Personal experience: what products I liked in the USA and what I couldn’t eat
Marina Zinkevich, author of the YouTube channel Zinkevych family, 4 years ago moved with her family from Ukraine to the USA. In the new video blog, she shares her experience and impressions of American products. You will learn about which products the author liked, about which food it’s impossible to get used to in America, and about products that are almost impossible to find in the USA.
You have all heard and seen in American films that a standard US family's breakfast begins with cereal and milk. There are a great many of these flakes. Indeed, many people love this kind of food, but we have not introduced this tradition to our family: we do not like either milk or these strange drenched pieces of dough. Moreover, it is terribly harmful. Have you ever thought about how much sugar is contained in such a breakfast? At least half the daily allowance is in one small plate of cereal. That's where the fat Americans come from.
But, in addition to such junk food, Americans also eat a lot of tasty and healthy.
Favorite Products in America
Since we started talking about breakfast, I’ll talk about my first favorite breakfast, which you can find in any cafe. Americans really love him too. This is my love: avocado toast. It’s just an avocado slice that lies on some crunchy bread from a toaster, you can spread bread on something or add red fish on top. But now I will only talk about avocados.
I first tasted avocado in America, before in Ukraine I had never seen it even in stores, perhaps I simply did not pay attention (most likely, the avocado was there, and now it definitely is). In Chicago, an avocado costs about a dollar apiece - I know that in Ukraine the price is about the same. I will not argue about what the dollar means for us and for you, and in our countries not everyone can afford it. In America, almost every family eats this product; you can find it on the shelves of any store. And it sells very quickly. Now avocado is a product, without which not one of our days is complete. We can eat it not only on toast, but put it in a salad or just eat it with a spoon. By the way, this was my child's first complementary food, the first puree, since avocados do not cause allergies.
The second product that I first tried in the USA and now I also cannot live without it is hummus. There are a lot of them in the store, they come in various flavors - with garlic, with red pepper, I even saw with beets. In general, hummus is a product of Jewish cuisine. Here in America it is very popular and you can find it in almost any store. In case you don't know what it is, hummus is a chickpea puree with olive oil, lemon juice and spices. My favorite is classic and with bell pepper. It can be spread on bread, used as a sauce, or eaten with spoons. Americans often serve baby carrots, celery, raw broccoli, and other vegetables on a plate, and put a jar of hummus on for you to use as a sauce, dip in and eat.
The next product is kombucha. I can't say that I fell in love with him and I can't live without him. Sometimes you want to, but this happens very rarely. Although many say that it is the tastiest thing they have ever tasted, and they drink kombucha literally every day. Kombucha is a drink made from kombucha. It is very similar to our kvass. I don't like kvass, maybe that's why I didn't really like it. It comes in many flavors, and the store shelves are literally full of variety. I have never seen this product in our countries, but I heard that it is starting to appear.
Another product is sweet potato, or sweet potatoes. And she's really sweet. It is somewhat similar to boiled carrots in color and taste. Here they make mashed potatoes, chips and even fries. You can find such a dish in almost any restaurant and it is very popular here. Among Americans, this is one of the first foods for babies. They say that sweet potatoes are much healthier than our white ones. But the taste is not for everybody. I absolutely do not like mashed potatoes from these potatoes, neither do chips, but baked or stewed very tasty.
A very popular breakfast among Americans is the bagel. A bagel is a round bun with a hole inside that is cut in half. Something similar to our donut, but larger. Inside, it is most often smeared with cream cheese, jam, peanut butter. Bagel and Coffee is one of New Yorkers' classic on-the-go breakfasts. There are even huge breakfast trucks where you can find different types of bagels with different fillings.
The following foods are peanut butter and cream cheese. I am sure that you know these products, have heard about them, perhaps you also use them. I started using them more actively in the USA. Of course, I ate peanut butter before, we brought it from Europe, over time, the butter began to appear in Ukrainian stores. Peanut butter is classic - creamy, it comes with nut pieces - crunchy, and different flavors. It is worth paying attention to the fact that there is nothing else in the composition, except for nuts and salt. As for the cream cheese, there is also a lot of it here and with different flavors. I love the usual, classic, and we also make cheesecake from it. When we lived in Ukraine, we made all the cheesecake recipes with cottage cheese, although the recipe indicated cream cheese, but in Ukraine it was very expensive. In America, it is much cheaper and very popular. It is spread on bread, added to toast.
Quinoa is a grain-based grain that is gluten free. I think you've heard that many Americans are gluten-obsessed and love foods that say sugar free, gluten free. Perhaps that's why quinoa has become so popular here. You can find it in any restaurant as a side dish. In fact, this is an ordinary porridge, but it is really very tasty and crumbly. We love her very much. Although I did not eat much porridge in Ukraine, here we use it quite often.
Two more products are chia and hemp seeds. These foods have been around since my vegan days, and that's when I tried them. But Americans (not just vegans) know what it is and are eaten. In restaurants, you can find, for example, salads sprinkled with these seeds. Here, these products are loved. Although I no longer follow my vegan diet, these foods remain on my food list.
I already learned about the existence of vegetable milk in the United States, having seen on the shelves beautiful packages of milk with painted almond nuts. I thought it was nut-flavored milk. But then I found out that this is vegetable milk, which is made from these nuts themselves. To be honest, I was shocked by the fact that this is generally done. Vegetable milk is a huge choice: there is almond milk, there is soy, coconut, oat. I think in your countries this milk is also in a large selection. It costs more, but it also benefits more.
Also in America we began to eat a lot of different dried fruits. One of them is dried mango. Of course, there are dates, dried apricots, raisins, and all those products that we ate in Ukraine, but I don't remember mangoes. Perhaps it was, but it was expensive. Raw mango didn't suit me very much, although it is sold here on a par with avocado and the Americans love it very much. I like it dried much more - and I always buy it here.
These were delicious and favorite foods. But I want to tell you about those products in the USA that you cannot get used to here.
The tastiest foods in the USA
The first is chocolate. American-made chocolate is completely tasteless. Whichever I've tried, I can't get used to it. Of course, this does not mean that we do not eat chocolate here, but imports are very developed in the USA, and we eat European chocolates (most often German ones).
I also tried many different American mayonnaises - he is disgusting to me and that's it, I can't eat. While we live in a state where there are Russian shops. We try to eat less mayonnaise, but if we really want to, we go to a Russian store and buy ourselves Ukrainian mayonnaise.
The last on the list is bread. Whatever one may say, the bread here is nasty and nothing can be done about it. Again, we have the ability to buy our bread, which is what we do. Also, many stores have bakeries where they bake their own bread - it is also quite tasty, but it costs 2-3-4 times more.
Products that are not in the US at all
These include cottage cheese. There is cottage cheese here, but it is completely different. If you write the word “cottage cheese” in the translator, cottage cheese will translate for you. When you come to the store, you will see a huge amount of this cottage cheese, but in reality it will not be cottage cheese, but small white grains floating in some kind of liquid. I remember there was such a cheese in Ukraine, it was called granular. Here it is called curd. Of course, you won't make cheese cakes out of it, and it tastes completely different. If you want real cottage cheese, you can be saved, again, by a Russian store.
It's the same story with dried fish, dried shrimp and similar foods. They can be bought in our or Chinese stores (in the latter, you need to read the composition so that they are not too sharp). Another product is smoked pigtail cheese. We have it in our stores, but not smoked. In American stores, it is not at all.
It's the same story with chocolate curds, we all loved them as children. I can only find such a product with us in a Ukrainian store. When we get there, I can take a few of these curds and eat them right in the car - this is a pleasant memory from my childhood.
On the subject: What products are definitely worth trying in the US
Until recently, there were absolutely no “kinder surprises” throughout the United States. They were banned here, even for import across the border, but literally six months or a year ago they were allowed. Now they are in all stores. I don’t know how American children used to live without these chocolate eggs and toys.
There is one product that you won't find anywhere else in the US. I was shocked, but it's a fact - Lay's chips with crab. Everyone knows the super-famous Lay's chips, there are a lot of them in the USA, they are available with completely different flavors - even with the taste of fried cucumbers or cayenne pepper, with the taste of pizza or with vinegar.
There are not only Lay's, but also other chips with crabs. For some reason, we did not find this either in Polish, or in Russian, or in Ukrainian stores.
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