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    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Expat Sighting: Ketchup Chips
    by Expat

    Perhaps one of the most frequent laments of the expat, is one of dietary significance. Where can a Canadian living abroad find the gastronomical delights of the Motherland? It certainly is not easy. That is why when there is a sighting of a beloved Canuck food, it is cause for celebration!

    Yesterday, as I ventured into the local Squall-Mart (so called because of the choir of raucous cries from every child under the age of ten), I was delighted to see a giant display of ketchup chips! Some may remember that last year Pringles briefly entered the ketchup chip market, but the cans were clearly marked "only for a limit period of time". In other words, the plan was to remind all of the ketchup chip deprived U.S. based Canucks of what they were missing, and then pull the product, thereby leaving a gaping hole in the market.

    This time is different (or at least I hope so!). These chips are made by a Pennsylvania company called Herr's who have teamed up with the good folks over at Heinz. From the look of Herr's website, they are into unusual flavours such as Bacon & Horseradish (!) and Steak & Worcestershire (!!). Not feeling terribly adventurous, we limited ourselves to buying multiple bags of ketchup chips (multiple due to the horrendous Pringles trauma of last year). The chips were priced just short of a dollar for a 5 once bag, which is a steal of a deal according to the prices that are listed on the Herr's website.

    The chips are not too greasy and their rippled surface packs a decent amount of crunch. I am sorry to report, however, that they are really lacking in the ketchup powder arena. Eating ketchup chips should leave one with a red stained tongue matched by red stained fingers, and if you are lucky, there should be a few chips in the bag that are so covered with ketchup powder that they stain your clothing when you accidentally drop them onto your shirt. In short, people should be able to tell that you have eaten ketchup chips, days after you have had the last chip. These chips, unfortunately, are entirely too naked to commit any degree of decent staining action.

    Still, finding ketchup chips in our neck of the woods is an incredible feat and there is always hope that *maybe* Herr's will adjust their recipe so as to stain the clothing of their eager customers in the future.

    Posted by Expat at 10:42 AM

    I know that feeling well. I went to school in North Carolina and anytime I found a "canadian" product it was joyful times indeed.

    Kind of like the feeling I had yesterday when I saw a bottle of Black Cherry ( back at me from a cooler. It was hilarious. Every 30-45 year old in that store was buying bottles of the stuff.

    Herr's makes a really good "hot and spicy" potato chip (I found this out during a brief stint of living in Lancaster, PA). Congrats on your ketchup find, though -- they were always a favourite of mine, too :)

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3:31 PM, July 18, 2005  

    I tried those chips just the other day in the hope that they might taste like the ketchup chips from back home. I thought that they were close but not quite ketchupy-sweet-vinegary enough.

    I'm crazy about Canadian foods that I miss, living down here. I am always looking for more variety and I swear that here in New Jersey the stores just don't stock foods that might be a little ethnic or different.

    I have found HP sauce (not quite Canadian but hard to find around here) on a couple of occasions though the bottle I have here is from my last trip up to Canada. And, the best was finding Robin Hood flour at the not too distant superstore.

    I still miss Kraft Dinner, as opposed to the insubstantial substitute - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner that we get out here. And don't get me started on the tasteless cheese and yogurt...

    Anyway. I can relate! Have a great week!

    Oh, and why is there only one kind of coconut out here in the US? I can't find fine, or shredded, unsweetened anywhere. I can only get sweetened angel flake. My cookies need unsweetened fine coconut and I have to have my parents ship it to me by mail!


    There is such a rush that comes with finding a 'Nuk product so far from home, or even a product from your childhood. Is the Pop Shoppe related to Pic-a-Pop, Reg? Reading the history of the company, it sounds very similar.

    I will keep an eye out for the hot and spicy variety, Mudpuppy. We only saw the ketchup and the steak and worcestershire (how is it possible that I can spell that word and not be able to say it? LOL). Hot and spicy sounds delicious though.

    You are right, Kim. These ketchup chips lack that balance of sweet and vinegar, which is odd because Heinz has their logo all over the bag. But, at the same time, I find that Heinz ketchup in the States tastes a little "off" as well. I don't think that it has as much vinegar in it as its Canadian cousin.

    I have not seen any HP sauce where I am so that is a real find! I still say Kraft Dinner. I can't get around it. I remember the first time I said it, my husband did not know what the heck I was talking about. It wasn't until we went grocery shopping that I realized that it is called Mac & Cheese here.

    There are so many things that I miss when it comes to baking as well. I haven't had to cook with coconut yet so I am not sure what our coconut situation is like here. I will have to take a look. I really do miss all of the Robin Hood mixes though. I would love to get the mix for Nanaimo bars!

    I have thought about ordering from Canadian Favourites a few times, but their shipping is astronomical. If they began exporting Spectro Jel, I would be all over it though! LOL

    I don't even know what Spectro Jel is, but you can buy it here and they ship to the US:

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1:03 AM, July 20, 2005  

    Spectro Jel is an incredible facial cleanser! I absolutely love it.

    We bought four bottles of the stuff from Feel Best, but it cost us over $80 with shipping. Pretty nuts considering that it is $11 a bottle back home.

    I wish that companies would not try to make a profit off of shipping. I have the same complaint with some eBay auctions! LOL

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