by Melinda Gallo

Home sick for American goodies?

Well, I'm not home sick right now, but I can easily be tempted to buy a few American items, like Doritos, peanut butter, root beer, and few other things eventually. In via Ghibellina a new shop has just opened called, Sam's Market. They sell lots of American and imported items to all of us expats who have our cravings.

I only bought a box of Cream of Rice (only because the kind they sell here is marketed for babies and I couldn't bring myself to buy baby food!) and Ziplock baggies. I was tempted to buy a huge Costco-sized jar peanut butter, but I just couldn't eat that much of it. I had thought of surprising Dave with some Pop-Tarts, but they didn't have the cinnamon ones that he likes.

I met the guy who opened it and a British woman who was working there with him. His first question to me was if I was Hispanic. It almost made me laugh since just a few minutes before I was in an erboristeria (herbalist shop) and a man came up to me and asked, "Posso chiederti da dove vieni?" (Can I ask you where you come from?) And when I told him that I was from California, he sounded almost disappointed. He thought I was South American. He did tell me that he and his wife (who was working in the shop) were in Berkeley, so they wanted to know which town I was from. I usually like to be less specific because who really knows Sunnyvale? I told them San Jose.

I told the two at Sam's Market that what I really can't find is Cheddar cheese and bagels (for Dave). They said they'd see what they could do. They did tell me that I was the umpteenth person who asked for Cheddar cheese. If I knew how to make it, I'd make it and sell it here myself!

They also told me that soon they'll be making food that people can buy/snack on, like chili dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc. I'll have to go back with Dave some time; I'm sure he'd love a good chili dog! And while we're there, I might get a package of Oreos too.

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