There's a video circulating by a couple of young Englishmen, Alex and Liam, who take a tour through Walmart. They marvel at how Americans can buy pork cutlets and rifles all under one gigantic roof. And they can't resist mocking the food they find.
It's a bit much coming from the country that invented dishes called "bubble and squeak" and "toad in the hole." So fine, Beavis and Butt-Head of England, what's so funny about America's food?
If you judge Americans by the "treats" Alex and Liam come across at the retail behemoth, I'm afraid they may be right to make fun of us mercilessly. Walmart's eats don't exactly paint the most flattering portrait of U.S. tastes and cuisine.
Observation: At the deli counter, the cheeky Brits remark, "This is the first cheese we've seen so far that doesn't come in liquid form!"
Implication: We like food to be versatile -- portable, even -- often at the expense of it actually tasting good.
Observation: Alex and Liam discover a sliced ham-and-cheese loaf -- ham product with blobs of cheese product mixed in and cut into sandwich-friendly slices. "That is the laziest product I've ever seen," they say. "There's nothing appealing about this in the slightest."
Implication: We want food that multi-tasks, even if the end result is unappetizing.
Observation: The boys read this silly sign at Walmart: "Try pork tonight. And enjoy something extraordinary."
Implication: We want our food to be magic. And we have unrealistic expectations of pork (unless Walmart sells pork belly?).
Observation: What does Liam want from his Coke? No sugar plus vanilla flavoring. And look, there it is! Zero Coke with no sugar and vanilla flavoring. "It's got all the things!" they giggle.
Implication: It's ridiculous to want a soda with a lot of bells and whistles.
Observation: The lads discover microwavable pizzas that come with side dishes, like cookies, boneless chicken wings or bread sticks.
Implication: Americans are obsessed with food that's "convenient," and are willing to sacrifice flavor and quality in the process.
Observation: Alex and Liam find gallon jugs filled with iced tea. "I like tea as much as any British guy, but I find it less appealing when it's in a petrol can," one chides.
Implication: We like iced tea enough to buy large quantities of it but not enough to brew our own, which is unbelievably easy and less expensive. Also, we use too much gas to keep it in one-gallon jugs. Please! We need those for oil and antifreeze! And maybe fruit punch.
Observation: The boys discover a self-serve blood pressure machine.
Implication: Eating all that microwavable pizza with cookie side dishes has raised our blood pressure to such high levels that we need to check it while grocery shopping -- and it's a darn good thing the pharmacy is just a few feet away!
Oh boys, if only you'd spent some time in the produce aisle.
Psst. Alex, Florida is the Sunshine State, not California.
Does Alex and Liam's trip to Walmart resemble your own grocery store experience?
Image via uberculture/Flickr