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Australians visiting the USA - differences in food

Updated on September 26, 2012

Okay so there's a lot of food in the United States that any Aussie visitor just has to try. New York pizza, southern BBQ, New England clam chowder. Aussies know good food and they know what they like. But what happens when you don't actually know what the food is. What if Americans call it something else? What if it looks kind of like how you know it, but not exactly the same. Hopefully this will help!

Of course there are some differences when it comes to food in the US. And I'm not just talked about food, drinks can be a little different too. So how do you know what you're about to consume? Read on!


Well first up, the name itself. Aussies don't call it candy, we call it lollies. And that only really applies to the non-chocolate type, ie. mints or jelly beans. Chocolate is just chocolate.

So what about the different varieties...

Milky Way (USA) = Chocolate covered smooth caramel (Australia)

Three Musketeers (USA) = Milky Way (Australia)

Smarties (USA) = Fruit flavoured tablet lolly, kind of like the ones you get on a necklace (Australia)

Mounds (USA) = Bounty (Australia)

York Peppermint Pattie (USA) = Mint Pattie

Nonpareils (USA) = Freckles (Australia)

Whoppers (USA) = Maltesers (Australia)

Cotton candy (USA) = Fairyfloss (Australia)


Bell pepper (USA) = Capsicum (Australia)

Winter squash (USA) = Pumpkin (Australia)

Papaya (USA) = Pawpaw (Australia)

Summer squash (USA) = Squash (Australia)

Cilantro (USA) = Coriander (Australia)

Arugula (USA) = Rocket (Australia)

Beets (USA) = Beetroot (Australia)

Garbanzo bean (USA) = Chickpea (Australia)

Romaine lettuce (USA) = Cos lettuce (Australia)


Sausage (USA) = seasoned, grounded beef (Australia) *sometimes it has the same meaning as in Australia, but not always)

Franks/wieners (USA) = Sausage (Australia)

Grounded meat (USA) = Minced meat (Australia)

Bologna (USA) = Devon or luncheon meat (Australia)

Corn dog (USA) = Dagwood dog/pluto pup (Australia)


One other main difference when it comes to meat, is how it is cooked, especially outside. In the US, they would say they are going to 'grill'. Australians would say 'BBQ'. Americans refer to 'BBQ' as the very Southern way of cooking ribs, pulled pork, brisket etc. 'Grill' to Aussies is putting food underneath the grill in the oven. Americans call that process 'broiling'. Yes - it's confusing!


Light beer (USA) = Low calorie beer (Australia) *note, Australian light beer, otherwise known as less alcoholic beer, doesn't exist in the USA!

Crystal Light (USA) = Cordial (Australia) *America doesn't really have cordial, but this is the closest

Root beer (USA) = Sarsaparilla (Australia)

Cafe au lait (USA) = Flat white (Australia)

Americano (USA) = Long black (Australia)

Lemonade (USA) = Yellow soft drink ie. Lift (Australia)

Sprite etc (USA) = Lemonade (Australia)


Cookie (USA) = Biscuit (Australia)

Biscuit (USA) = Cross between a scone and an English muffin (Australia)

Wholewheat bread (USA) = Brown/wholegrain bread (Australia)

Fries (USA) = Chips (Australia)

Chips (USA) = Chips/crisps (Australia)

Jelly (USA) = Jam (Australia)

Jello (USA) = Jelly (Australia)

Ketchup (USA) = Tomato sauce (Australia)

Tomato sauce (USA) = Salsa or relish (Australia)

I hope that helps. It will take some getting used to and you will definitely get some stares/blank looks if you ask for the wrong/different thing, but you'll get there in the end!


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    • Karon Dawson profile image

      Karon Dawson 5 years ago

      Thanks for the advice, at least I'll know what to buy/order next time I'm in USA, especially when ordering an arugula salad with my pizza!