Saturday, May 9, 2020

Updated Things Not Available List

I go to my local Brněnka grocery store two or three times a week.  It is a small shop but it is totally packed with supplies and it has a pretty decent deli.  It's located next to my tram stop which is only a five minute walk from my flat.  This was perfect pre-lockdown because I could pop in to the shop and quickly pick up whatever I needed on my way home from work.  

A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see that they now carry Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  For just 31 Kč ($1.42).  I've been able to find them at The Candy Store but this is the first time that I've noticed them in a normal shop.   

When I first moved here, more than a decade ago, I had a list of "things not available here" on the right hand side of the blog.  There was even a Tripadvisor thread about it back in 2012.  I've updated the list as things have become available here or if I could find something somewhere else in Euroland.

On the original list there was:

"Soft" Sandwich Bread.  It's now off the list.  I was able to find the equivalent but I can't remember the last time that I actually wanted it.  I'd much rather have an open-faced celebíček style sandwich.

Angel Hair Pasta.  I did find the equivalent of angel hair pasta but the noodles are short; maybe 4 or 5 cm (1.5 to 2 inches) long.  If I want a proper long pasta noodle then I just use spaghetti noodles.  

Big Marshmallows.  Off the list thanks to the Candy Store.  

Bisquick.  I found it in the UK.  I still keep this on hand because Czech flour is still confusing to me.

Black Beans.  I finally found them.  Not available everywhere or all of the time but I can find canned black beans.  When I come across them I buy extra and horde them.  

Caesar Salad Dressing.  I found it in Germany.  I also found it in the UK and Ireland.

Clam Chowder Soup.  This still isn't a thing over here but remember that this is a landlocked country.  I tried to make it using canned clams I received in a care package with some potato soup but it just didn't come out right. 

Coffee-mate Flavored Creamer.  I used to use either the liquid or powdered flavoured creamer all the time back in the USA.  My tastes have changed since living here and I no longer miss this.  I think that you can find some various flavourings here but I don't use them.  I just use milk and brown sugar.

Cooking Spray.  I still don't understand why this isn't a thing over here.  I found it in Ireland.

Corn Dogs.  They don't exist over here.  It's a hot dog on a stick that is dipped in corn batter and deep fried.  I did manage to find a corn dog last year but it was in Taiwan.

Dr. Pepper.  This started showing up here in 2011.  I can find it at the Candy Store and it's available in some grocery stores but I don't remember the last time that I bought it.  It's very rare that I actually drink a soda now and when I do it's Kofola.  

Egg Beaters/Liquid Egg Whites.  This is basically an egg mixture in a carton that you pour directly in to a frying pan.  I liked the egg white version because why take the time to separate the yolks from the whites when you can just use a carton of egg whites.  I'm sure that my Eurocrew will just think that this is falls under the category of just being incredibly lazy.  I removed this from the list because I no longer care about it.  

Enchilada Sauce.  I've never found it over here.  Luckily I have plenty of spice packs so that I can make it when I need it.

French's Yellow Mustard.  I found it in the UK and it's at the Candy Store.  

Goya Sofrito.  This is a base mix that you add to beans or rice in Latin cooking.  It's basically a mix garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes that were cooked down in olive oil.  I removed it from the list because it's been over a decade since I last had it and I'm sure that I could find a recipe online if I really needed it for something.

Graham Crackers.  Proper graham crackers don't exist over here.  I'm sure that there are similar products available in the kid's food section of a market.  Fortunately I received a box of graham cracker crumbs that I can use when I need to bake a pie or make a cheesecake.

Hot Dog Buns.  American-style hot dog buns aren't a think here.  Unless you go to Ikea where you can buy a hot dog with a bun.  I removed this from the list because I finally got used to just slicing open a rohlík.  Not as soft as a regular hot dog bun but it works.

Jelly Beans.  Jelly Belly jelly beans are at the Candy Store.  I've started to see other brands of jelly beans show up in stores.

Jif Crunchy Peanut Butter.  I found it in the UK.  I can get it at the Candy Store but it is expensive.  I can now find peanut butter, smooth or crunchy, in the local shop.  Jif Crunchy is my favourite brand so I just have to splurge when I'm craving a PB&J. 

Jiffy Cornbread Mix.  I can't get this over here.  I have to rely on care parcels.  In a few weeks I was supposed to fly to California for my niece's high school graduation.  Due to Covid-19 that's not going to happen.  I planned to bring back several boxes so that I have them in time for Thanksgiving.  Assuming that Thanksgiving will happen this year.

Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips.  I love these little strips that dissolve on your tongue.  I've never seen them here.  A colleague told me that that used to be here years ago but didn't last long.  I found something similar before in Germany but just not the same thing. 

Mac n' Cheese.  The only Mac n' Cheese is Kraft Mac n' Cheese.  I've come across some British versions but I haven't actually tried them.  I normally use five boxes to make a big batch at Thanksgiving.  Last year it was the most popular dish with the kids.  I may have to do a double batch this year.

Macadamia Nuts.  I've never seen them here.  I can't even remember the last time I had one.  

Mt. Dew.  I found first several years ago in Poland.  It's at the Candy Store and I do see it every so often at the grocery store.  I don't remember the last time I had one.

Passion Fruit Juice.  Once, back in 2010, I spotted passion fruit juice at Tesco.  They had eight 1-litre boxes and I bought every single one of them.  I've spotted it in the grocery store a few times in Vienna but I've never seen it here again in Czechland.  

Pickle Relish.  For the life of me I don't understand why pickle relish isn't a thing over here.  Czechs love pickles and they are great at pickling veggies and canning fruit for the winter so I don't understand why pickle relish just isn't a thing here.  For me, I don't care if it's regular or sweet relish, either way it is a total necessity for a hot dog.  It is also a key ingredient for "deviled eggs" at Thanksgiving.  I can get it sometimes at the Candy Store.  I may actually have to breakdown and find a recipe on-line so that I can make it myself.  

Ranch Dressing.  Americans love ranch dressing.  It's a salad dressing.  We also use it as a sauce for Buffalo chicken wings.  It can also be a dip for crisps or veggies.  It's another item that you can find at the Candy Store.  I have spice packs that I can use to make up a batch when I want.  Czechs have a farmer's dressing but it is no where close to the same thing as ranch dressing.    

Red Velvet Cake.  You can find the cake mix in the UK and Ireland.  It's also available at the Candy Store.  It's not in the shops here but I have seen red velvet cupcakes for sale at many cafes so I think it's getting quite popular.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  They're available now which is what inspired this blog post.

Rocky Road Ice Cream.  This is chocolate ice cream with bits of almonds and marshmallows.  The story goes that in 1929, a guy used his wife's scissors to cut up marshmallows and walnuts which he then mixed in to chocolate ice cream. When the stock market crashed later that year the flavour was renamed as "rocky road" so that people would have something that they could smile about.  Zmrzlina is really good but I would slap someone's mama to get at some rocky road ice cream.

Root Beer.  This is a non-alcoholic, caffeine-free, carbonated soft drink.  Sometimes older people will refer to it as sarsaparilla.  It's kind of the American version of Kofola but Kofola is way better.  When we were kids it was always the biggest treat to get a root beer float.  Just vanilla ice cream and root beer in a mug.  The combination would create a foam on top.  

Splenda.  This is a sugar substitute that is popular in the USA.  In the USA it is legally able to be labeled east "zero calories".  Splenda could be used instead of sugar even for cooking and baking.  Just replace the sugar with half the quantity of Splenda.  I did find this in the UK.  I still have some in my pantry  but I haven't touched this in years.  I still have some in my pantry but I haven't touch the stuff in years. I remove d it from the list because I don't care about it any more.  

Two-in-One Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant.  It's pretty simple.  An antiperspirant helps control sweat and a deodorant protects against door.  In the USA, it is pretty common to buy one product that does both of these things.  In Euroland I can find either antiperspirant or deodorant.  Both of which are more expensive than back in the USA but I don't even care about the cost.  It's just a pain that I can't get a two-in-one.

Velveeta Cheese.  Velvet is a processed cheese product that's popular in the USA.  It tastes like American cheese.  The good thing about Velveeta is that it doesn't separate into an oily mess when you melt it so it's good for making hot cheese dips or cheese for nachos.  I've never seen it over here.  I removed it from the list because I no longer miss it.  I can't even imagine how many E's would be in this.  

Anytime you move to a new country there are going to be things that you miss from home.  That's not a bad thing.  Just make sure that you give ample opportunity to try all of the new things available.  I've been here long enough that I totally love Kofola but that doesn't mean that I don't ever want to go without have a Dr. Pepper again.  However, if you can't survive without Velveeta cheese then Czechland might not be the place for you.

Update:  Thanks to Jana who left a comment below I can remove macadamia nuts from the missing list.  Thanks Jana!


  1. Macadamia nuts have been available for years. Try in any Suché plody, e.g. on Česká. Or even at supermarkets I believe.