"I Sent $150 Of These Cookies To My Son When He Was Living In Germany": People Are Sharing The "American" Ingredients That Are Almost Non-Existent Abroad

·6 min read

If you've ever traveled abroad, you've probably realized there are some common "American" ingredients and foods that you'll hardly ever find in another country.

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So Redditor u/Specialist_Plum673 said, "I'm American and I want to send a British friend a care package of ingredients that you don't see a lot in the UK." And they asked, "What is a very, very American ingredient?" Here's what people said.

Snacks in supermarket. Olives, pepperoni and stuffed tomatoes.
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1."My family always takes boxes of Jiffy muffins and cornbread mix home when they come over to the states. It's a rarity back home."

Corn muffins served with jam.
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2."A good burrito. When I was living in the UK, I couldn't find good Tex-Mex (and burritos, specifically) for the life of me."

A burrito with rice and beans.
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3."I am Croatian, and I have a few American friends who introduced me to ranch dressing. I don't know what it is about those Hidden Valley ranch packets, but they're fantastic."

Salad with Ranch dressing on the side.
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4."When I lived in Switzerland, I missed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups so much. Don't get me wrong, Swiss chocolate is amazing (even superior to American chocolate), but chocolate and peanut butter is a combination they have yet to catch on to. My grandparents used to send me enormous packages of Reese's, and I'd finish it all in no time."

Three chocolate peanut butter cups in their wrapping.
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5."Hot Cheetos. IMO, they are the single hardest food to find outside of the US."

Bags of flamin' hot cheetos on a shelf.
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6."I live in Japan, and I constantly miss and crave queso. As someone from Texas originally, it basically runs through my veins, but it's so hard to find here."

Dipping a chip into queso.
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7."Slim Jims. From my experience living in the UK, it's impossible to describe a Slim Jim to anyone who hasn't tried one. A friend of mine insisted he has tried something similar in the UK, but he brought back a meat sausage that didn't come close to replicating the magic of a Slim Jim."

Meat jerky sticks.
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8."Not a specific ingredient, but anything from Chick-fil-A. Since visiting the states, it has become my definition of good American fast food. Those spicy chicken sandwiches are something else."

Chick-fil-A food on a table.
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9."Graham crackers. What even are they? Crackers or biscuits? I have absolutely no idea, and I have never seen them anywhere outside the USA. They are a mystery to me."

Creamy chocolate hazelnut spread on a spoon with graham crackers.
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10."Mexican chile peppers like ancho, arból, and chipotle peppers. They’re near impossible to find in the UK, but they're everywhere in the US. It shows how Mexican cooking and its influence really is such a big part of American cuisine."

Poblano mole ingredients.
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11."Bagels, particularly everything bagels. I'm an Australian, and I dream about eating another everything bagel like the one I had on a trip to the US. 😭"

An everything bagel with tomato.
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12."Southern sweet tea. I'm from Alabama, but while living in Ireland, I was experiencing serious withdrawals for my mom’s (or anybody’s!) sweet tea. I made my own the best I could, but it just wasn’t the same as the stuff back home."

Two glasses of iced tea.
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13."Everything peanut butter-related. I'm an American living in Scotland, and this is the stuff I miss most. Good peanut butter only exists here in tiny, expensive jars. I really miss peanut butter cookies, Reese's Puffs, chocolate peanut butter candy, etc."

Peanut butter cookies.
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14."American-style donuts. A lot of donut chains in Asia make them much less sweet than they do in America, because otherwise, the locals won't care for them."

Various kinds of donuts.
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15."In Japan, cottage cheese is impossible to find. Oh, how I miss this common American breakfast..."

Cottage cheese with strawberries.
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16."When I lived in Austria, I had my mother send me taco seasoning. There is an enormous need for decent Tex-Mex in Europe."

Bird's eye view of a dinner table with taco ingredients.
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17."Cheap boxes of American cake mix. My sister-in-law who lives in Spain goes absolutely crazy for them. I bring her five boxes each time I visit."

Cake mix in a bowl
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18."Root beer! There was a very brief (but brilliant) period in the UK where McDonald’s served root beer. 😔"

A root beer float
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19."American 'Chinese' food, specifically east coast Chinese food. General Tso's chicken, egg rolls, egg drop soup, oily, soy-sauce laden lo mein, beef and broccoli, and fortune cookies."

Take-out boxes of Chinese food.
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20."Triscuits and spray cheese. It's the greatest cheap snack."

Spray Cheese from can to cracker.
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21."A friend of mine from the UK couldn't get enough of gas station beef jerky when he was visiting the states. He talked about how good it was for a solid 10 minutes. It's very hard to find in Europe and also very expensive."

Beef jerky and nuts.
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22."Saltwater taffy. I recently sent some to an overseas friend. She had never tried it before, and she loved it."

Assorted flavors of salt water taffy.
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23."Banana peppers. As a Londoner who has lived in Indiana and Illinois, if you could send me banana peppers in the UK, I’d send you my first born."

Pepperoni pizza with banana peppers.
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24."Girl Scout cookies, particularly Thin Mints or Samoas. I sent about $150 worth of these cookies to my son when he was living in Germany. He was so excited to have his German girlfriend try them."

Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.
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25."I lived in Croatia for two years, and it might sound ridiculous, but the thing I missed most were cranberry products like cranberry sauce and cranberry juice. I could find every other fruit imaginable, but not cranberries."

A plate of Thanksgiving food.
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26."Velveeta cheese. It makes the best macaroni and cheese, and it's so hard to find outside of the US."

Boxes of Velveeta shells and cheese.
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27."Coffee creamer. Nowhere else outside of North America can you find coffee creamer. They just use milk or cream."

Coffee creamers in a grocery aisle.
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28."Corn tortillas. I always have a tough time finding real corn tortillas here. It's difficult to make chilaquiles and migas without them!"

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29."Breakfast cereal. In the US, cereal is a very, very different phenomenon than it is in the rest of the world. When I studied abroad, cereal was nothing like what I was used to."

A spoonful of fruit loops and milk.
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30."Pepperoni. I live in Korea, but because I'm in the military, I still have access to all of my American comforts. That said, I went on a date with a civilian who begged me to bring her a bunch of pepperoni because the Korean version tastes different."

Closeup of pepperoni pizza.
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What's a quintessentially "American" ingredient or food you love that is either difficult or nearly impossible to find abroad? Tell us in the comments!