Last week on the blog I talked about 10 foods I can’t wait to try in the UK. This week I wanted to reverse it and talk about the food and products I am packing. One part of my trip that I am really looking forward to is staying with my friends across the UK. I’ll be staying with friends in Wales, Scotland, Kingston, and London. I think just being with them may very well be a highlight of my time.
And let us not forget the fact that I am SO THANKFUL to have buddies to stay with, as accommodation in the UK is quite expensive. To thank my generous hosts, I’d like to bring them some gifts. Me and one of my travel buddies have been talking about gift ideas. She is from Germany, so she thinks it would be nice to bring some typically German food and chocolate. I figured I’d do some research and think of a few American treats my friends in the UK may be missing (or may have never tried before).
I am still looking for ideas, here is what I have so far:
1. American candies
Technically the UK (particularly London) is well set with all sorts of foods from around the world. You can find a lot of American candies and foods in the international section of grocery stores.They even have a costco for goodness sakes! However, I’ve heard that the prices can be outrageous and the selection not as good.
A few candies that one of my host families mentioned,
2. Peanut butter products
In America we put peanut butter with everything. (You can thank George Washington Carver for that!) Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter cups and other candies, peanuts and chocolate and chocolate in peanuts. In Europe, I have heard that peanuts are much more rare. Chocolate is more commonly paired with hazelnuts. I have also heard that the peanut butter they have is more expensive and/or not as delicious.
Despite the fact that I am allergic to peanuts, I may bring some peanut products just so my buddies can taste the obsession we have here in America.
3. Maple syrup
Even here in the states, pure high quality syrup is like liquid gold. I’ve heard it is even MORE expensive in Europe. If I could find something travel friendly, I think it would make a nice little gift.
One of the foods my host mentioned was Lucky Charms. Apparently candy-for-breakfast type cereals are less common over there. I am personally not a fan of such things, but perhaps it would make for an interesting taste of American life?
5. Makings of smores
Graham crackers and marshmallows are both things that are harder to find in Europe (or so I’ve heard). Also, I believe smores is a typically American obsession. OH to be the bearer and instructor of such a heavenly treat!
Of course, I’d probably have a hard time bringing the typical Hershey’s chocolate with me. Despite the fact that it is kind of a smores necessity, bringing our cardboardesque chocolate to the golden chocolate fountain that is Europe sounds too much like heresy.
I love Burt’s bees chap stick. It is all-natural and oh so refreshing. I have heard that is an all-American company. Perhaps some Burt’s bees chap stick and other American cosmetics would make for good gifts?
Apparently ranch dressing is an American thing. It is hard to imagine life without ranch. We throw it on salads, chicken, and veggies. What is a party without the ranch dip? Anyway, my mom bought a few pouches of the powder stuff for me to take with me. Even if my host family hasn’t tried ranch before, it should be a fun experience for them.
8.Annie’s Mac N Cheese
I am sure you can get mac n cheese in the UK, because life without mac n cheese just doesn’t sound right : ) And I also saw pictures of gourmet mac n cheese street food in London. However, perhaps you only have that disgusting albeit more main stream Kraft junk. Introducing, Annie’s Mac N Cheese: my childhood in a box.
Doorway solicitors aren’t too welcome in America, however every year around January to February, Americans begin eagerly waiting for that knock or door bell. The most popular solicitors in all the states are elementary school girls in cute brown costumes selling their famous girl scout cookies from door to door.
Forget Harvard vs. MIT or the Red Socks vs. Yankees, if you want people to get into REAL debate around here it is time to ask: which is better, Samoa or Thin Mint? SAMOA SAMOA SAMOA. Don’t tell me anything else!
I figure I’ll bring a few boxes of each to Europe so my friends can weigh in on this all important ever present debate.
Another idea I had was to bring products and gifts from my town. Being from the Southern US, I really couldn’t think of any iconic gifts to bring. I figured nice mugs with my hometown’s skyline on it would be nice. Or perhaps a hat or t-shirt for a younger friend? I remember we had friends visit from New Zealand once and they left us all with New Zealand beanies. It was great. But then again, they were from New Zealand. I am not sure a North Carolina mug or hat would be quite as cool.
Are there any typical American foods or things I am forgetting? Comment any ideas you might have!
And just for fun, here is a video of British folks trying American snacks: