#42: Complete and utter lack of buttermilk.
Look, I respect all the cultural differences and adore all of you and blah blah blah. However, if you are going to deny me certain foods, then at least have the decency to provide the general public with the ingredients (i.e. there's little in the way of Mexican food, but I can buy black beans at Borough Market and tortillas, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream dip, etc and make my own Mexican food.) If you people are going to insist that a "biscuit" is, in fact, a "cookie," that's fine by me. I'm down. But then at least allow me to make my own biscuits, which I can't do, because I can't obtain buttermilk (and unlike peanut butter, can't have it imported.)
I've had this conversation at least four times in the last month:
Me: Hey, do you have any idea where I could get some buttermilk?
Hapless Local: Some what?
HL: I don't even know what that is, let alone where you could get it. What is it, like.... Butter in milk?
Me: I actually have no idea.
HL: No wonder you Americans are all so fat.
Me: It's not actually butter in milk, I don't know what it is. It's gross, I'd never drink it.
Me: No, I need it for this recipe. I have this awesome recipe for buttermilk biscuits.
HL: You can buy biscuits...
Me: No no, American
biscuits. Big, soft, bread-y, dough-y things. For breakfast, with butter and jam, that sort of thing.
HL: Oh! You mean scones!!
scones. Scones are sweet, scones are afternoon tea. I've hit a wall. They don't even sell biscuits at McDonald's here! And I thought all Mickey D's were about the same, give or take. Lesson learned. I'm willing to bet that the McDonald's home in Maryland isn't selling a McCurry Chicken sandwich, either.