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People Are Sharing The "American" Ingredients They Can't Find Overseas, And I Honestly Can't Imagine Living Without Some

"It's so tough to find outside of North America. I learned this the hard way."

If you've ever walked into a grocery store abroad, you know that the selection can look pretty different from what you're probably used to in the US. So redditor u/pogmoshron asked, "What are some kitchen 'must haves' that I can pick up when I'm in the States that can't be purchased in Europe?" Here's some of what people on Reddit, as well as members of the BuzzFeed Community, had to say.

1. "Any Mexican ingredients like small-label hot sauces or canned chipotles in adobo sauce."

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2. "I’m from Connecticut and I've been living in England for a couple of years. For me, it’s classic New England fall foods like apple cider donuts and pumpkin-flavored everything. That stuff is a very American concept."

A box of cider donuts

3. "Maple syrup. It's so hard to find outside of North America. I learned the hard way when I was trying to plan an American-themed breakfast for a dinner party in Brazil."

American breakfast in diner with waffles, orange juice, and syrup

4. "Ranch dressing. My friend just moved to Dublin from the States, and he brought a ridiculous amount of ranch dressing with him. Europe does not have a market for this beloved condiment."

A small cup of ranch dressing

5. "American pancake mix, especially the easiest-possible boxed versions where you just add water."

A person making pancakes in a skillet

6. "Cottage cheese. In Japan, it's virtually impossible to find, and I really miss cottage cheese!"

A small bowl of cottage cheese with fresh strawberries

7. "Sugary cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I had my sister bring me a few boxes when she visited me in Madrid. The cereal selection in Europe just doesn't compare."

Boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

8. "Cornbread. It’s rare to find in the UK. The only place I’ve seen it was at Whole Foods, and even there it was cold, subpar, and not as comforting as the US version."

Two freshly baked slices of cornbread and a container with honey butter

9. "Pop-Tarts. You can usually find them at a few specialty 'American' shops, but they're usually marked up three times the original price, so I buy a few cheap boxes when I can."

A toaster pastry with strawberry filling, vanilla icing, and sprinkles

10. "Old Bay Seasoning. I haven't been able to find it in Europe. I'm from Maryland, and I miss it so much that I make my own from a copycat recipe and always have it on hand in my kitchen."

A package of Old Bay Seasoning

11. "Frank's Red Hot Sauce. I used to bring back Buffalo sauce when I would visit the States, but then I realized how easy and tasty it is to make from scratch. But Frank's Red is key."

Chicken wings and hot sauce

12. "Celery seed. I live in Finland, and I haven't been able to find it here. I don't know how common it is in other countries. IMO, celery seed really gives coleslaw, potato salad, and other dishes that true 'American' flavor."

Potato salad with dill

13. "Not quite a food product, but American measuring cups. It makes following recipes so much easier because you don't have to convert any of the measurements."

Pouring ingredients from a measuring cup

14. "Dried chiles. If you like cooking Mexican food, it's worth stocking up on them in the US. You can find them abroad, but they're way more expensive and less common."

Dried chiles in a bowl

15. "Small-batch barbecue sauce. There are so many great regional barbecue sauces in the US, and it's definitely worth picking some up while in the States."

Rack of barbecue pork ribs

16. "Trader Joe's spices. The Everything but the Bagel seasoning is my personal favorite. The Mushroom & Co. Multipurpose Umami Seasoning, Green Goddess Seasoning, and Everything but the Elote are great too."

A bottle of Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

17. "Tajin seasoning. It elevates just about every kind of fruit, and it's so hard to find outside of the States."

Sliced fruit with Tajin spice

18. "My sister lives overseas, and she always complains about how hard it is to find canned pumpkin. Whenever I visit, I always load up and bring her some."

Pureed pumpkin in a bowl

19. "Bourbon! Whenever I go to the US, I bring home as much bourbon as I'm allowed. Abroad, there are very few types of bourbon sold, and they are incredibly expensive."

Whisky drink at bar

20. "When I lived in the US, I would bring back Lipton's onion soup mix and make onion dip. My Indian friends loved it so much, they would fight over who got to lick the bowl."

Onion soup dip with chips

21. "Dr Pepper. Whenever we travel abroad, my husband almost loses his mind going a week or two without it."

A bottle of Dr Pepper soda

22. "All peanut butter products. I'm an American living in Scotland, and good peanut butter exists here, but only in tiny, expensive jars. I miss things like peanut butter cookies, Reese's Puffs, and peanut butter–filled pretzels."

Lots of different Reese's candies

23. "Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. The American version is just different from the version you can buy abroad."

Campbell's soup cans on a shelf

24. "Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Gosh, I miss it."

A can of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

25. "I'm an American expat living in Germany, and every time I return home, I bring back Annie's mac 'n' cheese. I often make mac 'n' cheese from scratch, but there's something special about that stuff in the blue box."

Bowl of pasta and cheese on a wooden table with a fork and napkin beside it

26. "Stone-ground corn grits. At least in England, they're nearly impossible to find. You can get your hands on Quaker Oats corn grits, but that's about it."

A bowl of grits with melted butter

If you live overseas or have traveled abroad, what "American" ingredient is really difficult to find? Tell us in the comments below.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.