Miracle Whip. I've learned to tolerate mayo, but it just doesn't have that tangy zip, ya know?
Root beer. Good root beer. Real root beer. This root beer.
And Vernor's, naturally.
And as long as we're on the subject of pop, Faygo. Espeically Redpop. Yes, ''red" is a flavor.
And distilled white vinegar. Despite being made by Heinz, and despite Heinz food products being all over the UK like tattoos on sailors, they don't sell their distilled white vinegar here. (I know because I asked them.) I can't describe to you what it tastes like, but it's not wine vinegar and it's not cider vinegar, or malt vinegar. It's unlike anything else, and in most cases you can't substitute anything else. I may never eat coleslaw again ('specially since the second ingred in the dressing is Miracle Whip! Double screwed!).
And why do Campbell's use different recipes for their UK soups???? I know it's nasty canned soup, but damnit I grew up eating tomato soup, and if it's good enough for Andy Warhol...
(it's also the base for the sauce for my grandmother's gallumpki recipe, another old family favorite I may never be able to make again, and it kills me that my kids won't grow up eating them for Christmas dinner every year. :o(
Oreos. Enough said.
And graham crackers. Digestive biscuits are similar, but they really aren't the same.
Grape-flavored anything. Everything here that's purple is blackcurrent flavored, even the skittles! How wrong is that!
Especially grape jelly. On a grilled bagel. With cream cheese. Oh my god you have no idea. And on PB&J. Grape is always the best on PB&J.
And speaking of bagels, good bagels would be lovely, if they could be had here. You don't have bagels in England, you have round bread. It's different. Trust me. If Einstein Bros. were to open a shop in London they'd make a killing.
And speaking of bagels, why do you not have pumpernickel??? ANYTHING???? You're closer to Germany than America is, so why is there no pumpernickel bread here???
And you'd think that in a country with enough Polish immigrants for the BNP to whinge about them at every fucking opportunity I could get a decent loaf of rye bread. You would think that, but you'd be wrong.
Speaking of Polish food, you people wouldn't know a decent dill pickle if it walked up and raped you.
Bacon. Even what you call "streaky bacon" isn't the same. It's got to be something in the curing process, because when I cook English bacon the fat turns all hard and white and rubbery. It doesn't melt away at all. Gross! How am I supposed to get bacon drippings for recipes??? (Once I was in a shop where the girl at the check-out was German, and we spent 10 minutes bitching with each other about how crap the bread and bacon in England are. At least I'm not alone. *sigh*)
Proper pizza. Real, sloppy pizza with a soft crust (as opposed to the matzah bread that passes for pizza crust in this godforsaken land), globs of spicey tomato sauce oozing all over (NOT the ketchup you people use. One word: OREGANO), and heaps of mozarella cheeze (now hear this: CHEDDAR CHEESE DOES NOT BELONG ON PIZZA!)
Getting back to the peanut butter issue, there is a decided paucity of peanut butter in the UK. Jars of it, sure no problem. But could I lay hands on a Reeses peanut butter cup if my life depended on it? Doubtful. Ditto Reeses Pieces. Ditto peanut butter Twixt.
And that's just the processed, packaged food. Let's move on to produce, shall we?
Basically during the month of August I go nuts for want to of decent produce. I grew up in an agricultural state, eating (despite what you may think based on the above diatribe) a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. Come summer time we'd go to the farm market in town, about a mile and half walk, and buy all sorts of yummy, fresh stuff that had been picked that morning by, *gasp!* the same people that grew it!!
These are some of things I miss the most...
First of all, my esteemed British readers should be aware of something: Corn on the cob should NEVER, EVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, be sold pre-shucked and packaged in shrink wrap on foam trays. This is wrong. This is evil. This is the devil's work. If you can't buy sweetcorn that looks like this, you should not buy it at all. Period.
Ripe tomatoes. It just doesn't get hot enough here for good tomatoes, even in the greenhouses.
Ditto the peaches.
Blueberries. They're available, but at about 15 times the cost of back home. A blueberry pie here sets me back about $20 or more. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
And finally, apples! The English are very proud of their apples, but the varieties available here are really, really limited. And they're all very sweet. The stores carry braeburn, gala, and cox varieties, and that's about it. You can get granny smiths (which I like for cooking) and bramelys (which the English like for cooking), but you can't get any tart red varieties. Come fall i'd cut my ear off for half a peck of northern spys or ida reds or jonathans or cortlands. mmmm, cortlands...
(Pirate has already agreed that we will be growing our own apples from older, more antique varieties, before they hybridized them for maximum fucking sugar content and they really did keep the doctor away. Maybe they still do, but brace yourself for a trip to the dentist instead! Blech.)
And lastly, while we're on the subject of apples, I MISS CIDER!!! You can get fabulous hard cider over here, and that's great. But you can't get fresh cider. It doesn't exist. I want fresh, unpasteurized, oxidized cider. In gallon jugs.
Fortunately, Pirate has agreed that once our trees are producing, we can invest in a small, one-man cider press. Whee!