- Food and Cooking
USA Foods I'll Miss
America is famous for a lot of things, including its food. Some of it's good for you, some of it (most of it...) is bad for you, some of it's greasy, some of it's sweet, some of its portions are ridiculously huge - but so much of it is just so good. Here's some foods I'll miss the most when I leave Tennessee.
I absolutely love Taco Bell - I'd heard about it a lot on TV, but never actually tried it until I came to the States.
It's cheap, it's fast, it's tasty. The Burrito Supreme is only $3.06, and the Locos Tacos is tangy and yummy. I didn't realise Mexican fast food was so darn good. I'm going to miss that great restaurant food chain.
Key Lime Pie
Oh my goodness. I was blown away by the key lime pie they sell at Cootie Brown's - the crust was crumbly and thick, the lime tangy and sweet, topped with a nice dollop of whipped cream. One piece of lime pie was easily enough for two people - and still makes for a large portion.
Key lime pie is great, and might be available at home; perhaps I haven't looked hard enough. One thing is for sure - I'll be looking for it now!
There are tons of restaurants in the States not around at home that I absolutely love. Wendy's is similar to McDonald's, arguably, but better - and sells things like great milkshakes and iced tea. The fries are better too. Wendy's spicy chicken burger is truly yummy, and like many fast food chains in the south of the USA, you can buy a gigantic cup of iced tea for next to nothing. I actually first tried Wendy's in Tokyo, Japan, and was excited to eat it again in Tennessee.
Other restaurants I adore include the Mellow Mushroom, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys (amazing burgers where you choose everything that goes on it) and Bojangles (because you can't visit the South without eating fried chicken and biscuits).
When I first was offered a breakfast burrito, I was surprised and curious. Turns out you fry some chopped potatoes, throw in some egg and some chili and toss it onto a tortilla. And it was delicious.
A lot of great things about American food is that it has a lot of Mexican influence, and I absolutely love spicy food such as chillies, jalapeños and curries. The breakfast burrito was a winner for me, and easy to make at home too.
Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa aren't strictly American, but I've never seen a country with so many varieties of salsa and varieties of potato chips. Sun chips, blue chips and fritos are just a few examples of crisps I'd never heard of before, but was so, so glad I tried. They're great to take on a picnic too.
As for salsa, I even tried some homemade salsa made by various people - onions, jalapeños, peppers, tomatoes and various spices and herbs include the ingredients involved to make salsa. Grab some potato chips and dig in - yum!
Now, you actually can buy Pop Tarts at home, but there is such a vast choice in the USA. Pop Tarts are generally eaten at breakfast time, but for me they're better as a snack or dessert, as they can be quite sweet. Varieties include peanut butter, raspberry, chocolate, strawberry, brown sugar cinnamon... the list is endless, really. Smores are my personal favourite (which you can also make yourself at home with graham crackers), chocolate and marshmallow squished together for a crunchy, sticky chocolatey treat.
Man oh man. Dippin' stix - a simple idea, and both varieties that I tried were way more delicious than I was expecting. The caramel flavour was the crunch and freshness of the apple with the sticky sweetness of the dip. I also tried yogurt, which was so delicious it actually made me a little emotional. (Just kidding... kind of).
These can be bought in so many supermarkets in the USA - we just picked ours up at Food City. They're great as a small snack.
Spicy food is actually spicy
I don't care what anybody says - if you order a curry or a chilli, you should expect it to be hot. A lot of "spicy" food in my country is often "weakened" to suit tastes of people who aren't keen on hot food. Some Indian restaurants will even warn you before you order a spicy curry.
In the USA, if you order something with chillies, you'll feel the burn. I love it. Spicy food should be spicy - it's as simple as that.
There are plenty of other foods that I didn't get a chance to try yet, particularly southern barbecue, which I heard is amazing. There are also a lot of meals I've seen on the TV show Man VS Food that are definitely worth a try. My culinary journey isn't over yet!