The Chinese love their coffee. I mean L-O-V-E it. They put it in all sorts of things - cereal, pretzels, candy, ice-cream, drinks (!) and crackers amongst others. Name a snack food and they've probably got a coffee flavor of it.
Me on the other hand simply hate it. I hate the smell, I hate the taste, I hate the way it looks. I hate every flavor and variety of it. In college I used to hang out with a lot of coffee drinkers and without fail whenever we'd go out one of them would try to get me to taste some frapa-crapa-mocha-chino thing. They'd always swear it didn't tastes like coffee and it always did.
Lousy so and sos.
Needless to say I hate coffee flavored snacks. Yet I keep eating them.
Obviously I don't speak Chinese. Obviously I don't read it either. Which means shopping is always a strange and sometimes difficult experience. Most things you can figure out - an apple is still an apple. Coke still looks like Coke. And even things like pasta and potato chips or cereal are pretty easy to figure out. The packaging is similar and the insides of course are the same.
But flavors are a little tricky. I might grab a bag of bbq potato chips and not know it. My milk choices are still skim, half and super flabby fat, but I'm never really sure which version I buy most of the time.
That brings us back to coffee flavoring. Way too many times I have picked up some pretzels, or a candy bar or an ice cream bar only to realize (way too late) that it is coffee flavored.
Gag. Yuck. Gross.
Just now I piced up a little ice cream bar and was so looking forward to the cold, sweet goodness when - lick - ugh - oooh it's stinking coffee flavored.
To my embarrassment, I'm leaving something out. While I can't read the Chinese labels on these products, most of them do include a picture to tell you what flavor they are. Pick up some tomato flavored chips and you'll see a little tomato on the package. Want some chocolate milk tea? Look for the label with a pure white stream of milk and another flowing of chocolate.
And yes, if you're looking for some coffee flavored something, you'll most certainly see a picture of a coffee bean on the package.
I'm stupid. I'm a dunce. I don't look at labels very closely. I'm just not used to looking for pictures of coffee beans on my ice cream. Thirty years of life tells me the brown stuff around my chocolate bar is chocolate and nothing else. Or if it is coffee flavored it says so in big letters. Who looks for coffee beans on their package of ice cream?
Me, I guess from now on. Unless I want an ice cream bar that I can't eat.