9 American foods you take for granted until you live abroad

The world has great food to discover, and I take every opportunity to try something crazy or different as I travel. But, the longer I live abroad, the more I realize the American foods I really, really miss.

Below are my top nine.

1. JIF peanut butter


You can find Nutella coating Europe, but a delicious bit of JIF peanut butter can only be found in the “American Candy” section of foreign grocery stores. What others may class as candy, I consider pure love in a jar, and I miss it dearly when I travel.

2. Ranch dressing


Yet another condiment that hasn’t cracked the shelves of worldwide grocers is Ranch. From an ex-pat’s position, it makes you think that Hidden Valley should really stop hiding this delicious secret. It’s always my first choice of dressing when I’m home.

3. Mexican/Tex Mex food

Taco Beef Mexican Food

Unless you’ve moved to Mexico (in which case this doesn’t apply), I’ve found it ridiculously hard to find proper Mexican or Tex Mex food outside the states.

4. BBQ sauce


When you have entire American cities (I’m looking at you, Kansas City) and regions who concoct the stuff, it’s obviously hard to beat. While I’ve found it in plenty of stores and restaurant dishes in the UK, the flavours simply don’t stack up.

5. Velveeta


I’m ashamed to admit it, but without access to Velveeta, several of my favourite recipes (cheesy chip dip, anyone?) are completely useless. And foreigners haven’t even heard of it… what they eat instead is real cheese. * shudder *

6. Bush’s baked beans


Whatever the family’s secret recipe is, I wish they’d leak it to not only the adorable golden retriever in their commercials but the entirety of the world. I swear to you, when it comes to baked beans, Bush’s are magic in a can.

7. Flavored coffee creamer


What’s a cup of black coffee without a shot of International Delight or Coffee-Mate coffee creamer? Nothing, I tell you, NOTHING. I may have listed this as number seven, but as an avid coffee drinker in the states, it’s the number one thing I miss abroad.

8. Mac ‘n’ cheese


Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese has yet to grace foreign markets (outside of extortionist American food sections) with its irresistible flavour and quick cook time. Must be other country’s preference for real cheese over powdered again. * sigh *

9. Cool Whip


No one in the wider world is “doing the Cool Whip” and for that I’m deeply sorry. You can’t get it’s sweet, fluffy goodness outside the states, so slather your pie/ice cream/brownie/self before you travel.

Traveling is amazing, but new foods can’t always fill the void that these favorites leave. While these are my top nine, the list goes on (chili soup, Stride gum, caramel rolls, etc.)

What are the foods you miss the most when you’ve traveling? Let me know below!

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