In California I made it a priority to obtain the mysterious Nilla Wafers and the Instant Pudding and Pie Filling. The Cool Whip was problematic because I discovered that it lives in the freezer until you defrost and whip it. On a bus to Yosemite I tortured the six captive Americans which questions about Cool Whip and ascertained that it is some kind of completely unnatural chemical compound that resembles the mutant love child of whipped cream and marshmallow. I concluded that I would be quite happy to go to the grave without trying it.
I had two recipes to choose from to make the pudding and I ended up going with the Jell-O version because it was the most artificial and to my mind probably the most authentic. All I had to do was mix one packet of Instant Pudding and Pie Filling with two and a half cups of milk and let it sit for five minutes. Then I layered Nilla Wafers, Pie Filling and bananas in a dish and topped it with whipped cream. It reminded me a little of the classic Aussie Choc Ripple Cake. After and hour in the fridge it was ready to go.
The Pudding was tested by six brave souls. Two of them deemed it inedible. The other four of us concluded that it was good in a McDonalds/plane food kind of way. Using a ladle to serve it was appropriate.
You can't really go wrong with bananas and whipped cream. The Nilla Wafers tasted exactly like those Grimace shaped McDonalds Cookies I used to have as a kid.
The big question mark hangs over the Instant Pudding and Pie Filling which was a fluorescent yellow, sickly sweet and texturally odd custard that was just a bit creepy.
Would I eat Instant Pudding and Pie Filling again? Nope.
Am I relieved that I maintained my anti-Cool Whip stand? Yes.
I still love America.