Pluto Flips, that is! The perfect appetizer for today’s Drekë/Lunch! Essentially, these magical Pluto Flips are cheese puffs…but the advantage of this Albanian version is that your fingers don’t turn radioactive orange…and they have PLUTO on the bag! Mickey Mouse’s pet dog! A mouse with a pet dog? Vertet?!? Who knew! Not sure if Mr. Wally Diz is privy to this flagrant use of Pluto’s image, but what the hell….I’m not terribly concerned with copyright laws* at this stage of my life.
So here’s the back story: Today I visited the market to buy supplies for a dessert I am making for my host family. And since I slept through breakfast (you can take the girl out of America….), I was getting a little hungry. Scratch that…I was a lot hungry, STARVING if you will! And lunch in Albania is a late lunch…2pm-ish, so I needed to take matters into my own hands and fast! In addition to the necessary embëlsirë ingredients, I snagged myself an Albeni candy bar (think Twix, but ½ the price and about ¼ the flavor. What can I say, Peace Corps is all about sacrifice) and a bag of my new favorite cheesy snack, Pluto Flips.
Some of the other volunteers have scoffed at my liking of these highly processed Flips. Then again, these are the types of people who prefer Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. So their organic sensibilities just don’t jive with my cravings for food-like products that smell like chemicals. Hey... you could always find a brick of Velveeta in Mom’s fridge in my younger years and I think we all know that’s NOT ACTUALLY CHEESE. Anyway, it should come as no surprise that I would opt for the Cheese/ Djath flavor and shy away from the Ketchup flavor. Something about that just doesn’t sit well with me. To-may-toe, Ta-mah-toe.
On my walk home, I HOUSED the entire 480kcal† of Flips in a matter of moments. I didn’t formally clock it, but I’d guess somewhere between 60 and 142 seconds. I’m pretty sure there was Flip cheese residue all over my face as I greeted my fellow Bishqem village people. “Mirë dita and a Y-M-C-A back atcha!” I bet they were thinking…. “My my, doesn’t that darling American Girl just love her Pluto Flips!” Or more likely, they though…. “We have the freshest ,most delicious and healthy produce right here in our gardens and your dumb ass walked to the store for THAT CRAP? Stupid American.”
Despite my fervor with the Flips, I was still hungry and put away the Albeni Bar with one swift shove down the gullet. Within minutes I was home and Uh…oh! it was early lunch/drekën herët at the Kateshi home/stepia. So now, on top of my gluttonous snacks came sausage, a fried egg, cheese, yogurt and some bread! That’s right, all that and a bag of Flips. It didn’t take long, but I was STUFFED. (a sweet and loving acknowledgement to my Gramma J who was always either “starved” or “stuffed.” Like her, I also am often willing to have, “just a bite.”) U ngopa. I'm full.
Peace, Love and Pluto Flips
*Copyright Law execption…I am still personally invested in the copyright stuff happening at Childsplay b/c the intellectuall property at that place is hands-down, priceless! Intrigued? Visit www.childsplayaz.org and be amazed!