Wednesday, August 03, 2005

working for peanuts

There's a weird phenomenon in Israel that things that aren't particularly American are called "American."

For example, kipot that have a lot of colors, with no solid "base", are called American. (Like these.) I never saw those in America, only here.

T-shirts with sleeves that are different color than the torso, and go slightly past the elbow, are called American T-shirts. Here's an example. I never wore one growing up in the US.

And for some very strange reason, multiple choice tests are called American as well. While I do admit to taking such tests back in the States, I can't imagine that somehow they are unique to America.

But there is one non-American "American" product that I wish they had around back in the old country.

American Peanuts.

American peanuts are a snack that I really enjoy.
Actually, they're a guilty pleasure.
Maybe I should call them the bane of my existence!

First of all, what are American Peanuts? I got the following great pictures here.

American peanuts are roasted peanuts coated in batter. (Certainly chametz on pesach!) They are both sweet and salty, and very addictive. There are a few kinds:

These are coated with a thick batter, and are known as kabukim (or kibukim):

There are also kabukim covered with sesame seeds:

But my favorite is the simply "botnim amerikaim", coated peanuts:

At my work, my office is right across the hall from the cafeteria. That is certainly tempting, but my hunger is often matched by my basic laziness to get in line and purchase something (not to speak of the relatively high cost of a small snack.)

But about a year ago, they put a coated peanut dispenser in the hall. For one shekel, I get a handful of the sweet salty goodness that is somehow American peanuts! For you Americans out there - that's less than a quarter! Plus, no lines, and it's open 24/7 (unlike the cafeteria).

So I have been known to nosh on these treats here and there (and there and here.) This has not made my watching weight any easier. So it's kind of a love/hate thing. When they weren't available after Pesach, I felt better about myself for not eating them. But of course when I actually eat them, I feel great too!

So how was I supposed to feel today, when I looked through the glass of the dispenser and saw these?

Plain old roasted peanuts! What am I - some kind of plain roasted peanut eating, not wanting coated peanuts animal? I should come to work for this?

Bottom line, I'll probably end up eating the boring peanuts. But I won't like it. Yet, hope springs eternal ...