I had heard that Finland was an expensive country. They have to import most of their food, so the prices are understandably high. Travels With Pam showed what she bought for $150, and I heard somewhere that Kraft Mac & Cheese was $6…a BOX.
For some reason, that stuck with me. I mean, you can buy, like, a 24 box pack of Kraft Mac & Cheese from Costco for about $6, I think. I started joking that the blue box would be in my care package requests from the States.
Behnford’s is a store in Helsinki that carries “American and British grocery products you cannot find anywhere else in Finland.” They have an online store and a storefront, and evidently there’s a lot more product in the store than online. However, a brief sampling online came up with the following products:
- Doritos Chili Heatwave, 40g bag, 1E (Converts to $1.27 – that’s the equivalent of what you buy out of the snack machine for $0.80)
- Dr. Pepper, 330ml can, 1.95E ($2.47 – a can in a vending machine goes for about $1.00)
- Tabasco Bloody Mary Drink Mix, 946ml, 15.90E ($20.17 – sells in the US for about $2.00)
- Blueberry Pop Tarts, 400g, 6.50E (Converts to $8.25 – sells for $2.39 in the grocery store in Charlotte)
- Cheerios, 396g, 10.50E (Converts to $13.32 – sells for $3.85 in the grocery store)
- And, of course, Kraft Mac & Cheese, 206g, 4.90E (Converts to $6.21 – sells for $1.19 in the grocery store)
Kraft Mac & Cheese gets a bum rap sometimes, I think. It’s “child’s food,” or the Shells and Cheese is so much better and creamier. Baloney. I love me some Blue Box…but then, I know how to make right.
Sara’s Fantabulous Mac&Cheese (Spiked Mac&Cheese) Recipe:
- The Blue Box (I prefer the spirals)
- Grape tomatoes
- Button Mushrooms
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Ground Ginger
- Salt & Pepper
- Cheese (your choice)
Slice mushrooms and cut grape tomatoes in half. How much? I think about half a pint each, but really, however much you want. Sauté them in a pan with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When they’re properly sautéed, add the spinach (a handful or two, however much you want – I usually rough chop it) and wilt it.
Cook Mac & Cheese according to package instructions, add butter per instructions, add some ground ginger (not a lot – to taste), add cheese (packet and non-packet), *but add Chardonnay instead of milk* (same amount). (I totally stole that idea from the book Must Love Dogs, and trust me, it’s good – and MAKES the dish.) The cheese can be 2 slices of American, some Herbed Skinny Cow (my favorite), goat, blue…whatever. It can melt, like the American, or it can stay in chunks, like the Skinny Cow. Whatever you want.
Stir that up, allow the cheese to melt, then add the veggies and stir. Season with some salt, pepper, or whatever else you feel like throwing in there.
Serve with leftover Chardonnay.
Oh, yeah. Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight!