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Thanksgiving Celebrations

 

Thanksgiving is just two days away. Two! We’re not sure on where the beginning of this year went and how we’ve got here already. Now in the U.K there may be one or two people who don’t quite understand Thanksgiving and why its such a big deal to those in the States. We’re here to clear up the meaning behind this celebration and give some facts which may surprise a few faces.

So, Why is Thanksgiving Celebrated?

Well, it all came around as a way of celebration for the Harvest of the preceding year and thanks for the Sacrifice made. Its a day where family and friends gather together and feast on Turkey, Pumpkin Pie and other wholesome foods. They watch the Football, drinks and socialise. The first recorded Thanksgiving  was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and around 50 pilgrims. A 3 day feast is something to be remembered.

 

 

On average, 46 million turkeys are consumed every year on Thanksgiving! It is almost considered to be blasphemous to not have turkey at your Thanksgiving feast. Its like having Christmas in the U.K without ‘The Fairy Tale of New York’ being played every day for one and half months before the days. There would be an uproar. They go together and that’s the end of it.

 

 

Talking of turkeys – get this. Every year the President of the United States of America Pardons a Turkey. One Turkey is lucky enough to see another day. In fact, some of these Turkeys go on to do some pretty crazy things. Did you know that previously the pardoned Turkey, ended up going to Disneyland to serve as grand marshal in their annual Thanksgiving parades!?

 

 

We feel as if Thanksgiving is a day we could all get involved in celebrating. Here at the American Grocery Store, we have everything you’d need to make your day and feast just as enjoyable as the real thing! So, this Thursday, put on your extra stretchy trousers (almost 4,500 calories are consumed per person) and kick your feet up. Celebrate like a true American and give thanks for all you are grateful for.

Bet you didn’t know this about Tootsie Roll!

Tootsie Roll fun facts you can sink your teeth into!

 

 

1. Tootsie rolls were the success behind the escape during the Korean War.

 

Surrounded by Korean and Chinese forces, the First Marine Division called in for an airdrop of ‘Tootsie Rolls’.  This didn’t go to plan due to a costly misunderstanding.  ‘Tootsie Rolls’ were a code name for mortar shells – which is what wanted…Instead they got boxes of the real Tootsie Rolls! All is not lost at this point. Word has it that this boosted the spirits of the troops and helped them through the harsh, freezing environments! It’s even said to have been a great tool for fixing leaks in there fuel lines. Troops were able to chew the candy and stick over any holes!

 

 

 

2. We have 2 new Tootsie Roll theatre boxes in stock for you to try!

 

3. The brain behind the candy named them after his daughter.

Tootsie roll have been a big player and have been ever present in the candy world. A simple candy that stole the heart of a nation. Hard caramel and chocolate became a staple for all in the states.  Invented by Leo Hirschfield, sold out of his small candy shop they soon grabbed attention of many. Story has it that they are named after his daughter, Clara, who’s nickname was Tootsie.

 

 

4. They were a staple in every US troops rations during World War II.

 

When you think about the type of food that soldiers need during intense wars you’ll soon realise that a Tootsie Roll is the perfect on the go candy. The troops would be tired and mentally drained too. They’d need a quick source of energy and something that will last a long time. This choice of candy turned out to be a life saver. A U.S pilot whose plane crashed over the sahara after being shot down survived for 3 days on his rations of the chewy sweet. Life lesson – Always make sure you pack some Tootsie Rolls!

 

5. The factories produce a phenomenal about per day.

 

How many you ask? Up to 64 MILLION individual pieces per day! That works out to be near 740 pieces per second…not bad at all.

 

 

 

How to celebrate 4th July in real American style!

The independence of America is celebrated every year, just as we would in the UK for Christmas! So what is the history of this great American Holiday and how can you celebrate it?

 

  1. First thing first – The Declaration of Independence wasn’t actually signed on July 4th…Historians believe that the signing with all the delegates being present most likely never happened. They also conclude that the date is probably closer to 2nd August. So in actual fact July 4th is a celebration of the adoption of the Declaration, not the signing of.
  2. The first state to recognise this as a national holiday was Massachusetts in 1781. Other states then began following suit until it eventually was celebrates nationally.
  3. It’s a big celebration, which in turn means its a big day for food! Did you know that a ridiculous amount of Hot Dogs are eaten? Around 150 million Hot Dogs are consumed every year! 150 MILLION!!!
  4. Talking of food. With this being a key part of the parties – an astronomical amount is also spent on the food and beverages. $6.7 billion when all is said and done, according to the National Retail Federation.

 

So as you may be able to tell – a huge part celebrating July 4th is the food and the drink. Personally, we see nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate and join in with the traditions…but!!! If you’re going to do it and join in, then you had best do it right! Luckily for you – we’re here to help!

 

How to Celebrate!

 

When you think of American traditions, these few words should come to your mind. ‘BIG’ ‘BOLD’ and ‘PROUD’. We want you to get creative with your celebrations and bask in the American glory.

 

Nothing says July 4th party as much a BBQ…What do you need for an awesome BBQ?

Sauces and dressings

Rubs

Drinks

Desserts

 

Stubbs Dr Pepper Sauce

 

 

 

 

Stubbs – Dr Pepper BBQ sauce. Deep smoky flavour with the after taste of the Dr Pepper you know and love!

 

 

 

 

 

shake n bake bbq glaze

 

 

Shake ‘N Bake offers you a rub/glaze like no other! Spice up your chicken and cook in this great BBQ rub!

 

 

 

Image result for dr pepper vanilla float

 

 

We have a great variety of soft drinks! However, for this special day, we’d recommend Dr Pepper Vanilla Float!

 

 

 

Image result for betty crocker cake mix red velvet

 

 

Nothing says classic American dessert like a Red Velvet Cake. Decorate it with Red, Blue and White Sprinkles to finish!

National Taffy Day

Laffy Taffy logo

Taffy has been around since the 19th century. America calls it Taffy, over here in the United Kingdom we call it toffee.

With today being May 23rd 2019 – this tasty, chewy candy is celebrated all over America. Its become a staple in the American candy games and is loved by all who have tried it…if you haven’t tried it, please, do yourself a flavour! ( Carry on reading – we’ll give our favourite flavours for you to try).

So where does Taffy come from, you ask?

As we said, the candy has been around since the 1800’s and since then its been developed and modified time and time again to you the best possible tasting taffy there is.

The chewy rope, is a mixture of ingredients, mainly sugar and butter or some type of vegetable oil. The two ingredients are boiled together to create a very sticky substance. In years past, the taffy would then be stretched by hand. The process is labor intensive, and machines complete the process of pulling the taffy today.

Many consider Atlantic City, USA, to be the home of Taffy. Many tourists flock there after one thing, a great souvenir of Taffy.

Did you know…

taffy bite sized candy

Are you aware that ‘Salt Water Taffy’ is a thing? Nobody really understands why or how this came about, but the story we know is a good one. One stormy day, the seas were battering Atlantic City causing all sorts of flooding and damages. One good thing to come from this, however, is the ‘Salt Water Taffy’.

The story goes that after the storms died down, a young girl went in search for some Taffy. Everything in the shop was drenched in sea water. She asked the owner for some Taffy and he told her ‘go ahead, take some salt water taffy’. Turns out it was a huge hit with everyone and is now a staple flavour…of course, not made in the same way.

Modern Times

With Taffy being so popular and demand only increasing year after year, technology has had to try and keep up. There are hundreds of flavours, there’s seasonal flavors and designs too. Machinery now in place means that 1000 pieces are made every minute. That means every hour, enough is being produced to cover 1/3 of Atlantic City…

Take a look at our availability and varies on offer. Our personal favourites are ‘Blue Raspberry’ and ‘Mystery Swirl’.

For more information on taffy and our source, please visit:
https://candyfunhouse.ca/blogs/around-the-funhouse/secrets-facts-taffy

National Chocolate Chip Day – One for the diary.

These days it seems to have become a rarity that we find something that is loved universally. Yesterday marked ‘National Chocolate Chip Day’, we want to share with you the history and best loved snacks formed from Chocolate Chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It seems to be a common pattern that the things we love most, we often were never looking for. This goes for chocolate chips also. Until the 1930’s, chocolate chips hadn’t had a thought conceived. This all changed in 1937, with thanks to Ruth Wakefield.

As the story goes, Ruth Wakefield, whilst baking in the Toll House Inn (Massachusetts), she wanted to melt chocolate into her cookies that she planned on serving. She soon realised that the chocolate was not melting as she intended – born was the chocolate chip and with it, the chocolate chip cookie!

Word spread like a wildfire about Ruth’s cookies, so much so that she was eventually approached by corporate companies! on this occasion, Nestle took the crown, and even put on their packaging the recipe that Ruth herself used. The name of these cookies? ‘Toll House’.

Toll house chocolate chip

Since 1937, choc chips have been used in almost every dessert created and with this have improved the majority along the way!

Chocolate chips are easily accessible and because of this, we challenge you to try and add them to each meal/snack as part of your day!

Ideas:

Breakfast – Chocolate chip pancakes

Afternoon Snack – Chocolate chip cookies

Dessert – Add to ice cream or even yoghurt!

Get creative and take advantage of all the different chocolate chips available…milk, dark, butterscotch, white, rainbow! You name it, it exists!

Take a look at our baking items and get inspired!

Here’s to you, Ruth!

The best ways to celebrate National Pretzel Day

April 26th, 2019 – National Pretzel day for our friends in the United States. It seems only fair that we inform our audience on this great celebration, how it is celebrated and why it exists.

So kick your feet up, grab a cup of coffee and pretzel

A brief history of the Pretzel

Nobody knows the exact date of invention or where the pretzel came from. That’s not to say we don’t have our hunches. A lot of resources point to a rather religious background – European Monks.

It is said that the Pretzel began its journey with thanks to European Monks and a need to rid of excess dough. With the need to rid of the dough, the first pretzel was born. They then continued and became almost a reward for young children which learnt their prayers. Perhaps the reason we love them so much is because the sweet, warm, soft dough has been stitched into our DNA?

A reason for why this European Monk theory is very realistic is due to the shape and design of pretzels. If you study them closely, you will notice the following: They look as if they are a pair of hands praying. Some say that the 3 holes created by the twists and turns of the dough are even there to represent The Holy Trinity.

So then, throughout time, as more and more knots were tied, word of the pretzel spread and became ever more present in everyday life. Fast forward to modern day and everywhere you look, regardless of your location, be it Europe of the United States, you can bet your money that you’re not far away from a pretzel.

Fun Facts

1993! The first pretzel museum opened! A 7-minute film, demonstration of championship hand twisting at 57 per minute and tasting were highlights.

April 26th, 2003 – National Pretzel day was declared by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. A day in which the importance and history of the pretzel is celebrated all across the U.S!

In fact, Pretzels have become so popular that Americans eat around two pounds of pretzels each year, but Philadelphians eat an average of twelve pounds per year. That’s a lot of pretzel.

Philadelphia Pretzel Museum

Pretzels come in all shapes and sizes, we love them all equally…

They started life as a large, soft and warm twisted dough treat for young children. Now there are a huge number of pretzel variety and an even larger list of recipes to be found.

However you enjoy your pretzels – the American Grocery Store has you covered…except from fresh…we’re not bakers!

Flipz are best known for their sweet treat pretzels. They come in a great range of flavours, including; ‘Milk Chocolate’, ‘White Fudge’, ‘Dark Chocolate’ and even ‘Birthday Cake’.

Ever Tried Snyders Pretzels before? They come in 2 styles – crushed pieces or crisps! All flavours are savoury and come in a variety of flavours, including; Honey Mustard & Onion and Jalapeno!

Take a look at our range of Pretzels!

Game of Cookies – Game of Thrones themed Oreos

Game of Thrones has returned for their 8th and final season. A series we all looked forward to and a show we never wish to end. But, as the saying goes – ‘All good things must come to an end’.

We’ve seen unlikely heroes rise to the occasion, and characters that you may not have liked to begin, form a special place in your heart. It’s very rare for a show to be able to capture fans from all over the world, and have everyone so heavily invested. As the curtain draws close, we welcome all the great and creative collaborations from Game of Thrones and brands internationally.

Creative Collaborations.

In appreciation of Game of Thrones, and the following it has gained, brands across the world pay homage to the show. We have listed our favourite collaborations so far.

Johnnie Walker Whiskey – launched an array of whiskeys based off of each of the houses from the show. Our favourite – White Walker Whiskey. Best served from the freezer!

Urban Decay – Designed Game of Thrones Themed makeup sets inspired by destinations throughout Westeros. No matter the industry, you can get creative.

Adidas Running: Released limited edition trainers/sneakers based on the Game of Thrones 7 Kingdoms. Check them out here.

Mountain Dew – Power to the people. Asking their followers, ‘what would you give up for the throne?’ Mountain Dew sacrificed their labelling and produced these limited edition cans! Great work

Winter is coming! So too are Game of Thrones themed Oreos.

Oreo, you have done it again. Time after time we are gifted glorious oreos in limited edition flavours and shapes. What a treat this collaboration is!

Oreo, partnering up with the guys and girls at HBO, have produced yet another masterpiece. Everything about these look great! From the packaging to the cookie design – amazing!

These will be available as of the 1st May from the American Grocery Store. Keep an eye out for the official sale release!

Whilst you’re here – why not check out our available Oreo options.

National Licorice Day

National Liquorice Day was created in 2004. A day in which the wonders of liquorice in all shapes and sizes are celebrated. We underwent some intensive research on this topic and were amazed to find out that how liquorice has evolved, and just how many of our confectionery items are liquorice based.

We have decided to break down our research and put it to paper…or computer? Here are our favourite facts about liquorice that you may not know!

Are you aware?

1.

Records show that in England, liquorice dates back to the 16th century! We believe the reason for this is that Dominican monks brought liquorice to Britain and became established around Pontefract in Yorkshire. If this holds true, us fans, are all very thankful for the gift.

2.

From Ancient Greece to Rome, to China and more, liquorice has been used for its medicinal powers. Even today we are still using this in our medicine and treatments. So not only is liquorice extremely tasty, it’s also got some healing powers! Continue reading to view some medicinal benefits that hold true to this day!

3.

Napoleon Bonaparte found liquorice soothing during battle; he allegedly ate so much of it that his teeth turned black. That’s a lot of liquorice…Apparently liquorice has been used in battle when Alexander the Great would lead his troops. He used it as a solution for whenever there was a shortage of water!

4.

The ancient Egyptians used it as a pharmaceutical; supplies were even found in King Tut’s tomb. Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of liquorice as a popular beverage among the men of the time. Herbal Tea, anyone?

5.

The liquorice plant, a shrub, is in fact officially a weed. It is about four feet tall with purplish flowers and grows in hot, dry places. Keep your eyes open people, you can even try chewing the bark should you wish!

Read this if you want to improve your health!

Health is a topic which will always bring in fads. ‘Eat this and you’ll gain six pack abs’…It’s inevitable. However, a ‘fad’ will always come and will always go. We have access to all the knowledge we need and it’s so much easier to disprove things.

A constant, however, has been herbal ingredients and their medicinal benefits. Liquorice is one of these ingredients. Its agreeable throughout the medical and fitness industries as having a beneficial value. This is not a post from us saying these benefits will show for yourself…It’s more an educational statement from history and our findings on the internet.

Dating back to 360 A.D. There was talk of liquorice helping eye ailments, skin diseases, coughs, and loss of hair. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar are on record as endorsing the benefits of eating licorice. Since the 14th century, it has been used to soothe coughs, colds, and bronchitis.

Here are a benefits that have been researched and studied that stem from the use of liquorice:

Aphthous Ulcers or Canker Sores

Liver Protection

Stomach Disorders

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Neurological Disorders

Should you wish to read more on this subject – please follow this link:
https://www.organicfacts.net/licorice.html

Celebrate National Liquorice Day with us!

We have an abundance of liquorice and liquorice sweets for our customers to feast on! Take a look below at some of our favourites.

Mike and Ike

Hot Tamales

Twizzlers

Red Vines

The ‘F’ Word you can say in front of your parents – Fanta!

Reports around the United Kingdom say that we are in for a 6 week heatwave. Depending on how you look at this it’s either welcomed news or concerning news. If reports are true, we are all set to make the most of the weather. At the American Grocery Store we believe nothing says ‘relaxation’ quite like a chilled Fanta straight from the fridge.

Is This Real Life Or Is It Just FANTAsy…

Fanta is a drink which has its roots buried deep into German soil. What became one of the most in demand drinks of our time, began it’s life during World War 2. World War 2 triggered the parent company, Coca-Cola, into not being able to supply its syrup to German factories. As a result of this, to keep the Coca-Cola name alive in Germany, the only option they had left was to create their own soft drink. Fanta was born.

Derived from the German word Fantasie, the factories were in need of hope and imagination to carry on producing a drink that the public would love. To this day, Orange – the original flavour, is still the most popular flavour sold and is available in over 180 countries.

Fanta’s growth kept on and on and more and more flavours were slowly introduced to the public. We are very fortunate now-a-days as there are 70 flavours available. Now if you live in the United Kingdom, Fanta don’t have a whole load of flavours to try.

Step in The American Grocery Store…We have many flavours available for you to purchase and be delivered to your doorstep. You needn’t look any further. We have devised a list of our top sellers, there’s no need to shop around for which is the most popular flavour. It’s here, under your nose!

Here are our best selling Fanta flavours…

Fanta Berry

Fanta Berry: Our most popular of the Fanta range. Our customers are initially attracted by the bright blue packaging, then fall in love with the fruity-berry flavours bursting out of the can in every mouthful.

Fanta Grape

Fanta Grape: Anything electric blue, or grape flavoured are always going to be best sellers. This was a very close shout for the number one spot! A very sweet and crisp tasting soda, perfect refreshment for our incoming heatwave.

Fanta Strawberry

Fanta Strawberry: A sweet and authentic taste. Not too many strawberry flavoured drinks around and we’re not quite sure as to why? We think its brilliant!

Fanta Green Apple

Fanta Green Apple: So refreshing, so crisp, so appley? Put down the Tango apples and make way for our favourite apple flavoured soda on the market!

Fanta Pineapple

Fanta Pineapple: Again, similar to strawberry, not too many of these sodas on the market. A perfect balance of sweet and exotic in a bright yellow can. Sure to get noticed!

We understand that this may have left you feeling quite excited, thirsty for more. Stay calm, follow this link to view our full Fanta range.

Not a fan of Fanta? Why not check out some of our other sodas we have available…

A fan of Dr Pepper? Of course you are! Follow here please.

Ever tried Root Beer? No? You’re missing out…follow here.

Oh, you’re more of a Iced Tea guy…Take a sneak peak at our Arizona’s…

Friday Dinner Tradition – Fish and Chips!

A Friday night dinner of Fish and Chips may be a stereotype of the UK, but it’s not false. Up and down the country, for most people, Friday is a day where fish is most certainly eaten and more often than not, accompanied by a hearty portion of chips (or fries for our American readers).

 

So with today being a Thursday, and Friday calling our names! Naturally we began thinking and talking about this tradition we hold dear. We thought, what modern day twist can we apply using what we have available?

You see, as much as we love things like Swedish Fish Gummies, we need to some what keep in line with tradition and try to please both Americans and Britains. So we’ve settled on our ingredients. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Andy Capp’s Fries.

 

Below we are going to list what we believe are the best options available for both brands and give our verdict on the flavours that make the cut!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we get down to discussing which Goldfish we are going to go with, and which of Andy Capp’s Fries are our favourite, we thought you best understand a bit about each brand!

 

  1. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish began there life in Switzerland. Margaret Rudkin was visiting Switzerland, and fell in love with them. So she bought them outright as a sort of entrepreneurial souvenir, not knowing they’d become what they are today!
  2. Pepperidge Farm makes close to 150 billion individual Goldfish every year. See, there really are plenty more fish in the sea!
  3. In 1988, Goldfish crackers traveled into space. They were part of the mission to make the trip less boring for the crew. Those Goldfish traveled 1.7 million miles…
  1. Andy Capp’s is based off of English comic strip created by cartoonist Reg Smythe, seen in The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Mirror newspapers since 5 August 1957.
  2. They’re similar to Chipsticks in texture and size.
  3. Although consumers began crunching on Andy Capp’s fries back in 1971, the introduction of Hot Fries in 1973 is what really ignited the brand.

 

Here’s how we rank Pepperidge Farm Goldfish for our dinner:

 

1st place: Pepperidge Farm Xtra Cheddar

 

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish - Xtra Cheddar

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish have produced many wonderful flavours, both sweet and savoury. They have even have variants of the same flavour so this was never going to be an easy task!

We decided on Xtra Cheddar as our favourite – a variant of ‘Cheddar’ Goldfish. We are absolutely crackers for cheese and so too are our customers. If you’re out for a meal and are offered extra cheese, do you say no? We hope not!

We love the way the extra ‘blasted flavour’ adds a new touch, taking it up a notch. Dehydrated flakes dust the entire Goldfish from head to tail. Very similar to the dusting of a dorito.

 

Check them out here!

 

 

 

2nd place: Goldfish Parmesan

 

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish = Parmesan

You may be skeptical about this flavour of Goldfish. We were to begin with too. Many brands have tried incorporating such a flavour into their product and time after time have fallen short.

As the saying goes, there is a first time for everything. And let us tell you, these Parmesan Goldfish are terrific! Somehow, they have absolutely captured the parmesan flavour to a very authentic taste.

To be able to make any cheese tasting item an authentic taste is difficult. But to be able to not only be authentic but be easyily recognisable as a cheese that isn’t cheddar, is a great triumph!

 

We think you’ll love them. Shop here!

 

 

 

3rd goes to: Smores

 

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish - Smores

A lot of our readers and regulars are known to have quite the sweet tooth! So this one is for you. Smores. The perfect treat for around the campfire. This bag is the perfect mix of Graham Cracker Goldfish, Marshmallow and Chocolate.

An absolute must try and a stand out from the rest.

 

We urge you. Do yourself a favour.

 

 

As mentioned, no Friday night dinner is done without a generous serving of chips (or fries)… Let’s take a look at our two choices of fries to compliment our fish!

 

Andy Capp's Fries

 

We ran into a small issue when trying to decide which of the Andy Capp’s Fries we were going to use. Both of the flavours shown above are really quite good. Both flavours certainly deliver the crunch and punch of flavour.

A smokey bbq tang on one side vs tongue tingling heat. So we’ve decided, you can decide. Decide and let us know what are your favourites!

Of course, no dinner would be complete without some sauce and seasoning, right? Below we have compiled a list of some different additions you can make!

 

  1. Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce – Original
  2. Vlasic Kosher Dill Spears
  3. Rotel Chilli Tomatoes
  4. Kernel Seasoning – Buffalo Wing

However you have you fish and chips, there’s always a way to spice things up!