Monday, August 17, 2009

Toko Shopping


Today I went over into germany to pick up some much needed chocolate chips. While I was there I remembered I had taken a photo of some items I bought at a local Toko shop a few weeks back. Being an expat in the netherlands or any country can leave you scrambling around trying to find those few baking items you need to make things that you loved back home. I joined a few expat groups in the netherlands to find the ins and outs of the baking world here..because clearly the dutch do not bake like americans. The first thing I learned was go to germany as often as possible because they have way more of a selection and second, the Toko was to become my best friend. Everyone was right on both accounts!

A Toko is an international food store and actually they have stores like this in the U.S. but I never needed to go there..Well thats not 100% true. We used to go there when we were 14 to buy cigarettes! they never carded us there and it gave me such a thrill to know that I passed for 18..what a dope I was. Anyway I never went there for anyother reason. The Tokos here has the one essential item,all american bakers need: Baking Soda. They do not sell baking soda here. When I asked several dutch people where to buy it they looked at me like I was crazy. They told me to go to the pharmacy and buy it there. Pharmacy? I just couldnt believe that. Well they do sell some there but it's nothing like what you would use to bake with!! that stuff you can soak your feet in..totally nothing like the Baking Soda we are used to. Incase you are wondering why they don't sell it here it's because they only bake with Baking Powder,never soda. When I first entered a toko I was excited. I saw shelves and shelves of food items from all over the world. I spotted the Baking Soda and snapped up two boxes. I picked up packets of coating that reminded me of Kentucky Fried chicken..infact it had the words Kentucky in it..lol They sell super small cans of crisco there but an obscene amount of money. I have passed everytime but if I ever want to make homemade Bisquick I will need two cups of it. Those two cups are going to cost me close to 15 american dollars to make. I spotted different flavors of extracts,jiffy peanut butter and many other things. Whenever I go I make a point to pick up a few new items to try.

So in the picture you can see that I bought two boxes of Baking Soda,I spotted pineapple jello so I bought that. That tasted great and I plan to buy more. I saw a set of what they called fruit pudding so I bought that. When we came home I opened it up. I opened up the melon one and it smelled like someone had cut up af resh melon and sealed it. I dipped more spoon in it and it went flying across the room. It was actually a very rubbery jello. However when you ate it, it was far superiour to any jello I ever had. It had big pieces of the fruit and was really refreshing. I also always try to buy the kids some new snack to eat. Now most of the items in there you have to go by sight because the words are not in english or dutch. They have things like sea weed candy wich looked like a fruit roll up. I wasnt to sure about that one. Instead I bought what looked like to be something similar to rice crispy treats..boy was I wrong! The ingredients had milk powder and sugar listed but gosh there was hardly a flavor to it. They were packaged into big squares and it had a creepy squishy feeling to it. We couldnt finish ours. Instead we gave it to my sons best friend who is half Tawainese. I guess that is a popular snack item there. I picked up some banana chips and headed out. I always have fun going in there and picking up new spices aswell. I bought garam masala this time and plan to use it soon. It's amazing what you can find in international food stores. I highly encourage you to go to one yourself in the U.S...you'd be amazed as to what you can find in there.