Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What We Imported!

It goes without being said that things are very expensive in Switzerland. Rob and I have resisted buying the little things in life because the hole they leave in your wallet is not so little. We took the opportunity (like most expats visiting their home country) to bring back a bunch of little things that we miss about our American life.

Here's our list -

1. Ice Tea Mints from Target
2. 3 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Land of chocolate - but chips can only be found in the American store at a rip off price)
3. 40 flour tortillas from Trader Joes (When we got back we vacuum sealed them and froze them in packs of 2)
4. BBQ Sauce (not impossible - but we bought the good stuff)
5. Cholula Hot Sauce - We couldn't find the big bottles in Manhattan so we settled for the small stuff.
6. Non Stick Cooking Spray
7. Peanut Butter (Organic with Roasted Flaxseeds and Omega 3) All I have seen in Switzerland is Jiffy.
8. 3 bags dried black beans (not impossible to find here - but not easy either)
9. 20 boxes of Trader Joes Indian Food (quick easy cheap $2 dinners)
10. Aveeno Lotion (about 100% cheaper then stuff here)
11. Shower Curtain and Liner - $10. Comparison CH price - $25 CHF
12. 6 blocks of Cheddar Cheese
13. Chinese style rolling pin found in Chinatown. (This is too improve my dumpling wrapper skills Mom!)
14. Ceramic Mandolin Slicer (I've always wanted one) $25 - Compare it to Swiss 60 CHF.
15. Ice Cube Trays
16. Iron On Sewing Tape (Hard to find item here and super cheap in the US)
17. Paper Pad and NotePad from Target's doll er spot
18. Round Cookie Cutters (Again to make my dumplings skins better shaped
19. Dumpling Press (I had dumplings on my mind)
20. Arm Band for Ipod while working out (On sale at target for $10)
21. Nail File (cheaper in US)
22. Shaving Cream (Cheaper in US)
23. Thread (Cheaper in US)

We were not successfull in finding a few items -

1. Flaming Hot Cheetos. Apparently, this is a US region by region item. We searched every major grocery, and convenience store we came across. Nothing. I was actually surprised by the lack of chip selection in the Northeast.

2. Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. The kind that is wrapped in black plastic. It is a step above the red (sharp) and yellow (mild) cheddar made by Tillamook. We ended up settling for item number 12 above.


Jackie February 18, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

Haha! Every time people come visit us, we make them bring us several things on the list. Maybe I can help suggest where to get a few of those items here?

On Mexican food, like tortillas--we just discovered there was a great mexican food stand at the saturday market in Bern. I know, a little far, but if you want to go to Bern, make it a Saturday morning and stock up on tortillas (they come vacuum-packed and they're really good!), queso blanco, salsa, and refried beans.

Non sticking cooking spray exists but is not in the baking section. I've seen it in coop and migros. there is only one brand, which comes in a small yellow aerosol bottle. Go check where you see condiments, I think.

Migros carries one brand of peanut butter, and it is not bad, though it is not as good as what you bought, I'm sure. Try looking by the honey. It's got a yellow label and top.

Manor has dried black beans in bags.

Random alimentation general convenience stores owned by Indians have those vacuum-packed Indian food things, obviously not Trader Joe's brand, but not bad. There is one such place on Rue de Lausanne in Geneva, about 7 min walk north of Gare Cornavin, and it has the word "Monsoon" in the name of the store. Lots of other Indian food supplies there, if you're interested.

We have found one brand of cheddar cheese at Migros, hiding discretely amongst all the gruyere, and I know Manor and Coop carry some at their cheese counters.

...hope that was helpful if you want to get any more of this kind of stuff.

Pumpkin February 19, 2009 at 4:52 AM  

I, too, have found non-sticking spray at Coop. Also, I found chocolate chips the last time I was in my village Coop. I am not sure if they were always there and I never noticed or if it is a new item.

That is great that you got so many things at a good price!

MrsTina February 19, 2009 at 5:18 AM  

Haha - Apparently I don't look for cooking spray hard enough. Probably because I almost always shop at Migros and not the CoOp.

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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