#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Harry's Bar de Ville at Bay Tinh, Marrickville » | 1000 posts prize giveaway: The lucky winners! » | Lowenbrau Keller, The Rocks, Sydney » | For the Love of Food: 50 of the World's Best Food ... » | Boon Chocolates, Darlinghurst » | Origami 101: DIY Chopstick Rest » | Wakana Yakiniku Restaurant, Artarmon » | Interview rescheduled » | Grab Your Fork goes live on air » | Salted chocolate and cranberry cookies »

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A quick trip to the US of A

Pop Tarts $8.95

Growing up on a diet of Judy Blume, Trixie Belden, Paul Zindel and Robert Cormier novels, it was always the paragraphs about American food that intrigued the most.

What were these magical treats called Tootsie Rolls, Twinkies and Kool-Aid? In an era pre-Internet--yes really!--these unknown mysteries could only be pictured in my imagination. For years I pictured a bowl filled with tracksuits when I read about families eating sloppy joe. And yep, I really did think of slippers when people munched on hushpuppies. What kind of crazy world did they live in?!?

Welch's Concord Grape Jelly 907g $12.95 and
Jif Peanut Butter 800g $14.95

These days, most of these mysteries have been cleared up, but my heart still skipped a beat when I noticed the latest installation of American products in the David Jones Food Hall on Market Street in the city. Clustered over two gondola ends (opposite the lifts and near the butchers) was a spectacle of treats imported by www.USAFoods.com.au.

Smucker's Goober Grape 510g $11.95
Peanut butter and grape jelly stripes

Oh the super sweet smoothness of Jif peanut butter. The crazy stripes of Goober peanut butter and jelly with which I once had an unhealthy obsession. I still remember when Pop Tarts first hit our shores. So bad for you, but from a teenager's perspective, oh so very goooood.

Bisquick $8.95

I agree. There's something a little disturbing about getting excited about a grocery aisle, but look, it's Bisquick! And here, there's corn syrup, in light and dark! And Crisco! Oh my god let me at those recipes with annoying hard-to-get American ingredients!

Karo Light Corn Syrup $7.95

Karo Dark Corn Syrup $7.95

French's French Fried Onions $6.95

I was quite fascinated with the can of French Fried Onions which sounded like powder when I shook it. Apparently it's a tasty replacement for bread crumbs. And the liquid smoke might come in handy the next time I want to cheat when making ribs in the oven?

Colgin Liquid Smoke $3.95

Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice $6.95
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix $2.25
Louisiana Hot Sauce $3.50

I've always considered the local supermarket as a valid tourist destination when travelling overseas. It also provides many of the most memorable and cheapest souvenirs!

Global credit crunch? You can visit the USA in your lunch hour, and come back with change.

Zatarain's New Orlean's Style Jambalaya Mix $6.95

Hershey's Syrup $5.95
Hershey's Cocoa $10.95

Victoria Hot & Spicy Vodka Sauce $11.95

Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening $7.95

View Larger Map

David Jones Food Hall
Basement, David Jones Market Street store

65-77 Market Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9266 5544

Open Sunday to Wednesday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 9pm
Friday 10am - 7pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm

The American products are currently being stocked
on the ends of two gondolas/aisles
between the butchers and the biscuit aisle, and opposite the lifts.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
David Jones Cheese and Antipasto Bar
David Jones Chocolate Counter
David Jones Food Hall weekday picnic
39 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/25/2009 01:10:00 am


  • At 2/25/2009 1:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    rofl (with glee) What a sense of deja vu...I saw Judy Blume and growing up -huh- sounds a lot like my childhood. I was forever curious about American food too - soundly so other-worldly and sophisticated (to a 12 year old). Pop Tarts and Hershey's - oh man - I miss those days.

    If you're ever in Melbourne, there's Misty's Diner, TGIF that serve US style food. Aaaannddd...[http://www.usafoods.com.au/] online candy/grocery store. (In case you're interested XD)

  • At 2/25/2009 1:43 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    LOL I was just at Sugar Fix at Castle Hill and squealing at a tin of Crisco! Can't imagine what everybody must've thought about me getting excited at vegetable shortening!

    Good on DJs for the influx of USA groceries but I'll only give them full credit if they stock peanut butter chips! I don't suppose you saw whether there was a supply of them? (I'm so desperate for some!)

  • At 2/25/2009 2:50 am, Blogger mae said…

    YAY! Oh I'm so excited that they've decided to stock their foods at a more accessible store (ie. David Jones City) Because USAFoods had a store out in Zone 3 Melbourne and one time during exams I had a CRAZY craving for POP-Tarts, I ordered a few boxes just to get me through exams. And it was agony!! waiting for them to arrive in the mail. ahaha.

    They were great. :) Thanks for this post, I wouldn't have known otherwise!

  • At 2/25/2009 3:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh cool, now I know where to find vegetable shortening for a lot of the recipes for biscuits and pie crusts.

    Thanks! :)

    I'd not thought of geeking out over unique grocery items as disturbing, at least amongst foodies. Until now...


    Were the posted photos the whole range of USA goods? :)

  • At 2/25/2009 6:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh the United States...land of corn syrup and boxed products...I'm so sorry this is what we have to offer you...

  • At 2/25/2009 7:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've always considered the local supermarket as a valid tourist destination when travelling overseas.

    I agree! I could (and would, and have) spend hours entertaining myself in a good supermarket overseas, though I have been asked (ordered, really) to stop taking photos too many times that I am now a little inhibited. But I love exploring them just the same.
    I mean, they eat that? Really? :)

  • At 2/25/2009 8:15 am, Blogger trishie said…

    Oh, what exciting finds! I am like you, i get really thrilled checking out different products at supermarkets, esp the ones overseas.

  • At 2/25/2009 8:43 am, Blogger aussiehen said…

    I still have an entire collection of the Trixie Belden series.
    I too am obsessed with the American food featured in these and other books. I love twinkies, root beer, Big Red, 5th Avenue bars...We had lunch at The Counter on Sunday and my peanut butter shake was amazing.

  • At 2/25/2009 9:00 am, Blogger shez said…

    oh! jambalaya mix! i've been looking for this ever since i saw the food safari goes usa episode :) and mmmm i second that unhealthy obsession with pop tarts & goober grape. i used to peanut-butter-&-jellify my sammiches all the time :)

  • At 2/25/2009 9:05 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    ahhhh thanks for this!! I usually order from their website, but knowing it's in David Jones Food Hall saves me the postage fee...
    Making a trip to the city on the weekend!

  • At 2/25/2009 9:19 am, Blogger Kris said…

    The fried onion things aren't really like breadcrumbs (but maybe the cans you saw had been shaken a lot!). They are pretty much used exclusively in a single recipe, which everyone in America has every Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole. I've never been a big fan myself.

    Jiffy baking mixes are great though. I miss them a lot. It kills me knowing that you can buy them at my Mom's grocery store for like 49c though.

  • At 2/25/2009 9:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yay! Corn syrup and bisquick! Now I can make candy....and deep fried oreos! ...but not today =_=;;
    From memory, the Sugar Fix store under Sydney Central/QVB sold crisco and poptarts, as well as a few other imported American products?

  • At 2/25/2009 9:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I so love checking out supermarket shelves. It is one of my favourite things to do when I'm overseas or in a shop that sells products from around the world.

    I love that you called it an installation, makes it sound like art work.

    Did they stock any breakfast cereals - Lucky charms, captin crunch?

  • At 2/25/2009 10:29 am, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    I can attest that just a few drops of that liquid wood smoke will make a barbeque taste faaabulous! And (omg!) I miss Trixie Belden and the Bob Whites...

  • At 2/25/2009 10:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OOh wwoow!! I've been DJ food hall so many times but never noticed all these American aisles!!

    Hee hee I am another supermarket/convenient store browsers. Especially in asia I love all the stuff you can get in their 7-11/Family Mart/OK etc etc...

    Mmmm Goober Grape ^^! I must try! and and hershey syrup, wahh so many I haven't heard of haha ooh Biaquick too

  • At 2/25/2009 10:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I too once had an unhealthy obsession with goober grape when I was young. so much so, that my mother ceased buying it for me, lest I turn into a peanut butter ball!

  • At 2/25/2009 12:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Eating sloppy joes and hush puppies does sound so ridiculous! I obviously haven't been exposed to enough American fiction. Some of these products will could be really useful for recipes.

  • At 2/25/2009 12:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh oh ohhhhhhhh!!! I am in heaven. Please tell me this is DJ's in Sydney?

    I lived in the US for a few years and there is so much that I crave.

    I totally agree with the supermarkes overseas being a tourist destination. Same goes for anything at all that I can take away. Hate the stupid food regulations in Australia, that stops you from having that last little bit of food from where ever you've been.

    I remember a time, my dad used to transit through Singapore and bring ups brown paper wrapped parcels of Mee Goreng! LOL

    Anyways, so glad to see all this American stuff and can't wait to go grab me some this weekend.

  • At 2/25/2009 1:14 pm, Blogger SoRMuiJAi said…

    OMG! Thanks for the heads up!! Too bad I only read this post after I had lunch, otherwise I would've spent my lunch break there! Tomorrow! :D

  • At 2/25/2009 1:37 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I've never met anyone else who read Trixie Belden. Awesome. And awesome food as well, as usual.

  • At 2/25/2009 4:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Totally agree with you all on visiting supermarkets whilst O/S, such a great destination! Once in alaska it was my first stop and I lost 3 hours in there! Will check out DJ's. Grits and chocolate covered pretzels are my favourite!


  • At 2/25/2009 7:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yum - some of those things look delicious, others ... well, hmm. :P I love pop tarts and it's taken me forever to find a shop that stocks them! Oh and as for Kool-Aid - I tried that once and oh my goodness, NEVER AGAIN. The amount of sugar in just one teaspoon was enough to send me into shock!

  • At 2/25/2009 8:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. Now I awkwardly feel as though I have been taking Pop Tarts for granted here in the States. If nothing else they're incredibly nostalgic for me.

    One thing that really stood out - are they really making people pay that much for Jiffy mix..?!

  • At 2/25/2009 10:11 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Wow - here I was wondering whether it was worth blogging a post about groceries and lo and behold, everyone's commenting in a frenzy of excitement. Love it. Keep it coming :)

    Hi Anon - American and English junkfood always sounded so "exotique". lol. And yes I've read about Misty's Diner - I will definitely have to look it up the next time I'm in Melbourne. Oh and I also amended the post to detail that all the items at DJs are imported by USA Foods - there was stickers all over the packaging.

    Hi Karen - For years I puzzled over what exactly did Crisco look like! I thought it looked like Copha and it was kept in the chiller cabinet.

    No there weren't any peanut butter chips, although maybe DJs will stock them if enough people petition? I practically photographed the entire range of products on offer :)

    Hi Mae - I presume you're in Sydney :) Have fun and I hope you don't go into a sugar coma from too many Pop Tarts!

    Hi Simon - I agree, finding a substitute for vegetable shortening always sounded too tricky. And yes, that's pretty much the entire range. They had some jars of Folger Coffee granules which I didn't bother posting.

    Hi Brittany - lol. It's bad but in an irresistible way. I think it's because as a kid you related to that craving for junkfood and the complete lack of fulfilment for Aussie kids only made these products more desirable!

    Hi Lili - I love a good overseas supermarket. The snacks aisle is always the most fun but freezers often offer the most intriguing things!

    Hi Trishiekoh - lol. I'm preaching to the converted of course, but ah, I enjoy shopping even at my local supermarket. So many goodies hidden in the International section!

    Hi AussieHen - I've been meaning to get to The Counter - it sounds like fun. I was so excited when I went to the USA recently and shopping in the sweets aisle was like stepping into the pages of a book. It's quite scary really, but oh it was fun!

    Hi Shez - Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I've been meaning to make Southern Fried Chicken after watching that episode too.

    Hi Juveler - Have fun! I wonder if there's going to be a sudden rush on DJs over the next few days?

    Hi Kris - Oh I see... maybe there was a bit of "contents settling during transit" - haha. I googled the site and they suggested using it as a tasty breadcrumb replacement. The green bean casserole looks so bizarre!

    I was tempted to buy the Jiffy mix but I ended up making corn muffins from scratch the other night and it was so quick and easy.

    Hi Chris - Deep-fried Oreos! Oh my!

    I have often browsed my way through Sugar Fix but usually I'm staring at the sweets! The import prices are a good deterrent for not indulging too often!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, I did pause on the word 'installation' but it just sounded so right :)

    No breakfast cereals alas. I photographed practically everything. I think I only skipped the Folger's coffee granules.

    Hi Belle - Hmmm I should go back and get some liquid smoke. It sounds so wrong but hey a little bit can't hurt? Trixie Belden was cool :)

    Hi FFichiban - I think it's quite a recent addition. And yes, supermarket browsing is always fun!

    Hi tummyrumble.net - lol. Sometimes I have peanut butter with strawberry jam. So good and always handy in the pantry to!

    Hi Arwen - For years I was perplexed by these mysteries. Perhaps it's a good thing you didn't agonise over various theories! It was exciting to find Crisco and corn syrup altho' as usual, once I've found the missing ingredients, I can't remember which recipes I'd found that needed them!

    Hi Shants - Yes indeedy this is the DJs in Sydney CBD.

    Australia does have strict quarantine rules but with good reason :) And hope you have fun this weekend - will there be anything left?!

    Hi SoRMuiJAi - lol. It would be funny if there's a sudden influx of customers at lunchtime tomorrow. Maybe you will all bump into each other and say hi :)

    Hi Yas - lol. I wanted freckles like Trixie Belden. haha. I always preferred Trixie Belden to Nancy Drew. I have my older sister to thank for getting into them.

    Hi Noodlehead - There were no grits or chocolate-covered pretzels (you think I wouldn't have photographed that if it was available!?!). I've made my own chocolate-covered pretzels though - quite easy, esp if you do it in front of the telly :)

    Hi Katie - I remember when Pop Tarts used to be available at all supermarkets. Maybe it's a good thing they're not stocked so widely! I still haven't tried Kool-Aid but I remember American kids revered it with deep fervour. From your description, I can understand why!

    Hi orangehennesey - I remember Pop Tarts were available in Aust in the early 90s but I think they were phased out?

    And lol, import anything and the prices go up dramatically. I remember almost crying with pain at having to pay ridiculous amounts for imported (Australian) Cherry Ripes, Burger Rings, Twisties and Shapes in the UK.

  • At 2/25/2009 11:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, wow, DJ's stock comes from USA Foods? hmm...no wonder it seemed jacked up a little (the prices). XD I have yet to make a trip to Misty's Diner, but it sounds so authentically American haha....I think I read and watch too much American-cultured media. Yeah, I have to say, I'm so glad you decided to post this. I don't feel so weird now, about my secret yearning for American goods - everything seems cooler on tv. I really really want to go to a baseball/football game to experience that whole adrenalin rush..and maybe the food as well? ^^

  • At 2/26/2009 3:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Helen, I guess it depends on the subject matter as well. I don't think a post on the obligatory mexican food aisle in Woolworths would inspire the same level of interest.

    Then again, who knows. There may be a lot of grocies out there, obsessed with anything grocery-related :)

    Also, speaking of products being phased out, one thing that I would like to see a revival of is Snappel.

  • At 2/26/2009 6:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh at David Jones this is???
    PopTart has a s'more flavour that I used to eat like there's no tomorrow!

    It's quite interesting that some variations of products are not available in Australia.. I want my frosted Cheerios!!

  • At 2/26/2009 8:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cheers for the heads up. My workmates always order from USAFoods but postage is annoying. Nice of DJ's to stock this stuff so close to work. Smucker's Goober Grape is a fav of mine, but I have known to put some nutella on it too (bad bad!)

  • At 2/26/2009 6:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This post takes me back to the hours i'd stroll around in Wal-mart, and Phu would be like hurry up, its only a supermarket!!! hehe
    I think i bought my family a jar of that goober jelly for U.S$2.50. Those mark-ups are crazy!!!

  • At 2/27/2009 12:08 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - I would love to go to Misty's Diner, and yes American culture is ingrained in us from all angles it seems!

    Hi Simon - Gosh I remember Snapple. I miss my Dr Pepper too!

    Hi Yas - I still haven't tried a s'more. I must make them sometime.

    Hi Howard - I think I remember that post :) And Nutella on Goober? Wow, that is hardcore!

    Hi Chibbiest Chan - lol. I can just picture it. You should've said "at least I'm not taking photos." :)

  • At 2/27/2009 9:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    P.S If you ever want a good recipe for using liquid smoke, let me know. I have an excellent recipe for Kahlua Pork (Hawaiian) the liquid smoke is the secret ingredient!


  • At 2/28/2009 12:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You should know, that French's Fried Onion are, quite possibly, the best american food ever. Being american, I've tried a lot of our food and French's ranks near the top. It's true, you can use them to bread things like chicken and pork chops (like a sub for bread crumbs) or you can get totally "Betty Crocker" and make green bean casserole with french's fried onions on top. This is a dish so delicious, you don't want to miss out!

  • At 2/28/2009 10:04 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    man, i went to DJs on friday, so looking forward to a box of jiffy's corn muffin mix, and everything was sold out! there were just a couple of jars of peanut butter, and one tin of hershey's cocoa left. the only shelf still completely filled was of crisco. :(

  • At 3/01/2009 8:18 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Noodlehead - Ooh sounds great. I've heard amazing things about Hawaiian-style pork. Do tell!

    Hi Rachel - You have me intrigued now. I might have to pick up some French Onions for research purposes!

    Hi Bowb - Wow, really? That's so disappointing. Hopefully the shelves will be restocked soon!

  • At 3/03/2009 4:55 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    Great post!!! Those groceries look amazing, hehe.

    Last time I saw a tub of Chrisco was in a sex shop with my friend (who wasn't nearly as dorky as me). When I saw it, I exclaimed, "OOH I could fry chicken with that!".

    Obviously not the purpose for which it is sold in that shop. Hehe.

    xox Sarah

  • At 3/11/2009 11:00 am, Blogger Lily Jane said…

    Haha, so funny to see the things y'all think are so different over there. :) Very cool. There are a lot of things I think are bizarre from The Oz, though, too!

  • At 3/11/2009 9:34 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sarah - Crisco in a sex shop? Really?!? I think I would've have the same reaction. The mind, er, boggles!

    Hi Lily - I agree. That's the best thing about travelling - the joy in everything that is different :)

  • At 12/13/2010 4:14 pm, Anonymous Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said…

    How good are those Pop Tarts? And all those Hershey products too! That's my idea of a sweet fix!

  • At 7/28/2012 5:27 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I'm an American living in Australia for nearly 9 years now, and I'm glad for USA foods when I need specific products from home - the Fried Onions are more of a casserole topper so in that sense they're a breadcrumb substitute if you like those. A common recipe that requires them is our famous green been casserole - they're so good. Liquid smoke is called for in lots of Cajun style meals, and I highly recommend the Zatarains mixes - especially Red Beans and Rice, Black Beans and Rice, and of course Jambalaya, but they're all really good. Just wish it didn't cost so much to have them shipped, so you're lucky that DJ carries them where you are.


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts