Peanut Butter, My Old Friend

When you move to another country, it is not long until you start dreaming those foods you once took for granted, foods that your new country couldn’t care less about. You start thinking about absurd things you would do for just one mouthful, you find yourself bargaining with your own imagination.

I had one of my food prayers answered this week when I found peanut butter. Wow, peanut butter. I have lived in India for nearly six months now and just holding a jar of peanut butter made me feel quite emotional!  I thought about how excited I was when I found mozzarella, and the later disappointment I felt was when it tasted plastic socks (but I still buy it and still eat it, the ghost of cheese is better than no cheese at all!). This peanut butter probably wouldn’t taste like the British sunpat peanut butter I love so much. I noticed this Indian peanut butter was called sundrop, this half-plagiarism added to my doubt. If they couldn’t think of an original name, could they make good peanut butter? I bought it anyway, peanut butter is peanut butter!

peanut butter pug puppy yummy expat foods

 

That night I couldn’t sleep, Alfonso and my husband had already been sleeping deeply for hours. I had just finished my book, ‘Veronika Decides to Die’ by Paulo Coelho, the ending was so lovely and thought-provoking it was hard to drift off. My solution to this (along with many other simple problems) was to make a cup of tea, I left the luxury of our air-conditioned bedroom and stepped out into the kitchen. When the temperature reaches 48oC during the day, the heat lingers all night. I am sure you could cook food in that kitchen without using an oven or stove.

I remembered the peanut butter. I stuck a spoon into the warm, soft peanut butter. The Tavares song, ‘heaven must be missing angels’, instantly started playing in my head. I started to dance around the silent furnace savoring the moment, sundrop tastes just like sunpat. Oh, sundrop. How could I have ever doubted you? 

I went back to bed, straight to sleep and dreamt of marmite. Oh, what I would do for a taste of marmite!

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70 thoughts on “Peanut Butter, My Old Friend

    • The are great moments, I am sure you are having plenty in beautiful Paris.
      I had a day dream about Paris the other day. When you have a free day you should go to Notre Dame. Opposite the Cathedral there is a cafe, it is on the corner. It’s called Cafe Panis.

      Go there and have onion soup and tiramisu.

      My family went there many many years ago and had the best french onion soup and tiramisu ever!!! Year later, we couldn’t remember where it was, my mum and I went to Paris for a week and went on a quest to find it.

      We found it!! It was so excited and it really was the best tiramisu we have ever had.

      The cafe has a beautiful view of the Cathedral and the cafe is quite beautiful itself.

      PLEASE go and tell me all about it!!! I dream about that place all the time xxx

      Here was a photo we took from inside, so you know where to look 😛 xxx

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      • GAH! This message made me smile from ear to ear!
        And almost tear up. ♥
        I’m definitely going to go and soak it all in!!! Post will be written just for you Mademoiselle! 😉

        The view looks amazing! And I havent visited that area of the city yet so it’s perfect!!!
        How’s your week going?

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  1. E£r have two jars of Marmite in the cupboard and two jars of Indian peanut better too. Our peanut butter is called Super Nutri. It’s fairly easy to buy Marmite in Kathmandu. I eat a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter every day. I love the stuff.

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      • Hi Lauren and namaste from Kathmandu. I’m sure glad that I’m not down in Nagpur these days. Marmite with boiled eggs ??? That’s a new one for me and I’m going to try that very soon. We eat about 10 am here so I’m starving by mid afternoon and often have salted crackers with Amul cheese and Marmite. I love this for a snack. I’m not sure if I’d have the courage to eat peanut butter and banana together. We go through so many bananas here and I usually eat two at breakfast about 5 am. I can see you are very busy online this morning and for sure you have some nice friends to interact with. I’m off to Bournemouth very soon, but I must come back because all our future immigration plans are not solved yet. I hate the flights…. 8 hours to Istanbul and another 4 hours up to Heathrow. Enjoy your airconditioning Lauren. I’m going to dive in front of a fan now.

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      • Hi Dai,
        Marmite with boiled eggs is divine (in my opinion), you must try it and tell me what you think!! I really dislike Amul cheese, but I still eat it. Marmite and some seriously strong cheddar is beautiful!!

        I hope you have a great time in Bournemouth, I lived in Portsmouth for 4 years… I really miss the sea (centre of India, won’t be seeing it for a while).

        Take care and have a great journey (hope it is not too bad!)

        Lauren

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m going to try boiled eggs and Marmite today, Lauren. I’ll let you know how I like it. I’ve now bought my ticket to London and I have one hell of a long list of things to bring back, including cheddar cheese. Last trip I brought two kilos with me but it didn’t last long. Here we can buy imported cheese at an unbelievable price so I don’t buy. We have lots of yak cheese which is far too strong for me and I always end up with tinned Amul processed cheese. When it’s all we’ve got we get used to it and we always eat that with Marmite on crackers. Possibly I posted a funny blog with a Marmite picture. Do you follow my blogs ? I can’t wait to get to Bournemouth and Asda and have a real food splurge. Take care Lauren. Talk to you soon.

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      • How did it go??? Did you like it?
        I don’t think 2kilos of cheddar would last me long either!! I do follow your blog but with my bad internet connection, it is sometimes hard to get through all the amazing blogs I follow!!!

        Take care, Lauren

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  2. I can understand you well. There are many foods that my husband do not like and we therefore rarely buy. I am so happy, when I can eat one of these things. Peanut butter is one of those things and I like it so much.
    Do you like the Indian Penutbutter?

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  3. Great post! I remember being peanut butter-less in some foreign countries, and it was traumatic! 😉 On the marmite, though…..I only tried it once but it was AWFUL!! (I’m American.) I could live a long and happy life without trying that again. 🙂

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  4. In Pune and mumbai, international food is readily available,but not in Nagpur though. I found one chunky peanut butter from American Garden in Big Bazaar and am in the look out for more interesting stuffs. Great post …..I am glad you are back!! 🙂

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  5. I have been living in India for 14 months now and I understand your cravings. Every once in a while I get a huge craving for a hamburger. I recently found that Hard Rock Cafe sells a great burger. It’s like a little bit of heaven.

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  6. Oh, you wrote a post about it! (I saw your instagram pic). This is a follow up comment to that.
    I so very went through this in India and my imagination made me to make my own peanut butter. I actually found some at the store but the homemade kind was so delicious. I had it with oatmeal, which I was also happy to find at the store.
    The other upside is that peanuts are cheap in India.
    This is how I made peanut butter in India:
    http://anewlifewandering.com/2013/08/30/how-to-make-homemade-peanut-butter/

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  7. The joy of finding one of your favorite foods in another country is just unbelievable haha!
    Reading your posts makes me think of when I first moved to China 🙂 Makes me really happy as well, your writing is so nice and it always makes me laugh 😀

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  8. The sundrop peanut butter comes in three varities. It used to be imported and packed in India. The actual manufacturer used to be (not sure if it still is) a well known UK brand (can’t remember the name).

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  9. Sundrop is the best affordable PB out there, I tried many other brands before they finally came up with a good quality domestic brand (Sundrop is also a brand of oil). I never liked the other brands much, including American garden which is way too chunky for my taste. Sundrop peanut butter have been around since 2008-2009, surprising you only got to get your hand on it just now because even small kirana stores now tend to stock it 🙂

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  10. Can identify with this since living in Mexico for the past 3 years. No marmite here, and no black cat peanut butter, although the Mexican one is not bad. But marmite…I was dreaming of it also until a friend brought me back a couple plastic jars from Holland and it is not the same as the marmite I grew up with in South Africa. This marmite is disgusting. Comes in a squeeze plastic bottle! Since when are you supposed to squeeze marmite? The consistency and taste has changed. 😦

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  11. I used to be like this with Mountain Dew and Ranch dressing. Now Mt Dew is everywhere in London, but I still hoard my packets of ranch that my friends send me 🙂 Enjoy your pb & banana sandwich! I made one a few weeks ago and my nephew thought it was so weird but it’s so yum!! Xx

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  12. I was this way about Mountain Dew and Ranch dressing when I first moved to London. Now you can get Mt Dew everywhere, but I still hoard packets of ranch that my friends send me 🙂 Enjoy your pb & banana sandwich! I made one a few weeks ago and nephew thought it was so weird but it’s so yum!!! Xxx

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  13. I remember that feeling from Bangladesh! The day I found Cadburys chocolate that actually TASTED like Cadburys, I did a little victory dance down the aisle and got even more stares than usual.

    When it gets hot, try freezing a banana (without the skin) then eating it with peanut butter on it. A bit obscene, maybe, but like eating a peanut butter-y mini milk!

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  14. i felt the same way when i accidentally landed the Julie’s peanut butter biscuit sandwich. I had first has them in Singapore ..they were like two Monaco biscuits with a dash of peanut butter in between…didn’t like the sweet salty combination the beginning…but was soon addicted to them….finding them in India was pure pleasure

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  15. You can make your own peanut butter with a food processor. Dry roast 4 cups of raw peanuts, add a scant teaspoon of salt (or to your own taste) and grind in the food processor, adding a tablespoon of peanut oil at a time, until you have the desired consistency. Voila.

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  16. I once had brocoli tandoori in India and I can’t find it anywhere in the rest of the world and it’s also frustrating! 😉

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  17. I just came across your blog on expat-blog.com. It`s amazing!
    India is so interesting and high on my bucket list.
    Peanut butter is one of the best things, I understand your dance of joy!
    Sonja from monkimau.blogspot.com

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  18. i think people who struggle to live in india should go back to their rich western countries i say this as well wisher & not a hater.
    same applies to indians in uk

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  21. I know exactly what you mean I normally live in Denmark but spend a lot of time in South and Central America and it always takes me by surprise that I cant find certain foods. But then again there are usually other foods that you start to appreciate in a whole new light 🙂

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