The land of unlimited [im]possibility

Sometimes it really baffles me how in the world there are certain things you cannot buy in the US, the land of unlimited opportunity and possibility, without a tremendous amount of effort.
I could talk about the non-existence of any kind of bread that would pass my nitpicking examination. [I am very particular when it comes to bread!] without drawing a breath, and I have before!, but this weekend I tried to find something completely different: semolina.

You would think that you should easily be able to find a common wheat product like this is any supermarket, but believe me, I was far from it!
After I had searched the baking goods isle and also every other isle that could possibly hold this product, I finally retreated to ask one of the friendly cassiers if she could help me find “semolina”.  Woah. The woman looked at me as if I was asking for something completely unheard-of.
After consulting another cassier, she half-told-half-asked me if semolina wasn’t considered a “health food item” and that I could try to get it at the Natural Foods Co-op. And with a smirk she added, “We don’t sell this”.

The Natural Foods Co-op is a somewhat alternative supermarket with lots of natural and fresh, healthful products. It was the only place where I could find somewhat coarse flour for my bread-baking adventures back in LA. It is also obviously the only place where you can find semolina. In bulk after all!

Much to my delight, the also had “rye bread”. I mean, “real” rye bread. Bread that can easily satisfy my test criteria. It looks like the Co-op could become a regular shopping place for me once again :)

The semolina pudding that I prepared after I returned home from my shopping adventures turned out delicious. And since I was in experimenting mood, I also tried to cook my Mom’s bread dumplings for dinner. The turned out great as well – taste-wise. I think I still have to work on the texture a little bit. The dumplings were more “mashed” than anything, because they fell apart in the hot water. Oh well.

Besides that, the weekends was quiet and relatively uneventful – except for
a) wet feet (twice!), because J wanted to go walking in the rain,

b) a bargain purchase of a new Champion’s sports bra [TMI?! *haha*] and

c) the discovery of a new nail salon that I really like :)

  1. Oh my, I can so hear you! Whenever I’m fed up with not finding stuff here, J tells me that I probably didn’t look everywhere yet. It seems to work like that on your side of the world as well!

  2. they don’t even have it at trader joe’s? well, i don’t usually need semolina except for cheesecake, so… the bread-problem would be a lot more dramatic for me ;) but it’s definitely good to have you find out where to get just about everything we germans need, so i can just ask you when we live in the US in the future… :D

  3. PS: do they even have a co-op in illinois?

  4. hehe. i love semolina, i eat it all the time. did you ever try cream of wheat? i love that too! bread dumplings sounds delicious.sorry about your wet feet and hurray for a sports bra! :)

  5. I hear you about the limited varieties of grains. Think about American bread. Most of it is white and very soft. Just spreading peanut butter causes a tear. I think the thing I miss most about Germany is the great breads!

  6. Gosh, the lack of good bread would so bother me, too… the semolina not so much.
    I am happy, that you found bread you like, sounds wonderful. :)

  7. yeah, that sucks the most about the us, the quality of food and missing out on so many good things. there are certain ingredients that you just need for certain meals and you simply can’t find em… i was once on the discovery of “zigeunersausse”… and it was fun to discribe it;-)

  8. When we were in Alabama we were searching Amazon for some sort of honey that isn’t made anymore. It’s bizarre how so many stores don’t carry so many items.

  9. Have you ever tried Whole Foods? Not sure about semolina but they sure have GREAT bread!

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