This is my collection of international Coke cans. (What, is that weird?)
It's the kind of relic from my childhood that I forget about, now living three thousand miles from the house I grew up in, until I walk into my bedroom and realize—oh, right—one entire wall is lined with cans of Coke.
The collection started when I was about nine years old. My family was flying back from the East Coast, and my older brother realized that the soda a flight attendant had brought him had a German label. That familiar Coca-Cola can—but in a different language! Awesome, I said to myself. I bought that can off him for a dollar. (My ever-entrepreneurial brother let me have nothing for free.) And a new hobby was born.
As word of my collection spread, my young friends (and, more often, their parents) would contribute to my collection, after vacations and business trips: one from Hong Kong, one from South Africa, one from the Philippines. On my own first venture abroad, I scored not only Italy, but Vatican City—no, there's no visible difference—and dutifully carried around my Vatican Coke can for the remainder of my three-week summer trip.
But things really took off once I discovered the just-launched eBay. I'd use my $3 allowance to buy Coke cans from around the world. I was only nine, but I soon racked up an eBay rating of +20... never letting slip that my mom drove me to the post office to mail my money orders. And within a year or so, I'd imported more than one hundred choice Coke cans: mini-cans from Holland, long, elegant cans from Tunisia, and French-labeled ones from New Caledonia. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person I know with a New Caledonian Coke can.
So that's my weird collection. Any other food-related collections out there?
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.