Taking advantage of the unusually balmy weather and federal holiday, I traversed downtown Jersey City on foot to do some errands. On the list was a stop at Morton Williams, known to me and my associates as Secret Supermarket, because it was a good year and a half after I moved here that I even realized it existed, hidden away as it is among the constant construction and towering high-rises of the fancy-pants Newport neighborhood.
There wasn’t much that I had to pick up, but I decided to casually browse because–and I’ve long neglected to mention this here–I love food shopping. It’s not just that I enjoy it. I look forward to it. It’s often the highlight of my weekend, which speaks volumes about the equally abysmal levels of my threshold for amusement and of the excitement in my social life.
Judgments aside, I’m glad that I took my time in Secret Supermarket today, because as I rounded the corner of the dairy/cracker/cookie aisle, I came face to face with something I never thought I would see in these United States.
The Tim Tam.
Yes. It’s true. The signature snack of the southern hemisphere; the staple of every young Australian school child’s after-school snack session; the tastiest treat in all the antipodes; the Tim Tam.
I first sampled Tim Tams when I did my semester in Melbourne, at a reception for international students at the home of the Queen’s College headmaster. Being the voracious, uncouth American college students we were, we swept through this man’s kitchen cabinets like a plague of locusts. Our finest discovery were these chocolate covered, graham crackery treats that came by the sleeve. For the rest of our stay, they constituted their own food group in our diets. They were always at the top of the list when we packed for an adventure, and getting them past customs on our return voyage was not so much an innocent gambit as it was a life-or-death matter of culinary necessity.
It had been six years since I had seen or tasted a Tim Tam before today. Now I know where to find them, at least for now. And for that, I am grateful. So, bravo globalization. Thank you, Australia-United State Free Trade Agreement. Kudos to you, inventors of the refrigerated cargo planes and all their subsequent parts and navigation equipment. And bless you, Pepperidge Farm, for bringing yet another amazing piece of Australiana to our shores.