I love American style food, but every now and then I miss a few familiar items that Americans just don’t understand or get. They are so missing out! Some are an acquired taste, but Americans do pizza well, and also onion rings or strings. Yes, I get excited when I see some Brit food in American shops until I see the price…
- Cheese and Onion crisps.
You can try and pretend sour cream and chive are similar, but they aren’t. There’s something about cheese and onion crisps that just taste so good, but they don’t taste actually anything like cheese and onion. Since Walker’s changed their recipe I have switched to Golden Wonder, but in the US I will take any pack I can get when I get a craving.
- Decent instant coffee.
In the US they are called crystals, and I can see why people prefer the coffee maker because the instant coffee crystals available are so weak and tasteless. I actually take instant coffee with me to the US, because I like strong coffee, and am impatient. Americans seem to be able to keep drink lukewarm coffee that has sat there all day in a pot. It’s so uncivilized, and some even heat it up in the microwave.
- Sliced bread.
I miss an actual slice of bread, not a half-size as the majority of loaves are in the supermarket. In addition most taste artificial and some even contain sugar and animal fats. Mass produced bread is not healthy and decent bread is expensive in the US. I would advise making your own if you move to the US. There is no Hovis; the closest I can get to decent is Pepperidge Farm, which is expensive and the loaves are small.
- Buttery croissants.
It’s hard to find a real buttery and flaky croissant in the US, even in bakeries. The closest I found to be edible was at Trader Joe’s. Some are so bad they actually ruin the experience.
- Jars of pesto.
I know I could make my own, but pesto seems to be a gourmet food in the US where you can’t get a jar for under $4, and fresh pesto is double the price. In the UK you can get a decent jar in Lidl for 99p. Maybe I should set up a company making pesto?
For those that don’t know, it’s a blackcurrant cordial, which has it’s own rich and unique taste. It’s perfect as a summer drink and great in winter as a hot drink when you have a cold.
- Yorkshire pudding.
Americans have something similar called a popover, but they add things like herbs or onions to them. A good Yorkshire pudding is crispy and plain, and the bigger the better, and is always served with a main meal.
- Pies and pasties.
Not the sweet kind, but the ones you find at the West Cornwall Pasty Company or Greggs. I miss a wholemeal vegetable crimped pasty, or a cheese and mushroom one. Greggs do a great cheese and onion slice, and the Cornish Bakehouse make a spicy vegetarian sausage roll. Pie, mash, and gravy—perfect winter comfort food.
I could devote a whole website to this, but there is zero decent chocolate in the US unless it’s imported. The import and sale of UK Cadbury’s versions have been banned, because it affects the sale of similar products already made in the US. They do not taste the same and banning them doesn’t mean people will buy the inferior versions. I end up waiting for specials on Lindt and Godiva in the drugstore. In desperation I will have a Twix or a Dairy Crunch which are edible when I have no choice.
- Baked beans.
Sometimes you just feel like baked beans on toast, but can you find baked beans without any bits of bacon? Not unless you go to a specialty store and are willing to pay $1.50 for a can. Yes, in the UK the staple of most cupboards is 50 pence a can, but beans on toast in the US is an expensive gourmet snack.