There are some things that the US are famous for. One is that they have one of the highest numbers of overweight people – something I cannot confirm based on my experiences. Another thing is that they have food that will make you overweight, and that, well, I can confirm, not because I gained weight, but because the food was delicious.
I know I mentioned it before, but burgers are awesome. So naturally, when I entered the country that (as far as I know) invented the burger, I had to eat burgers, and lots of them. I ate the burger at the Irish Pub we frequented, and at Whiskey’s, and at Shake Shack, where I also tried the cheese fries, and I had a wonderful fish burger in a small restaurant in Provincetown during the day trip to Cape Cod. I really, REALLY love burgers, I guess.
I cannot recommend Shake Shack – the burgers are dry, the cheese fries taste old, and the staff (at least the ones on Newbury Street) seem entirely incapable of getting your name right, even when you spell it out to them. I will never stop laughing about that one occasion where I was re-christened Mary, Lena was Gina, and Nils (which is a very German name, I will admit) was always Neil.
One thing I did not know the US are really good at is cake. I used to think the best cake can be found in Vienna, Austria, but I was proven wrong, and how thankful am I! I had a language student who was so thankful that she could practice her German with me for free that she brought me all kinds of great things like cookies and pretzels. And then one day she came in with this package in her hand, and she smiled at me and said, “I hope you’re hungry” and told me to bring plates and forks, and when I did, she unpacked the best cake in the whole wide world: Boston Cream Pie. Honestly, it was SO good. If you ever come across the opportunity to try Boston Cream Pie, Jesus Christ, do it. Do not hesitate! It was so delicious. I wish I still remembered the name of the bakery so I could give it to you, but I forgot. Well, it must be someplace between Brookline and Back Bay. Anyways. The cake!
The other great piece of cake I had at the Cheese Cake Factory. Who knew it actually exists? I really thought it was a made-up thing from The Big Bang Theory! I know, naïve little German girl. Anyways, I did not eat cheese cake, even though I was at the Cheese Cake Factory, because, while I do like cheese cake, I LOVE chocolate cake, so I asked the waitress which chocolate cake she could recommend, and because American waiters are the best, she gave me the best recommendation. Actually that night was pretty terrible (I was on the most awkward, most terrible date of my life, but that is a stroy for another day), but that cake was an absolute highlight. And, like most American portions, it was such a giant piece of cake I only managed to eat half of it and took the other half home with me.
In my time in the US, I basically lived off of burgers, bagels and chocolate chip cookies. Healthy diet, right? I really need to add a few other things to it that I would not get the chance to in Germany. I made a list: 1) Dunkin’ Donuts, 2) HoHos, 3) Twinkies.
1) Dunkin’ Donuts: Yes, we do have Dunkin’s in Germany, but I wanted to eat a real American donut while in America, so I did that. And it was delicious. Life is short! One donut should be allowed.
2) HoHos: I am relatively sure we do not have those in Germany, which is a shame, because they were really good. I do not want to think about the calories I ingested, but I could have easily gone through a whole box of those. Yummy!
3) Twinkies: Now, these I am absolutely certain we do not have in Germany. They probably contain some ingredients that are against the law here or something. I would have been tempted to keep one around for a couple years, just to test the Twinkie myth. Do they really last forever? I will never know. Because I ate them.
My host mother bought them for me as a hangover remedy after I had partied (a little too hard) one night, which was really nice of her. I had told her I really wanted to try a Twinkie because we do not have them in Germany and I had heard a lot about them.
As for the taste, I do not know why anyone would make a big fuss about them. They did not taste bad, but they did not taste good, either… they were kind of tasteless, I guess. Meh.
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