International Junk

Pizza Flavored Shapes.  Whittaker’s Chocolate Coconut Block.  Holiday Ham & Turkey Pimento Cheese.  TRISCUITS!

One cold and wintery evening while living in Australia I drew a nice hot bath, plugged in my computer at the edge of the tub (yes, yes I know this is the start to like 5 different bad movies and that if the computer had fallen into the tub I would have been electrocuted only to change bodies with my Mom or start hearing men’s thoughts or something) and climbed in.  Then I reached down and opened a box of Shapes ( and proceeded to eat the entire thing while watching Project Runway.  Was this kind of disgusting?  Yes, yes it was.  It was also totally awesome.

There are similar stories of mine about Whittaker’s Coconut Chocolate while living in New Zealand and certainly regarding HH&T’s Pimento Cheese with Triscuits when I’m back in the U.S.A (similar as in over-indulging not as in eating in the bathtub…that was really a one-off, over-eating while naked is kind of disturbing and really eating naked at all seems gross to me, maybe I am repressed, I don’t know…okay, digressing).  Point being, while I am not much of a junk food eater, when I find my junk food that I love I can go a little overboard.  Lucky for me, however, the aforementioned junk-food kryptonite doesn’t exist in every country and I have to travel long and expensive distances to get it.  However, this does leave a hole in my diet, an inner aching as my cellulite calls out to me in agony, “please, we need you to eat more garbage, we’re shrinking!”  Wouldn’t want that to happen, now would we?  So, it is only natural that I have found a new junk food addiction here in France.

Now, we have already covered the issue that while France is exceptionally good with food it doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own junk food as well (Exhibit A:  And while I find things like apericubes and fully frozen hamburgers repugnant I do have my not-so-secret shame.  A shame deeper than apericubes and a little bit gross…crabssdlkjgkdlsjaktlja.

“What was that?  I couldn’t quite understand.”

“I wrote: crabstiflubidyblubber.”



“Ewwwww!  You mean those plastic tasting things filled with chemicals that aren’t actually crab but instead whatever poor fish was stuck at the bottom of the net that they stewed and then reshaped into crab legs?”

Yep.  That’s exactly what I mean.  MB was the first one who told me that I should try them with the mayonnaise so we bought them once and I did…from there the addiction

The EVIL Benedicta that promotes my crabstick addiction.

The EVIL Benedicta that promotes my crabstick addiction.

grew.  Now, I have to physically stop myself from being lured into the crabstick section at the grocery store (yes, that exists) as the chemically goodness calls to me, “But we are so tasty, we are SUCH a good vehicle for getting mayonnaise into your mouth!”  BWAH!  Quit taunting me with your siren song, Crabsticks, we all know that I will feel sick after I eat you!


Even MB has his own international junk food shame.  If you refer back to Exhibit A, you will see that I introduced him to the world of Kraft Blue Box Mac and Cheese years ago.  Ever since then, he now gets excited when shipments come from the U.S. and always wants me to share them with him (which makes me wonder if I should have ever let him taste it in the first place – who wants to share their mac and cheese – Dad, I’m looking at you).  So, as a result of our relationship something unnatural has been created, something that could possibly be the first sign of the apocalypse:  a Frenchman who gets



excited to eat powdered chemicals cheese?!?!?!?!  (Somewhere the French Tinkerbell just

died and there is no amount of clapping that will bring her back.  Don’t worry Mme Tink, afterall…it is THE CHEESIEST! Har har har…she’s not laughing.)

But this is one of the unspoken perils of being an expat or in an international relationship, while on the one hand you gain a first-hand understanding of a new culture; on the other hand you gain a first-hand understanding of a new culture.  Meaning, when you are living somewhere overseas or with a someone from another country you can’t cherry-pick all the delightful things about the new culture…you get it all – the tournedos rossini and Quick’s, France’s major fast food chain, foie gras burger (check it out:  It’s the darker side of the expat life…and for now, I’ll just let you digest that.

18 thoughts on “International Junk

  1. Here’s something you’ll love: Take a ripe avocado, cut in in half (and save skins). Dice up crab sticks and avocado and mix with mayo. Place everything in avocado halves and spritz with lemon juice. Add salt and pepper (and cumin!) to taste.

    I got this idea from a cuban restaurant. If you can find large plantains, you can put a dollop of this mixture over a large tostone. Or, serve tostones or plaintain chips (chifles) on the side. (They sell plantains and chifles at World Market (blvd Gambetta) and at Viet Hung (Nicolas Chorier).

    I have a box left of Mac n’ Cheese in our cupboard that has been there for over a year now.. It’s like I’m waiting for a holy moment to eat it! Note to self: try making homemade Mac n’ Cheese and invite Nancy-Kate and Xav over to try it! Have you ever tried making it at home?

    P.S. I hope you no longer bring your computer close to your bathtub! Scary!

    Oh.. and there is mayo with dijon mustard in it too.. yum…


    1. YUM! That sounds right up my alley – I love me some avos as well!

      HA – I do make it properly homemade sometimes but it never turns out as satisfying (so sad). I would love to try yours anytime though – we never say no to pasta, butter, and cheese!!!!!!!!! 🙂


  2. Funny as always! I have yet to find a French junk food that really tickles my fancy… but when my parents send me care packages there is almost always a bag of flamin’ hot cheetos… and it gets eaten within the day most of the time!


  3. Oh my, this made me laugh SO hard.

    Because of all of the addictions in the French foodie canon, well, you sucka, you love them too. A regular lunch in our household is crabsticks, sliced avocado and couer des palmiers–all dipped in a mountain of Benedicta (only difference is we get the citron kind)–now, what? What do you mean “I see that you have put on ten kilos, Heather?” I have no idea WHAT you are talking about…And what is worse is that we even know it is bad. We were talking about this the other day and I was like “there was no way I would even think about eating this in the States.”

    And you know very well that when I break down and buy the Cheddar Goldfish crackers at Monoprix (try and tell me that you can’t find them at a big Monop’ in the center of town! PLUS Heinz Blue Cheese AND caesar dressing!), yes, I can easily eat the whole bag in one go.
    Le sigh.
    Have a good weekend! Good karma to you for making me laugh so hard!!!


    1. HA – I love that I am not the only crabstick/benedicta addict! We are not alone!! haha! OH my goodness – I did buy the goldfish after you told me they existed at Monoprix but never again because I consumed them like it was the last bag on earth. As for the dressing I think I’ll stay safe as long as they don’t bring Ranch over…then I’m screwed! (ranch dressing on pizza…did I just say that outloud?) Bon weekend!!


      1. Ranch dressing on pizza!! Sooo good! Recently they had “America week” at the carrefour here in Troyes and they had Ranch! I was so excited, but I’ve been somehow managing to not drink the stuff… haha


      2. I hate to break it to you but I found ranch dressing too. At the Geant Casino in the “American” section. Wishbone. But it is 6 Euros the bottle. Nope. Not paying that. But you might…;)


      3. Um…I totally would, haha! However, our Casino doesn’t have it – they do have French’s Mustard and Skippy Peanut Butter though so I am pretty happy. It’s so funny the things that you end up missing!


  4. Arrrgh, now I want Whittakers! I got a delivery of Almond Golds and I think a block of the Macadamia last year, but they’re long gone 😦

    I’m also fond of Benedicta Mayonnaise mixed with Sweet Thai Chilli Sauce, with pommes noisettes. (Or sometimes chicken nuggets, if we’re being honest about gross foods!)


    1. YAY – another Whittakers lover! YUM – I ate so much of their choco when I lived in NZ! Ooooh and I never thought of the Benedicta with sweet chilli sauce – yes, please! HA – I am loving all these gross food confessions…mainly because it is giving me ideas. 😉


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