I searched for American foods in a Bangkok supermarket during my trip to Thailand.
I rediscovered snacks from my childhood and found unique flavors of American classics, like Oreos.
Many American products cost significantly more in Bangkok than they do in the US.
The international grocery stores in Bangkok carry a wide variety of well-known American brands.
I'm an American citizen who's been traveling around Asia for nearly four years.
Whenever I explore a new place, I'm eager to dive into the local cuisine and typically make a beeline for the street-food markets. But there are moments when I crave a familiar taste of home, like Tostitos chips dipped in a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food.
Luckily, I found upscale grocery stores that carry classic American foods during my trip to Bangkok.
Many of the items were priced considerably higher in Thailand than they are in the US, but I was happy to shell out the extra Thai baht for them.
American products were stacked directly next to local brands.
Instead of being designated to a separate section of the grocery store, American brands were interspersed between local products.
So, for example, if a shopper is looking for Frank's Red Hot, they would find it in the sauce and condiment aisle.
In the snack aisle, I found Lay's in a variety of flavors, from Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese to Hot Chili Squid.
Villa Market sold some of the brand's staple flavors, like Classic and Sour Cream and Onion, but there were also some cool variations that seem worth trying.
Some of the flavors I saw included Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Nori Seaweed, Hot Chili Squid, Spicy Korean Ramen, and Mieng Kam Krob Ros — a popular Thai snack consisting of dried shrimp, cabbage, peanuts, and chili wrapped in a green leaf.
Each bag was priced cost about $1.50.
The store also carried Doritos, but the selection was pretty limited compared to what I've seen in US grocery stores.
I have yet to find any Cool Ranch Doritos in Bangkok.
When I scoured the shelves at the international grocery store, I only came across three flavors, and they were all nacho-related: Nacho Cheese in a red bag, Nacho Cheese in a yellow bag, and Spicy Nacho Cheese.
Each one was priced at around $4.
Pringles came in flavors that were influenced by local Thai dishes.
I recognized the Pringles logo when I was walking up and down the Villa Market aisles.
The store sold canisters of the stackable chips, a product owned by the US-based Kellogg Company, in flavors that I'd never tried before, like Hot and Spicy Grilled Squid and Sweet Mayo Cheese.
It was interesting to see the local cuisine (mayonnaise is used in many Thai recipes, and grilled squid is a popular dish in the Asian country) incorporated into the snack.
Two of my favorite American foods, Kraft macaroni and cheese and Hidden Valley ranch dressing, were both on the shelves.
As an American living outside of the US, two of the most coveted foods I can find are Hidden Valley ranch dressing and Kraft macaroni and cheese.
They're not easy to get my hands on, but I found both items in the Bangkok supermarket.
A bottle of Hidden Valley ranch — which, in my opinion, is the best of the best — costs around $9.30. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be worth every penny.
As for the Kraft macaroni and cheese, one single box costs around $2.30. If you want to stock up, you can get a box of six microwaveable packs for about $6.
Cans of Manwich, an American sloppy Joe sauce, also caught my eye when I was in the grocery store.
The canned sauce, which is produced by US-based companies ConAgra Foods and Hunt's, is an all-American product, so I was surprised to see that it had made its way to Bangkok.
Lo and behold, Villa Market carried the original tomato-based version.
American breakfast cereals were available to buy, but they were really expensive.
Villa Market carried popular American breakfast cereals like Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Oreo O's — but shoppers should be prepared to pay a hefty price for them.
A single box of Cap'n Crunch cost about $11.50 at the supermarket, making it the most expensive cereal I saw on the shelf.
Because of the price tag attached to these cereals, I suggest swapping them for a local dragon fruit or ripe papaya instead.
Plenty of Oreos were available in Bangkok, and they came in all types of flavors.
I've never had trouble finding Oreos abroad. Whether I've wandered into local convenience stores or large grocery chains, the cookies always seem to be in stock.
So even though I was expecting to see the popular American dessert in Bangkok, I was still surprised by some of the flavors.
One of the most unexpected combinations was the Fizzy Orange Oreos, described as "chocolate sandwich cookies with orange-flavored cream and orange-flavored candy" on the package.
Oreos at Villa Market cost $0.89 per package. For some reason, Oreo Thins were significantly more expensive at almost $11 per packet.
Dark-and-White Chocolate was one of the most intriguing Oreo flavors I discovered in Bangkok.
With a filling that was half dark chocolate and half white chocolate, the black-and-white treat was one of the many Oreo flavors I'd never seen before.
The packaging on the vanilla-flavored Oreos featured two animals native to Asia: a tiger and a koi fish.
Bangkok had such a wide sampling of Oreo flavors, but the box with vanilla cookies inside grabbed my attention. So, I decided to take a closer look.
The gold designs on the exterior showed a tiger and a koi fish, two animals that are found in Thailand.
Kit Kat bars, a classic American candy, came with a cool twist.
Villa Market carried a bag of matcha-flavored Kit Kat bars, a wafer-and-chocolate treat produced by The Hershey Company, for about $5.30.
Matcha is a beverage made from grinding whole, partially shade-grown green tea leaves into powder.
The concoction originated in China during the Tang Dynasty. Eventually, Buddhist monks brought it to Japan, where it remains a large part of the country's culture. Now, the flavor is used in lattes, cocktails, and sweets across Asia and the wider world.
In the dessert section, I also came across Hershey's Mixed Berries and Salted Caramel Cocoa Creations.
Not only did Villa Market carry Hershey's chocolate, but also the supermarket offered a fairly new product called Cocoa Creations, which is 49% cocoa.
For reference, the American brand's signature milk-chocolate bar is about 30% cocoa
When I reached the frozen-food area, I rediscovered American snacks that I hadn't seen since my childhood.
Villa Market carried several products that I hadn't seen, or thought about, since I was a child.
But in Bangkok, I found the waffles in flavors like Chocolatey Chip and Strawberry. Villa Market had Eggo bites and Eggo minis as well, and each product cost around $7 per box.
Villa Market also sold Lunchables, tiny meal kits that I ate when I was growing up in the states.
I wasn't expecting to stumble upon Lunchables, the Kraft Heinz miniature meal kit I remember having as a kid, but Villa Market was stocked with the Extra Cheesy Pizza flavor.
The supermarket priced it at around $3.50.
I noticed Velveeta cheese slices in the freezer next to the Lunchables.
Villa Market carried a 16-slice package of the processed cheese, which came in its original flavor.
The frozen section also had packaged food from TGI Fridays, an American restaurant chain.
Villa Market sold TGI Fridays' Cheddar-and-Bacon potato skins and Buffalo-Style chicken wings in its frozen section.
Cheez-Its, a popular American snack, came in a range of flavors.
In the Bangkok supermarket, Cheez-Its, also a Kellogg brand, were available to purchase in three flavors: Original, Bacon and Cheddar Duoz, and Extra Cheesy.
I was used to having Ritz crackers sandwiching cheese or peanut butter in the US, so it was cool to see them with a chocolate filling instead.
From my experience in the US, it's much rarer to find Ritz crackers with chocolate filling. Peanut butter or cheese fillings are far more common.
Cans of Easy Cheese, an American spread, were lined up on the shelf.
Easy Cheese — an American product made of milk, whey, canola oil, cheese culture, and other ingredients — found its way onto the Bangkok shelves.
With one spray from the metal can, the cheddar-flavored blend oozes out and serves as a topping for crackers or nachos.
The store's beverage aisle was stocked with Coca-Cola products, like Sprite and Fanta.
The products' packaging was similar to what consumers see in the US, but some of the text had been translated into Thai.
The orange-flavored Gatorade wasn't orange at all.
When I was wandering around Villa Market, I spotted the company's signature lightning bolt and soon realized that I'd picked up a unique product.
American ice-cream brands came at a steep cost.
Villa Market sold major US-based ice-cream brands, like Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs. Even though I was thrilled to see them in Bangkok, I quickly realized that the pints didn't come cheap.
A single pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream cost more than $11.
In my mind, ice cream doesn't get any better than Ben & Jerry's.
For a pint of popular flavors like Phish Food or Americone Dream the grocery store charged around $11.
This price tag is pretty consistent with what I've seen in other international stores that carry Ben & Jerry's outside of the US. In Australia, a pint is even more expensive.
But after spending some time in Bangkok's heat, the $11 I paid was worth it.
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