When it comes to all things culinary, America has always had a way with food. Even when the rest of the world has established a specific term for a delicious dish, when they’re in the States they might need to dig deeper to find the right words to order what they really want to eat. From Great Britain to Australia, there are many food items that differ from those in the USA.
At GIGGAG we gathered the main things from America’s menus that have really confused the rest of the world and we’ll present them to you right away to save you from having a food panic attack during your next trip around the world.
One of the main differences between the USA and the UK desserts is what each culture is referring to when they say pudding. Basically, this is because in the UK the term “pudding” is used for any dessert, while there are also specific sweets that contain the word “pudding” in their name. For Americans though, pudding is a creamy dessert served in a bowl or a glass, eaten with a spoon.
If you live in America and have visited Europe or vice versa, you’ve probably noticed that the eggs in supermarkets in the US are refrigerated, but in Europe, all eggs are kept outside the fridge. This is because according to the law, Americans should sanitize and clean the eggs before being sold. Eggs that are sold in European supermarkets are illegal in America.
If you are a Milky Way lover, you need to know that in the UK the famous chocolate bars are all chocolate and nougat, while in the USA there is also caramel somewhere in between which makes a Milky Way from the US look more like a Mars bar. Despite their differences, both are really tasty.
You might be surprised, but pancakes are not the same everywhere. If you are in Russia and you order “pancakes” you get a delicious dessert that looks and tastes more or less like French crepes. Be sure to specify that you want classic American pancakes if you want to taste the famous fluffy breakfast food.
Even though a lot of Italians are living and cooking in the USA, traditional “grissini,” or breadstick, took a wrong turn apparently. In the USA, if you ask for breadsticks you’ll get those soft bready sticks with lots of garlic for dipping in several sauces.
However, in Italy, breadsticks are crunchy baked sticks of bread that are usually used as a side for wine or salad, or just eaten as snacks.
When it comes to toast, Americans and French are far apart from each other. In America, a traditional toast is just a slice of grilled bread that is usually served as an accompaniment to other dishes. In France though, if you order a toast you’ll get a tasteful sweet delight which is made with bread soaked in beaten eggs, with sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
We must admit that both cooking styles are equally delicious; we’re talking about bacon after all. However, there is a huge difference between USA bacon, which is crunchy and greasy and the English style bacon which is softer and chewier. The British love to use it with bread slices for their popular bacon sandwiches.
You’d be surprised if you go to Australia and ask for ketchup in your burger. The famous American sauce for burgers and fries is not commonly known in Australia by the same name. Australians call it tomato sauce, which in the USA is used for cooking several other tasty recipes.
If you are in the UK and you order “fish and chips,” you’ll get what you see in the photo to the right. For Americans, it would definitely come as a surprise to get French fries when they ordered chips. However, that is just one of the many food differences between the 2 countries. Chips, one of the most famous snacks in the USA, are called crisps in the UK.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which are really popular in the US, are actually made of what the rest of the world calls “jam.” In China, for example, if you want to buy some “jelly” this is what you’ll get: a small sweet gelatin dessert, or what Americans call Jell-O.
Flapjacks is actually another word that Americans use for their classic fluffy pancakes. In Britain however, flapjacks are energy bars made with oats, sugar or syrup, fruit, and maybe chocolate bits. It’s more like a snack in the UK rather than the breakfast or brunch delicacy that it is in the USA.
Gravy is a really popular dish in the US. It consists of soft biscuits with meat gravy sauce made of chopped cooked pork sausage, milk, white flour, and pepper. In Europe, gravy is pretty popular too, but as a sauce for pouring it on top of beef or other cooked meat dishes. It is made of meat sauce, flour, onions, and pepper and it has no sausage in it.
Pigs in a blanket is a famous dish worldwide. However, there are several recipes on how to make it, 2 of the basic ones are: the American way and the British way. The first one is to roll sausages in pastry dough and bake them and the second one uses bacon as a ‘blanket’ over sausages before baking them. Both are really delicious choices for appetizers at parties and especially during Christmas in the UK.
In the USA every thin, sweet, crispy or soft, small cake that is made with flour is called a cookie. The word comes from the Dutch koekje and means exactly that, small cake. However, in the UK there is a big difference because the word cookie is only used to refer to chocolate chip cookies.
On the contrary, in the States, a cookie can include any ingredients the baker wants to put inside.
When it comes to pie, Americans are talking about a baked dish made of pastry dough, that has a filling inside, and is open on top. The most famous American pies are apple pie and cherry pie. However, in Greece where pies are a traditional dish in almost every region of the country, pies are almost always savory and fully covered with handmade dough.
Pies in the USA look more like what European countries call a tart.
This summer delight only has the name popsicle in the US. While in Britain and the rest of the world the frozen fruit juice treat is called an “ice lolly.”
All that food talk really worked up our appetite! Have you tasted any of the dishes above? What about your region, do you have anything that is cooked differently than it is in the rest of the world? Share your culinary experiences in the comments. We’d love to hear about them!
Preview photo credit Evan-Amos / Wikimedia