| United States

10 Foods You’ll Find When You Study Abroad in America

Warning: Pictures of food may cause feelings of extreme hunger.

America—land of the free, home of the brave, and country of foodies. While America may not be a foodie destination, the United States does have several foods you can’t find anywhere else (or foods that just don’t taste the same anywhere else). Make it your mission to try these foods while studying abroad in the United States.

1. Avocado Toast

avocado toast image

A recent food trend in major US cities is avocado toast. The base of this magical creation is often 7-grain whole wheat bread that has been lightly toasted. It is then topped with mashed avocado and lemon pepper (or crushed red pepper). Many brunch places also place a poached egg on top of the avocado with a complimentary sauce drizzled over the meal. Can you really say you studied abroad in America if you haven’t had avocado on toast.

2. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter american food image

Photo: Layla Yaganeh

A more popular American food staple is Peanut Butter. Creamy or chunky, Jif or Skippy, everyone has a specific brand of peanut butter that they are wholly committed to. Whether it’s peanut butter on a sandwich, in a frozen hot chocolate, on the inside of a candy bar, peanut butter is one of those American trends people from other countries just don’t understand. It’s the Vegemite of the USA.

3. Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken american food image

Photo: Angela Serednicki.

Crunchy, crispy and covered in just the right amount of spice, fried chicken is exactly what makes America so wonderful. Buy it by the bucketful or compliment it with waffles or honey, eat it any which way and it is perfect. While KFC is a quick and easy way to enjoy this dish, try fancier specialty stores or diners for a more legitimate experience.

4. Bagels

bagel american food image

Photo: Layla Yaganeh

While bagels are not an American creation (thank you, Poland!), Americans have become bagel connoisseurs when it comes to decorating the delicious bread. Flavored cream cheese, eggs with cheese, lox and avocado are only a few of the many things that can be placed on top of a toasted bagel. Create your own original bagel order at the nearest bagel shop ASAP. And remember, the best bagels are in NYC. But others will do just fine.

5. Iced Coffee

iced coffee image

Photo: Amanda Collier

Americans have a love affair with coffee. Hot, tons of milk, blended. There are so many ways to drink coffee, but iced is the preferred choice of many. Iced coffee has recently caught on in many other countries, but is still not a popular choice among non-Americans. Iced coffee is particularly wonderful on a hot summer day.

6. Frozen Yogurt

frozen yoghurt american food image

Photo: Layla Yaganeh

Similar to ice cream, frozen yogurt has become the “it” trend when it comes to summer treats. Choose as many flavors as you want and then top the creation with your favorite fruits and candy. Instagram the final product to your heart’s content.

7. Mac & Cheese

Image mac & cheese.

While Mac & Cheese has taken on a more gourmet look in restaurants across America, there is something special about making this dish from a box. Whether it’s Kraft or Velveeta, this creamy concoction can do no wrong. All you’ll need is a bit of milk and butter.

8. Doughnuts

donuts doughnuts american food image

Photo: Amanda Collier

The doughnut (also known as donut) has said to have been created in North America by the Dutch settlers. This small, round confectionery piece of perfection is a prominent American treat. Doughnuts are often eaten for breakfast, complimented by a cup of coffee, or enjoyed as a snack. Nowadays, donuts have become the new food fashion trend, with unique flavors like hibiscus and coconut lime making it’s way to the front lines. Some of the most popular doughnut creators include Dough and Doughnut Plant in NYC. But, doughnuts from mom-and-pop shops in the suburbs are equally as good.

9. Burritos

Image cactus burrito.

While, yes, Chipotle has made its way across international borders, this is not the real burrito experience. Burritos, to begin with, are not a popular Mexican food in Mexico. A proper burrito has a warm tortilla with a good portion of melted cheese, white rice, black beans, guacamole (for less than $2 extra, please!), and pico de gallo. Additional hot sauce and a protein may be added for an exceptionally amazing burrito-eating experience. Remember, not all burritos are created equally.

10. Barbecue

Image  BBQ ribs

Photo: Angela Serednicki

This down-South concoction is comfort food heaven. Fire-grilled steak, BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread, corn on the cob. The list of delicious barbecue options (and it’s must-have sides) is almost never ending. Smokey, spicy and a bit over the top, this food is a favorite for dinnertime and picnics in the park.

Marilyn La Jeunesse

New York University | 6 stories

Marilyn La Jeunesse is a student at New York University. She is currently studying Journalism, Psychology, and Child & Adolescent Mental Health. In her free time, given manageable weather conditions, she enjoys wandering the streets of New York City looking for new and exciting places to eat or shop. On snow days she prefers to curl up in bed and binge-watch Dexter. She is a contributing writer for the Washington Square News, Beacon Magazine, and is editor-in-chief of Explore Your Metro.

3 responses to “10 Foods You’ll Find When You Study Abroad in America”

  1. Julie Connors says:

    I love Amanda Collier’s Photo’s and have eaten all those delicious delights!

  2. Susanna says:

    Oh me oh my. I’m from the USA and I can testify that all these are definitely staple treats around here. Although as a North Carolinian I must have you understand that BBQ means pulled pork with a homemade sauce and cole slaw on a hamburger bun. End of story : )

  3. Laura gallant says:

    Great list, I would also recommend wings also referred to as chicken or Buffalo wings ( created in Buffalo New York). These are delicious deep fried chicken wings covered with spicy sauce served with blue cheese dip and celery sticks to cool the tasters mouth. Lately they’ve been springing up everywhere with all types of sauces becoming a staple around the table with pizza during American football games.

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