkness while they healed. He was finished brewing by about 2:00, so that’s when we tried the “snack box”.
As you can see, the box came with plastic bagged “American” snacks and a weird sweet chili sauce.
Six anemic onion rings, six leaky cheese sticks, and six pepper cheese nuggets…
Bill put them in the oven at about 375 for fifteen minutes or so, then presented them to me with a beer.
They ain’t got nothin’ on TGIFriday’s…
The onion rings were soggy, as were the cheese sticks, which were very limp and filled with some kind of tasteless yellow cheese. I wouldn’t say it was mozzarella, but more like a mild cheese that isn’t stretchy. I did actually like the cheese nuggets, which had some heat to them. They were kind of like jalapeno poppers, only the peppers were chopped up and mixed with the cheese, which had a coating on it that reminded me a little of tater tots. Except, of course, there weren’t any potatoes involved.
Bill and I agreed the cheese nuggets were almost a hit, while the onion rings and cheese sticks were pathetic. And the sauce that came with the snacks was both really sweet and kind of hot. Bill liked it more than I did, because it was rather spicy. It tasted heavily of cumin and maybe chili powder. I don’t know what it was supposed to be, but it didn’t remind me of America, for better or worse.
A few hours later, Bill prepared the “Southern crunchy chicken”. Bill and I both happen to be from the southern United States, so we’ve had our share of good chicken. We had some hope for McEnnedy’s version.
Again with the plastic bags… Good thing we don’t live in Rwanda.
We got a couple of drumsticks, a couple of chicken strips, and a couple of wings…
After baking the chicken for a half an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, we sat down to sample the chicken. I didn’t have high expectations and my expectations were basically met… The chicken tasted okay, although it was a bit bland. It was also covered in heavy breading. Had the folks at McEnnedy added a few more herbs and spices to the breading, the chicken probably would have been more appealing. I would say we liked the chicken more than the snack box.
Maybe next time Lidl does “American week”, we’ll get more ambitious and try some of their more exotic offerings. Or maybe not. There’s so much good food to be had in Europe that there’s no reason to bother with this crap more than a time or two. Anyway, my curiosity is now satisfied, although we still have donuts to try. I’ll wait for my next hormonal storm or rainy day for those.