15 April 2012

American & British Food

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Some tasty, some not so much
Some very local or seasonal
And most are not winning any health awards :)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup
is classic American comfort food
( image via Nation's Restaurant News)

I've jotted down a list of foods that are rarely found in the other country
See if any of these are your comfort food, trigger a memory, or just make you want to hurl :)


Velveeta Cheese
Cracker Jack (baseball food)
Tater Tots
Cinnamon Rolls
Biscuits & Gravy
Loaded Potato Skins
Buffalo Wings
Indian Taco
Sloppy Joe
Corn Dogs
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (PB&J)
Mac & Cheese
Grilled Cheese
Philadelphia Cheesesteak
Buffalo Burger
Frito Chili Pie
Chicken Fried Steak

PB&J, mac & cheese, and quesadillas
are staples for many American kids

Mexican food still is on our dinner menu 
at least once a week at home - yum!

Yep, that's 'cheese' in an aerosol can
(image via Toccata)


Kool Aid
Minute Maid Lemonade
Root Beer
Light Beers


Chocolate Chips
Cool Whip
Bubble Gum
Candy Corn
Milk Duds
Junior Mints
Nutter Butter
Funnel Cake
Ice Cream Cake
Fried Ice Cream
Banana Split
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Key Lime Pie

S'mores are an American tradition on every camping trip
(image via Wikipedia)


Hamburger Joints
Doughnut Shops
Frozen Yogurt Shops
Mix-In Ice Cream Parlors
Drive Thru Fast Food (drive thru laundry, banks too)


Peanut Butter
Melted Cheese

Often made in the UK with leftovers: Bubble & Squeak
(image via BBC)


Coleman's Mustard
HP Steak Sauce
Hula Hoops
Walker's Crisps in chicken, bacon, and steak flavors
Welsh Cakes
Hot Cross Buns
Scotch Egg
Jellied Eels
Wide variety of potatoes
Pancakes with lemon and sugar (yum!)
Marmite on toast
Beans on toast
Yorkshire Pudding
Chip Butty
Jacket Potato with Tuna
Fish & Chips
Bubble & Squeak
Plowman's Lunch
Bangers & Mash
Cornish Pasty
Toad In The Hole
Meat Pies
Sunday Roast

Scotch Egg
(image via BBC)


Large variety of tea
Hot Toddy
Alcoholic Apple Cider
Mulled Wine

(personal photo)


Digestive Biscuits
Jaffa Cakes
Millionaire Shortbread (love!)
Fairy Cakes
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Christmas Pudding
Bread Pudding
Spotted Dick
Victoria Sponge Cake
Banoffee Pie
Cream Tea (scones, clotted cream served with tea)

Spotted Dick
'Spotted' refers to the currents and 'Dick' is slang for pudding
(via RecipeWise)




Curry/Indian Food
Use of root vegetables

What would you add to the list?

Any thing you couldn't live without in a foreign country?


Sunray Gardens said...

Those are some interesting lists. Never heard of half that stuff in England. I am going to look up those scotch eggs though.

Cher Sunray Gardens

loveandlilac said...

Spotted Dick brings back memories of school dinners for me. Any stodgy pudding with custard is perfect comfort food. There used to be a roadside sign outside a rather isolated pub in Cambridgeshire that read "Last spotted dick for miles" that always made me snigger when I passed it.

Key lime pie does it for me when I'm Stateside.

Liene said...

I completely understand the need for comfort food every once in a while. Here in France, land of cheese and wine, sometimes all I want is cheddar cheese and peanut butter!

Robyn said...

is this a 'popular list' or a traditional foods list....jellied eels...really? Do people still eat that?
some love/hate things for sure on your list-haggis (my personal favourite!) and marmite...

kellogs cornflakes-i love-and even buy them here as a real treat! lemon curd-love.

my north american friends go mad for pasta in a box-the kraft stuff-and spend a fortune on buying here in east africa.

what about Robinsons/Ribena juice concentrate. You used to not be able to get that in the states-just the powdered stuff-and british ex-pats used to ask for friends/relatives to bring it out. I'm sure that is not the case anymore.

I probably could live without anything british-but do buy the imported earl grey tea and newspapers etc for a change.

Natasha in Oz said...

This was a great post! We are so lucky here that many of the products you mentioned from both the UK and the US are becoming more and more available and popular. We finally have Ben & Jerrys here and I drink nothing but Yorkshire Tea from Taylors of Harrogate. I've even seen PG tips here!

Best wishes and happy Sunday,
Natasha in Oz

flwrjane said...

You have just made me long for a salad.

But if I had to go wrong, it would ne with a chili dog with onions and mustard!

xo Jane

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Just a list of British food you can't find in the US, like jellied eels :) And yes, we too are crazy for that Kraft mac & cheese - go figure, for I'm not sure it tastes good but just brainwashed to think it does :) I was thinking of adding Ribena - I think I will :) Thx!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I know - the food I listed is unhealthy from both sides of the pond :) A chili dog at a baseball game sound just perfect right now :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Australia seems to have a nice blend of both countries :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

If I see that roadside sign, I'll be sure to photograph it - love it!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

American cheddar cheese here is similar to Red Leicester cheese. I think it is because 'Cheddar' is the name of a town that makes cheese (but most factories have closed). So you can't really buy 'Cheddar cheese' here. Go figure :)

Colores said...

difficult to choose the best one, but I would die now for these cheese sandwich!!! yummy

beetree said...

I think one of the hardest parts of extended traveling or living abroad is missing comfort food that you can't find wherever you are staying. You just reminded me of how hard it was to find good (to us) food in England! Our best bet was always to stick to ethnic food- Indian or Chinese were our favorites (definitely not Mexican- it was a sad, sorry substitute!). As far as traditional English food, we never found much we liked...except breakfasts- you can't go wrong with poached eggs, toast and tea. Maybe we just didn't get a good sampling? Pub food? They can have it!

TexWisGirl said...

i would like lots of potato dishes, for certain! :) grilled onions on a cheeseburger - that i'd miss!

a happy little life said...

we have mexican or tex-mex here at least once a week also. love it!
mac and cheese in a box is as shameful as cheese in an aresol can! will not to admit to ever eating either.
spotted dick. cracks me up every time. can't stop myself just got to let it out.
great list!

Kym Hamer said...

I LOVE Pecan pie...

Robynne's Nest said...

Would miss (but could live without) vegemite. Dan misses savoury shapes (crackers) and tim tams (choc biscuits)...otherwise there's lots here in U.K. to compensate...I've managed to eat my way thru nearly 3 years (and put 8 kilos on)...There's so much sweet stuff here though...you forgot Eaton Mess...which to me is something like a pavlova that has been dropped on the floor then scooped back onto a plate. Have never heard of Millionaire shortbreads...sounds great...will investigate!! Robx
p.s. definitely don't like he sound of cheese in an aerosol!!!

Victoria said...

I would add trifle to the English desserts, my mom always made it and my brother loved it but I never cared for it. I loved beans on toast when I was little! My mom often made Welsh Rarebit when she wanted a quick dinner for us.

When we moved to Canada she became obsessed with Cheese Whiz, she ate it every single day on toast.

Rayanne said...

Even though I grew up in Texas, my Dad was English, so we had a lot of English dishes but also Tex-Mex,( I love). The one thing U.S.A. can not make is good fish and chips, but I shouldn't eat them anyway, I'm already getting round :(!
Being from the south, there is nothing like homemade banana pudding and a tall glass of iced sweet tea!!
This was a fun post, thanks!!

Sarah said...

I couldn't survive without PBJ. I'm not a picky either and my kids are not picky either (for the most part), but we do love our PBJ's. And I do love a grilled cheese with soup in the winter time. Yum! And pumpkin pie...the English don't know what they are missing!


I love British sweets ... the homemade variety like trifle AND the purchased sweets - like feast bars.

caliowin said...

Beans on toast is my ultimate comfort food. I love it! I also love treacle sponge, jam roly poly and all those old fashioned puddings. YUM!

I stumbled on Kraft Mac & Cheese in Tesco last year and really enjoyed it. Horribly fake and not as good as homemade macaroni cheese from scratch but still tasty! In fact, I was very sad when the Tesco stopped selling it, and have debated buying it online :S

ann said...

How does on live without PB&J? or Mac n Cheese or pecan pie, or, --for heaven's sakes--fritos? As Caliowin say, buy online. I am sure Walmart ships. On the bright side, you have been spared Walmart.

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

I love scones.

Natalie said...

So many yummy things! Married to a Brit, I have come to love beans on toast (as someone else mentioned). We never miss a few trips to the chip shop when we're in the UK and then making a chip butty. But what I missed when I lived in Europe, summer of '93, was good old cold cereal for breakfast. And real milk. If a hotel did have American style cereal (versus meusli), they served it with that UHT stuff in a box. Ick. Never got used to that. In the U.S. we cannot get Cadbury's that is made in the UK. It's all made in Pennsylvania and it doesn't taste the same. Horrible let down. I love Scotch eggs. We smuggle back Heinz baked beans and HP Sauce -- the industrial size from Asda. And as for non-food items, I love Marigolds. So much better than the Playtex gloves. I never leave England without a 2 year supply and I ask visitors coming from England to bring them to us! I could go on and on...real sticky toffee pudding, my brother-in-laws Sunday roast dinners, Indian takeaways, prepared sandwiches from M&S. I think I just gained 10 lbs. writing this post...

Ola said...

UK food is not very popular abroad, tea is what I possitevly associate with England:)

Life and travelling

~♥~ Sara ~♥~ said...

I love a good scotch egg! I was completely hooked on these during my first pregnancy, I would eat any scotch egg I could get my hands on, from the local petrol station even!!! But I do love a homemade scotch egg...wonderful comfort food. I also like mashed potato with a fried egg on the top, the yolk has to be just runny enough so when you break it it runs all over the mash! hmmmm. I'm really hungry now and its only 10am!!! Why does comfort food have to be so unhealthy???

MrsB said...

Great lists :) I have lived in the US and in Australia for extended periods (now I'm in London). From the US I miss great tex-mex (not Taco Bell kind ;), from Oz I miss mangoes, cherries, great seafood and great asian food. I don't really miss any processed foods from any country since I don't eat it :)

Beth said...

Such a fascinating post Laura. There's quite a few of the U.S foods that are pretty alien to me and I have to say that I've never sampled jellied eels - yuck!
I live between both worlds here in Australia, but having been brought up in the UK I'm salivating reading your British list. I still buy the British recipe Heinz baked beans and HP sauce. The other thing I look for in the imported section of the supermarket is Branston Pickle. Now I'm craving some Walkers crisps so much....!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Your secret's safe with me :) I love that you can make tex-mex in Finland ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Eaton Mess - never heard of it, but if it's sweet, I'll try it :) Never heard of tim tams - I'll have to look for those in the Aussie section :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Did you know Kraft Cheez Whiz has changed their name to Easy Cheese? I'm not really sure why as it is certainly a household name. Trifle - I'll have to give that a try, but I think I'll skip the Welsh Rarebit :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

My mom makes AMAZING banana pudding ;) I'm certainly a Lipton iced tea girl :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Ahh, the magic of online shopping :) Amazon.co.uk sells a few American goodies. I'm not sure you wanted to know that :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Me too!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You can visit again knowing that grocery aisles are well stocked with cold cereal and real cold milk now (althoughthey still have that weird milk in a box). It is a pity that the US Cadbury does not use the UK recipe - I'm sure the Americans would prefer its richer flavor.

I don't really get the whole Heinz baked beans toast thing - you'll need to make me one ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I know :) Why aren't salads our comfort food?

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

SO glad to have found your blog - LOVE this post - as a Brit living in the US - I'm enjoying your take!! So happy to follow you
Mary x

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I'll have to seek out that pickle. I've noticed there aren't sweet pickles here in the UK, come to think of it.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I did find a good Tex Mex restaurant in London - happy dance :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

So great to have you here! Off to see your blog :)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

That was fun!
Because my mother is British, I have just as many, if not more, favorites from the UK list as I do the American.
I tend to miss good orange juice, mexican food, and ice in my drinks when I travel.
I love dessert everywhere :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You are right about the ice :) In Costa Rica they add ice even to their beer - go figure :)

Jane The Booklady said...

This really made me think (and feel hungry!) As for British food, I'd have to add a 'bacon sarnie'. I wish I could try some of the American favourites! Jane x

the cuby poet said...

I agree with Jane the bacon sarnie is a stable quick lunch or brekkie. I think jellied eels should be erased as eels to eat are revolting and once I was served them and felt ill at their squirmyness!

laruelapalooza said...

I love all kinds of food and have tried many ethnic foods here in the US. But I must say that I only recognized 2 from the entire list of British foods and snacks! How can you cook without cinnamon, peanut butter or melted cheese? I can barely think of a single appetizer that doesn't have melted cheese in it. So interesting!

Dave D said...

Ham & piccalilli sarnie, cheese and lemon curd sarnie, BLT with lashings of brown sauce, shepherds pie, cottage pie, toad-in-the-hole, kedgeree. Ooh, feel a bit peckish now.

Emily said...

Another fascinating post! I'd be lost without peanut butter, cinnamon, and chocolate chips (priorities, right?!). Is Ben Jonson correct about oatmeal being strictly a Scottish substance? We love our oatmeal every morning!

Pet said...

What a great list! I'm a Pimms fan myself, and a bread pudding supporter :-)

marriage bureau in jaipur said...

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Dave D said...

Oh, and I almost forgot, you can't beat a good Cornish pasty.

Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting list. An American friend has sent me some cornbread because I miss it so much!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Cornbread - good one!! I love it with sausage in it ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Yummmmy, especially on a cold day :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Me too :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Oatmeal/porridge is popular in England too :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

A few new ones here for me - must investigate :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

We have BLTs in the US (bacon,lettuce,tomato) - is that the same-ish?

miss b said...

What an interesting post! I love Key Lime Pie. I'm not sure what I miss when away from the UK (I actually enjoy trying new foods) I suppose I miss a good cup of Twinings tea.
PS I'm so pleased you found my blog - thank you for following. You have a lovely blog and I'm your newst follower!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Fun lists, I have never even heard of Millionaire Shortbread!

Barbara said...

I love the flapjacks over here in the UK. I'm American and to us a flapjack is a pancake. But in England it is a sweet oatmeal snack bar.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Yes! I couldn't remember the name of that little delight that often gets paased over for my Millionaire shortbread. Thank you for the reminder :)

Privet and Holly said...

I love a Ploughman's lunch!
Don't think I'd be fond of
jellied eel, though.....eek!
I have tried to scale back on
the processed foods at our
house, but that said, if they
weren't readily available, we
would probably crave them
even more! Fun post!

xx Suzanne

housewifedownunder said...

I was trying to explain what s'mores were to my fiance (Australian) and he didn't get it at all. He had no idea what they were. Furthermore, he had no idea what a graham cracker was or why you would want to put melted marshmallow and chocolate in between them. I told him if I couldn't have s'mores, there was no way I was ever going to go camping.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

It's the whole reason to camp, in my opinion :)

lisaroyhandbags said...

The great thing about living in Dubai are all the expats from the UK, Canada, US and Australia so many of our favourites are available here... including mac & cheese, JIF peanut butter, real maple syrup, Velveeta, Pillsbury biscuits, CocoPops, rootbeer, Tang, Jello and Eggo waffles :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Are you bragging, Miss Lisa? Just another excuse for me to take a trip to Dubai :)

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches... recently I had the BEST one of my life... roasted roma tomatoes, cheddar, gorgonzola, swiss and fontina on artisan bread... FABuLOUS!

Natalie said...

Had to come back and see what other foods people were loving (or hating). I'm also so curious as to the name of the Tex Mex restaurant in London! And you do need to check out Branston Pickle. The story of my first experience with it is comical: I bought a ham, cheese and pickle sandwich -- one of those prepackaged ones from M&S -- on my very first trip to England (1998). I opened the package and pretty much screamed (while my husband is driving, of course), "My sandwich is all brown and moldy!" So then my husband nearly drove off the road laughing and trying to explain to me that pickle in England is a spread, not a green sliced thing. Now I love Branston pickle. Bridget Jones eats it straight out of the jar in the first Bridget Jones Diary movie when she's "eating the entire contents of her fridge." Makes me laugh every time. Because that would be pretty nasty.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I love the pickles on sandwiches - they have yummy, interesting combinations here, don't they? The restaurant is Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden. So authentic that you can order the combination plates :)

Donna W said...

Some more local foods from the USA are, chicken ’n dumplings, crab cakes, hoagies or submarine sandwiches. And who can forget the ultimate American comfort food, Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. The best meal of the year! Thanks for the interesting post. My family serves plum pudding with hard sauce at Christmas. Is this a British tradition?

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Why, yes, I do think that is a British tradition. Thank you for your additions - they certainly belong on the list too :)

likeschocolate said...

I think I need to find a place that serves bubble and squeek when I come to London next month. Also, have always wanted to try a Scotch egg.

stricksonne said...

I love the pickles on sandwiches!!!!! angie from germany

Anonymous said...

Or s'mores, biscuits and gravy, buffalo wings, and cinnamon rolls.
My life would be incomplete without these!!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I saw a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese in the World Foods aisle in my local Tesco the other day - I thought that was pretty funny! nestle in among all the indian spices, coconut milk and polenta. It looked out of place! It wasn't too pricey though, probably cheaper then buying it from specialist U.S websites if you're that keen on it!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I miss corn dogs! We used to be able to buy them freely in the American stocked supermarkets when we lived in the Caribbean. A few years ago we found them twice in Costco here in the UK but they've never been seen again....every time we pop in I insist we look in the freezer section just incase they've come back into stock again but they never have! We're moving to Vancouver in September so I'm hoping to get my corn dog fix then!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Great post by the way, I loved reading it!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I love Cafe Pacifico!! I've been a little sad about people's bashing of Mexican restaurants here in the UK. Recently the Mexican scene has really grown in London! I tried 15 different Mexicans when I lived in London last summer and found some amazing places! Santo in Notting Hill, Crazy Homies in Westbourne Grove and El Camion in Soho are among my faves. You can check out my roundup here: http://puddlehoppinginpen.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Mexican

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks for this list! I can't wait to give them a try :)