A staple in my fridge is Turkey Hill Iced Tea. Turkey Hill being a brand that is originally from Lancaster Co. PA, where I am from, and the iced tea being a staple there, sold in every grocery store, even the wholesale place, and there's a Turkey Hill convenience store about every mile, so it's pretty much everywhere. I think a store there would get a lot of complaints if they didn't have it until they started to carry it, they wouldn't get away with not carrying it. As I said, it's a staple, you go to the store of the essentials, milk, bread, iced tea....and any other brand isn't the same, believe me. Hell, they sell it across the country now, but my brother in California says they don't buy it because it's bottled somewhere other than Lancaster over there and it doesn't taste right, the water they use isn't the same. In Central PA, we know the difference, this is stuff we grew up on. In a blind test I am sure I could tell the difference in the decaf and regular as well, we're purists. They had it in my school's cafeteria, drink options were milk, chocolate milk, orange juice and Turkey Hill iced tea. You get the idea. It is a must have, and moving to Ohio was made easier because I knew they were now selling it in Kroger supermarkets, it made me feel okay about being away from home because it's sort of a comfort food, a taste of home.
Last night I made my monthly visit to Kroger to get iced tea, as otherwise I don't shop there, it's my only reason for going. I did the rest of my shopping and then went to the dairy case where the iced tea is and it wasn't there....they had tons of the flavored kinds but not the classic plain one, they had a few of the single serving size ones, but no gallons, no half gallons. For a girl who was already in a bad place emotionally because of the job situation, this was a bad sign. I paid for my items and then went to the customer service desk to speak to someone, this was serious. He called a few different people for me, finally a buyer, and found out that they will no longer stock the gallons, but will stock half gallons, but are just currently out. If I was SURE they'd always have half gallons this wouldn't be a big deal, I'd just buy 2, but I don't trust them. Anyway, I thanked him for his help and left. I took my groceries home to put them away and then immediately left to go elsewhere to look for it. I remembered seeing it at Target once, so I went there and they actually had it. They only had a few though, but I grabbed 2 and bought them. Crisis averted.
I opened one of the containers and poured some to have with my lunch today and I thought it tasted off...as I said, I can tell these things, I can't even put ice in it, it messes it up. So I looked at the bottle....sell by August 15th. That was almost 2 weeks ago. Great. I still had the receipt so I returned them today. Travis and I already had plans to drive to the gardens in Westerville this afternoon and that's also the closest Turkey Hill convenience store which if anywhere had it, it'd be there. So on our way home from our excursion he swung by there so I could get it. I was able to buy some there, of course I was also wearing my Turkey Hill Dairy shirt which I got at the Turkey Hill Experience (an interactive museum/attraction about the dairy that makes the stuff) and of course the guy working there asked me about it. I just told him that I, like the iced tea, was also "Imported from Lancaster County" as it says on every container.
So now a number of people in the area, as well as my poor poor boyfriend, think I am an absolute freak because I went to so much trouble in the last two days to get this stuff (which I call "the nectar of the gods whenever someone teases me about how much I like it). But as I said, it's something that I grew up on and is a comfort to me. I tried to explain to Travis that "what if coffee was a local thing, and then you moved away and the store didn't carry it and they acted like it wasn't a big deal, how about trying hot tea or cocoa instead". So, now I will probably be inconvenienced by having to drive much farther to get it, but at least the crisis is averted for now.