- Travel Home
- Travel News
10 foods Americans miss most while abroad
Because even the most adventuresome stomach can long for the processed goodness of home
There are certain things red-blooded U.S. citizens miss intensely when abroad for long stretches: friends, family, watching NFL football without having to get up in the middle of the night ... and food.
Sure, conquering exotic culinary worlds is exhilarating -- "I had no idea marsupial cheeks could be so delicious!" -- but the dispiriting lack of some foods can make home feel very far away, indeed.
Here are the foods road-weary Yankees miss most.
As every carne asada connoisseur knows, the further you get from Mexico, the lamer the tortillas get.
By the time they cross an ocean, the average U.S. citizen will fall into paroxysms of delight at the mere sight of a Taco Bell.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Or Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops or Flutie Flakes or whatever may be your brand of choice.
While U.S. culture casts a long shadow across the planet, many places have yet to embrace its vision of a balanced breakfast built around a bowl of sugarcoated niacin and riboflavin.
The result? If you absolutely require your Wheaties, you'd better take them with you.
Or just accept as your dismal fate that the day shall begin with congee or a croissant.
Though you'll probably have to wipe off mayonnaise or other pointless goop, you can find frites in almost any country.
Until Mickey D's starts offering ground beef and shredded cheddar, however, you likely won't get the true chili fry experience until you've once again successfully passed through the TSA gauntlet.
Sometimes it pays to fall in love with major brands.
Wherever you are in the world, if you want a Coke, you can get one. Ditto for Pepsi.
Root beer, whether A&W or your beloved regional version, has yet to conquer the globe, with the result that you may find yourself forced to -- brace yourself -- drink cola.
We know, it's pure savagery out there, but we'll get through this deprivation together.
The United States loves burgers and that love only grows the bigger they come.
Even if you're in a place that serves quality beef, you'll have to order three and stack them together to get the proper gluttonous experience.
Of course, you can always detour to Argentina and stuff yourself with steak until you stop caring about sesame seed buns.
There's a theory that there's something in the New York water that makes the bagels there taste unique.
Whatever the reason, assuming you're lucky enough to find them in the first place, bagels in foreign lands might as well be donuts. Minus the deliciousness. (You're excluded from this statement, Montreal -- vive St. Viateur!)
Not an issue for anyone on extended stay in Italy, but while pizza can now be found all over the planet, inevitably it seems as if the people making it were given the general description but not the entire recipe.
Whether the sauce or the cheese or the crust or just the list of unacceptable toppings -- no matter how many times you do it, it's always unsettling to bite into a slice and hit corn -- something always feels off.
Yes, there are many, many wonderful alternative snacks around the globe, but this is still the one that works best while watching Harold & Kumar do anything.
Orville Redenbacher, you and your nephew Gary need to get global already.
Sure, without it there's room for more soda.
Yet when you get your cup of Sprite and the frozen H2O isn't there, it just feels wrong. Like Christmas without the presents.
We add those cubes for a reason, people!
Ketchup packets you don't have to pay for
The United States is the land of plenty, so when you get fast food to go and they ask, “You want ketchup?” you can tell them, “Yes and keep 'em coming” until your bag contains roughly one packet per fry.
Like the 13 colonies, these packets were meant to be free.
Also on CNNGo: 5 awesome food trucks worth chasing
LET US KNOW: What foods do you miss when you are abroad? Serve up your answer in the comments below.