‘Bitter shandy? What does that mean?’
American couple Cara Atwell and Jeremy Davis film their first trip to a Tesco supermarket on their first-ever visit to the UK. And in the fascinating footage we see how some items cause confusion.
The camera rolls as the pair push their shopping trolley around a Tesco store in Honiton, Devon, with Cara wondering aloud as they pass stacks of bitter shandy exactly what they are and whether they contain any alcohol [the canned varieties are normally around 0.5% alcohol].
Cara is also slightly baffled in the frozen section by the sign for ‘frozen lollies’, before realising that it’s indicating the whereabouts of what are more commonly known as ‘suckers’ or ‘popsicles’ in the U.S.
The most confusing thing, Cara admitted separately to MailOnline Travel, was seeing eggs on a shelf instead of the refrigerated section.
American couple Cara Atwell (above) and Jeremy Davis film their first trip to a Tesco supermarket
Cara and Jeremy visit a Tesco in Honiton in Devon (above)
In America eggs are pre-washed, which destroys their natural protective coating. So in supermarkets they’re refrigerated for safety.
Cara said: ‘After spending our whole lives seeing them in the refrigerator and then coming to the UK and seeing them in an aisle in the middle of the store was a big shock.’
Brands and food new to the couple include Lucozade, cheese twists, and Pot Noodles, with the Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy being particularly enticing. ‘Eighty pence, you can’t go wrong,’ says Cara.
The couple also jump at the chance to buy a Fray Bentos cheese and onion pie. ‘Meat pies are much less common in the U.S,’ Cara revealed, ‘and Seeing Fray Bentos and being able to try one was pretty exciting to us.’
The most confusing thing, Cara admitted to MailOnline Travel, was seeing eggs on a shelf instead of the refrigerated section
Cara and Jeremy describe the choice on offer at the store as ‘overwhelming’
THE VERDICT ON FRAY BENTOS AND POT NOODLE
In a follow-up video to the Honiton Tesco clip, Cara and Jeremy deliver their verdicts on two of their purchases – a Fray Bentos pie and a Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy.
FRAY BENTOS – CHEESE AND ONION
Cara and Jeremy declare Fray Bentos’ cheese and onion pie to be ‘really good’. ‘And for £2 it’s a pretty good deal,’ they add
The couple ponder at first whether to eat the pie straight out of the tin or try and extract it.
They go for the out-of-the-tin option and declare: ‘These are big. When it came out of the tin it did not look very appetising but it smells and looks good now. And it’s really tasty. It’s really good for something that’s can-opened and cooked in the oven. And for £2 it’s a pretty good deal. ‘
Cara tries a Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy
POT NOODLE – BOMBAY BAD BOY
The couple say: ‘We do not have Pot Noodle in the U.S. Looks yummy. We picked this out on the name alone. It looks more impressive than the U.S ones. The noodles are thicker and it does have a curry flavour to it. It’s got some kick. It’s pretty good. It’s a bit fancier than the U.S ones.’
They are also taken by the ‘fancy’ Tesco own-brand ice cream – ‘it looks amazing’ – and flavours on familiar brands they’d never seen in the U.S, such as twisted strawberry Diet Coke.
They also marvel at the volume of beans for sale and the sheer variety of Cadbury products. ‘If there is a product that can have chocolate in it, Cadbury has done it,’ says Cara, adding: ‘We had tried several Cadbury items before coming to the UK, but seeing the huge amount of them throughout the supermarket, seeing that there were all kinds of other Cadbury products, such as cornflake cluster bites and brownie bites, was surprising to us. We had no idea Cadbury made so many things!’
In general, the choice on offer at the store is ‘overwhelming’, they say on the video.
At the end of the clip we see their selection in the trolley, which they admit are ‘mostly not healthy’. They include Walkers crisps, the Fray Bentos pie, the Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy, biscuits and the Cadbury cornflake cluster bites.
What were the biggest surprises of the visit?
Cara said: ‘One thing that really surprised us was the selection of prepared products and ready meals. Something as simple as a premade sandwich I would probably not buy in the US because it would not be very good quality, but at Tesco, there were so many options of premade sandwiches and the ones we tried were really good.’
Cara is very taken with the look of Tesco’s own-brand ice cream – ‘it looks amazing’
Cara has never heard of a ‘bitter shandy’ and ponders whether it has alcohol in it
‘It is weird to be somewhere like a supermarket that seems so familiar and yet so many products and aisles are unrecognisable,’ said Cara. Above is the final selection
Was the experience better or worse than they were expecting?
Cara told MailOnline Travel: ‘When we first walked in, the store was at the end of a quiet hour, which I don’t think we have in the U.S. I love the idea of a quiet hour, but it made us immediately realise how different this experience was going to be from a grocery store in the U.S.
‘We didn’t feel out of place, but it is weird to be somewhere like a supermarket that seems so familiar and yet so many products and aisles are unrecognisable.
‘I’m not sure what we were expecting, but we had a nice experience. A lot of the items were cheaper than what they would cost in the U.S and it gave us a lot of ideas of foods we wanted to try in the future.
‘I think Tesco would give other Americans a good idea of the range of products available in supermarkets in the UK.’
Cara and Jeremy post on social media as The Magic Geekdom. They can be found at www.instagram.com/themagicgeekdom; twitter.com/magicgeekdom; www.tiktok.com/@themagicgeekdom; and www.facebook.com/themagicgeekdom.