While moving to a new country and experiencing a new cuisine is exciting and delectable, leaving behind your favorite meals and treats from the U.S. can be challenging. A user on a popular online forum asks Americans living abroad what meals they missed the most from home. Ex-patriots from the U.S. reply longingly with their favorites.
1. Peanut Butter
No other country understands America’s obsession with peanut butter. In the States, we love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Reece’s peanut butter cups, and even just spooning creamy peanut butter into our mouths directly from the jar. But one user says, “I had a friend who lived in Italy for several years, and peanut butter was the thing he missed. He could get it but had to go to a specialty American store, but it was costly, and they only had one kind.”
2. Apple Cider
If you grew up in New England, chances are you’ve tasted orchard fresh apple cider, both hot and cold. It’s tart, just a tad spicy, and 100% refreshing. But abroad, people say they can only find sparkling apple cider or alcoholic apple cider in an attempt to fill their craving for the real deal.
3. Mac N Cheese
From a box of Kraft to your mom’s homemade baked mac n cheese recipe, Americans can’t get enough of this creamy, cheesy pasta dish. While you can find it on almost every menu at an American food restaurant, you’ll have to scour the shelves of grocery stores abroad only to find an overpriced and less satisfying version of this American classic.
4. Buffalo Wings
There’s something unique about buffalo sauce that can’t be replaced by any other flavor, no matter how similar. Everyone in the U.S. knows the difference between buffalo and barbecue sauce, but the same can’t be said in other countries. One commenter living abroad shares that restaurants in their area often “claim to have buffalo wings only to give you either hot sauce or barbecue sauce instead.
5. Authentic Barbecue
Barbecue is one of the most delectable cuisines in the American South. From Texas to Tennessee, almost every southern state has a tasty spin on slow-cooked meat and spicy, rich sauces. Someone living abroad misses the “proper low and slow smoked meat that takes hours to cook. The ‘barbecue’ here is grilled meat with overly sugary sauce slathered on top.”
6. Dill Pickles
A woman living in the U.K. says she can never find the briny, salty dill pickles she loved at home in Boston. Most of the ones she can find abroad are sugary and sweet rather than sour. Another user who lives in Ireland shares, “You have to go to the Polish grocery for decent pickles here.”
I often take for granted my unparalleled access as an American to eat delectable cheeseburgers whenever I please. While you can find McDonald’s and other burger chains abroad, those aren’t the burgers I’m referring to here. One respondent living abroad craves “a proper handmade, well-seasoned patty and quality cheese served on a brioche or sesame seed bun with a nice slice of tomato, lettuce,” and the classic condiments.
8. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
While it’s possible to find many American snack foods overseas, they are more expensive and much less accessible than in the States. There’s something about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos’ flavor that no other snack can replicate, and Americans living abroad crave this hot and salty snack.
It’s true: Italy has delectable pizza that can’t be rivaled anywhere else. But the U.S. has transformed Italian pizza into another delicacy that’s rare to find anywhere but in the 50 states. Many commenters claim pizza in the U.K. is particularly disappointing. “I’d go so far as to say the pizza is offensive here. Some places use cheddar instead of mozzarella, and their toppings are questionable too.”
Unless you’re in Poland or other areas in Eastern Europe, chances are you won’t find an excellent bagel. That is, unless you’re in the U.S. Bagels are famous all around the country in the States, while in many countries, you can’t find bagels anywhere.
11. Dr. Pepper
Fans of Dr. Pepper know this cherry cola can’t be replaced with Cherry Coke or any other cherry-flavored soda. There’s just something about Dr. Pepper’s flavor that hits differently. But when Dr. Pepper lovers travel abroad, they often have to give up their soda of choice because it simply isn’t regularly available.
12. Lobster Rolls
Visiting the beach along the East Coast of the U.S. typically means gorging on an expensive and decadent lobster roll for anyone who loves seafood. However, travel abroad to even coastal places, and you won’t be able to dine on this buttery delight. While other countries have other seafood delicacies, nothing compares to a big bite of fresh claw meat.
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