Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ukrainian flavors: courageous and creative!

Potato chips are apparently the world's most adaptable food. Here are some new flavors I've discovered in the grocery store: red caviar, salami, mushroom, bacon, and curry chicken grill. Huh?

Here is the crown jewel of my discovery:
You may be wondering- why is there also a picture of french fries on the front of the package? Well, duh, the potato chips are shaped like french fries, of course! It's like a McDonald's meal in one product- the french fry shape and the hamburger taste. Remember Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the multi-course meal gum?
According to the illustrations on the back of the package, this fine product is meant to be savored: at a dance party, with beer, with shish-kebob, on a park bench, at the movie theater, or simply with friends.
PS: They taste terrible!...yet there is a hint of hamburgery-ness. Yes, of course I bought them. How could I pass up this opportunity?

PPS: To make up for products such as the ignoble hamburger chips, there is an impressive tea collection at the grocery store.....an impressive collection which has been slowly and steadily transferring itself to my cupboard. I know that technically one human being doesn't need more then ten boxes of tea, but..... (if you love me, gift me tea!) Tonight I scored a lime and caramel-flavored green tea. Intriguing, isn't it?


  1. Katherine, for your good mood please pay attention to the contents on the chips package you consume. The producers often use a lot of sodium glutamate (E621) and alike. 'Chinese food syndrome' doesn't contribute to good well-being AFAIK.
    I don't want to butt in into your private life, but food in Ukraine isn't always as healthy as you might have got used in the US. 'Third-world country', after all... ((

  2. Hi Roman,
    Thanks for your concern. Don't worry, I'm not a junk food kind of girl. I just bought these so I could at least take a picture of them and try them. I tend to eat more гречка and borsch than potato chips!

    Also, about food being healthier here.....yes and no. I think it is healthier in certain ways: fruit, meat, and vegetables. For example, in the US there's always a lot of wax on the fruit I eat (apples, etc) and usually there's pesticides on the non-organic veggies (cucumbers, peppers, etc). It seems like people grow fruit and veggies more naturally in Ukraine. That post "ode to Ukrainian apples"....that was one of the few times I'd tasted an apple not coated in wax! Also, the meat here is ... uh ... fresher ... right? They're not shipping it from Vladivostok to Ukraine. It didn't come from a cow raised with 8,000 other cattle and fed antibiotics and corn, right? Or am I wrong?

    You may well be right in the sense that the food safety industry is less developed here and people's safety doesn't seem to be as important. There's definitely a lot of chemical-laden products on the grocery shelves and those chemicals probably aren't tested as carefully as the chemicals in the US. Also, basic sanitary measures are sometimes...lacking, perhaps.

    What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Did I miss anything? I don't think Ukraine is necessarily a third-world country. I think it's more second-world. Ukraine is waaaay more developed than say, Somalia.

  3. Well, Katherine, in the past times Ukraine was quite extensively developed in agricultural sense.

    But now there're only certain kinds of food that are grown or raised around here for mass market. E.g. chicken, some pork, _medium_-sized potatoes, wheat products (the list isn't over but it's not that long). Nowadays one rarely can find in regular shops veal or _big_ apples, tomatoes or cucumbers etc that were grown/raised locally.

    You might be shocked, but even buckwheat (which is a folklore grain grown for centuries in Ukraine) had to be bought in China...

    Of course one can find quite decent home-grown food on food markets like Благбаз or Алексеевский (near one of the corporate classes you teach), though I wouldn't recommend for a foreigner like to go there alone.

    PS: When I mentioned 'Ukraine is a 3rd world country' I meant that the country doesn't enforce food standards, thus helding a passive role in this politics. Though we are not yet a 'failed state' like Somalia.

  4. Wow, I am shocked to hear that about buckwheat and (especially) cucumbers! I thought for sure those products would tend to be local ones!