What American childhood isn’t peppered with memories of snacks like Nutter Butter, Tootsie Roll or Lucky Charms? And some of these snacks seamlessly make the transition to adulthood too. Favored by children and grown-ups alike, check out these 10 snacks that you can’t find outside of America!
10. Sriracha Popcorn
America’s obsession with hot sauce is as legendary as its obsession with peanut butter. We would take any excuse to put hot sauce on almost anything edible, even popcorn! And ever since America was introduced to Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, there has been no looking back! The spicy tangy sauce that has a flavor like no other has become a staple on condiment racks across America. This hot sauce has such a unique flavor profile that it pairs well with salads, soups, rice, and snacks as well. Though sriracha sauce is a typical sauce used to season foods in Thailand and Vietnam, the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce that is widely available in the U.S. is manufactured by Huy Fong Foods. And after the success of their sauce, the ingenious people at Huy Fong Foods decided to take things up to another level; by pairing their famous hot sauce with Seattle’s Pop! Gourmet popcorn to create the ultimate snack – Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Popcorn! Say goodbye to plain old buttered popcorn, and say hello to Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Popcorn! The spicy, tangy and garlicky goodness of this sauce combines very well with the yummy taste of gourmet popcorn. And at just 170 calories per ounce, what’s not to like? It’s no wonder that it became an instant success with Americans as soon as it hit the shelves! If you’re as addicted as we are to Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Popcorn, you better nosh on it as much as you can while you are in the States, because you’ll be hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the world. While Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce itself is easily available in many countries, its funky, spicy-salty and addictive popcorn snack is yet to make its debut outside America. But if you can’t lay your hands on this distinctive red rooster emblazoned bag, it isn’t that difficult to whip up some sriracha popcorn at home, and the Internet is flooded with recipes for the same.
9. Birthday Cake Oreo
Oreos are America’s favorite sandwich cookie. Period. And if you don’t like Oreos, you probably need a new set of taste buds! Synonymous with cookie sandwiches across America, Oreos are the stuff of legends. Loved by kids and adults alike, there is no other cookie that comes even close to satisfying America’s cookie cravings! For those not familiar with Oreos (how?), these are sandwich cookies made up of two chocolate cookies with a sweet cream filling in the middle. And that’s just the basic definition of these amazing snack cookies. There are a multitude of flavors that add to the deliciousness of America’s favorite cookies. Birthday Cake Oreo is one such amazing flavor. Released on the occasion of Oreo’s 100th birthday on March 6th, 2012, the parent company, Nabisco, created a special flavor called the ‘Birthday Cake Oreo’ consisting of a sweet birthday cake flavored crème filling sandwiched between the usual two chocolate cookie discs but with a slight twist. The cookies have a Funfetti cake-inspired vanilla cream filling with fun colorful sprinkles, and one cookie of each sandwich has ‘Oreo 100’ written on it. With a taste exactly like that of a birthday cake, grab your hands on these fun Birthday Cake Oreos and enjoy by dunking ‘em in milk, decorating your birthday cake with it or just wolfing them down as is! A plain old Oreo just won’t do anymore! And while regular Oreos are available in almost all the countries of the world, you won’t be able to find Birthday Cake Oreos anywhere else. The rest of the world is certainly missing out on this delicious Oreo flavor!
8. Hostess Twinkies
Deeply rooted in American culture, Hostess Twinkies are the stuff of legends. They are said to last forever and rumored to be able to survive any war, even a nuclear one. There was so much rumor and controversy surrounding the Twinkies, that at one point of time, Americans are said to have stockpiled Twinkies in their war shelters! These soft golden sponge cakes with a delicious creamy filling are comfort foods for most Americans. Hostess Twinkies don’t provide much by way of nutrition, just a lot of empty calories, but that doesn’t stop children or grown-ups from chomping down on this yummy cake snack. Hostess Twinkies have been delighting generations of Americans with its cakey and creamy taste. Invented in 1930, this cake snack’s production was temporarily halted in 2012 when Hostess Foods filed for bankruptcy. As a result, Twinkies were unavailable nationwide for more than 6 months. Americans surely faced withdrawal symptoms! Over the years, many flavors of Twinkies have been introduced, but only the classic cream and Original Banana are now available. Besides being thankful for that, take a cue from the war-preppers (survivalists) and stockpile on Hostess Twinkies before you move abroad for the original Hostess Twinkies aren’t easily available outside American borders. Versions of Twinkies can be seen in other countries, but nothing comes close to the original taste of Hostess Twinkies.
7. Nutter Butter
Another snack that illustrates America’s love for peanut butter is the Nutter Butter cookie. Which American kid hasn’t had one of these (or several) as an after-school snack, on-the-go snack or any other kind of snack? As if plain old peanut butter just wasn’t enough, America decided that it needed peanut butter to be made into every kind of snack possible. Nutter Butter is one such creation that Americans love, but foreigners just can’t seem to understand. Simply put, Nutter Butter is a peanut butter sandwich cookie with a sweet peanut cream filling that is pressed between two peanut shaped cookies. The distinctive peanut shape of the cookie makes it even more appealing to consumers. So popular are Nutter Butter cookies that an estimated one billion are sold each year, and are generally said to be ‘America’s best-selling peanut butter sandwich cookie.’ Many other brands have tried to copy the peanut butter sandwich cookie concept, but none have been as successful as Nutter Butter. While other countries don’t really appreciate the goodness of peanut butter, your American tastebuds will surely miss that taste of Nutter Butter when you are abroad. Sold almost exclusively in the United States, Nutter Butter is hard to locate on foreign supermarket shelves. So before you leave home, be sure to pack a few bags of this comforting treat in your luggage.
6. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
The only thing that can match America’s peanut butter obsession is its obsession with cheese and all kinds of cheesy snacks. And Cheetos sits right at the top of the list of America’s favorite cheese snacks. Those orange sticks of cheesy deliciousness, Cheetos, are what every American reaches for when they need a quick snack. The highly addictive Cheetos come in a variety of flavors and the most basic variety is easily available abroad. But it’s the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and its many variants that are hard to find outside of America. If you’ve got a midnight hankering for the flaming hot and deliciously cheesy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in a land far, far away from America, you might be out of luck, unless you had the good sense to take a few extra packs of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in your luggage! While you might already be familiar with the taste of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, you may not be aware of the interesting story behind the invention of these cheesy sticks. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are actually an invention of a janitor of the Frito-Lay company! Legend has it that while Richard Montañez worked as a janitor at the Cheetos manufacturing plant, he realized that there was no product targeted to the tastes of Latin American customers. He took home a few unseasoned Cheetos and added chilli powder, lime, cheese and butter to them, in an effort to replicate the taste of a popular Mexican street snack. He pitched the idea to the CEO of the company and that’s how Flamin’ Hot Cheetos were born!
5. Tootsie Roll
A little but like soft caramel, a little bit like taffy, but not exactly like either, that’s exactly how one can describe Tootsie Roll. There’s also a bit of a chocolate taste in the Tootsie Roll, but nobody has been able to pin down the exact flavor profile of this delicious candy. Manufactured in the U.S. since 1907, this taffy-caramel-chocolate candy is one of the best-selling candies in America. About 64 million pieces of this oddly shaped oblong piece of Tootsie Roll candy are sold each year. In fact, the popularity of Tootsie Rolls has made its parent company, Tootsie Roll Industries, the largest candy company in the U.S. and allowed it to acquire a number of other candy brands too. Tootsie Roll is a mysterious candy that nobody quite understands, but everyone loves. An American favorite, this candy is notoriously difficult to locate in other countries. But given the size of Tootsie Rolls, it wouldn’t be so difficult to sneak in a bag or two of this yummy candy on your travels abroad.
4. Cheez-It crackers
Is there anything better than a crispy cheesy cracker that is just the right size for snacking? Cheez-It crackers are just that – perfectly square, bite-sized, made with real cheese and dusted with salt to give you a burst of flavor and crispiness in every bite. Cheez-It crackers are tasty and light making them the perfect snack to enjoy at home, in the office, at school or on the go. Cheez-It crackers are delicious snacks that the whole family can enjoy. First introduced to American markets in 1921 by Green & Green Company, Cheez-It crackers have changed many hands over the years. Green & Green Company sold the cracker business to Keebler Company in 1996, who in turn sold it Kellogg’s in 2001. Since then, Kellogg’s has been the manufacturer of Cheez-It crackers in the U.S. But these crisp and cheesy crackers are reportedly only sold in America. While its rival Ritz Crackers are easily available in other countries, Cheez-It crackers have not quite made it across the American borders yet. The world is missing out on so much of the original Cheez-It taste! Besides their original taste, Cheez-It crackers are also available in many other flavors and variations like Snap’d, Pepper Jack, Hot and Spicy Grooves, Duoz Sharp Cheddar & Parmesan, Snack Mix Sweet & Salty, and more.
3. Chex mix
A staple bar snack, party snack and anytime snack, Chex mix is the ultimate American snack mix. Containing a mix of many kinds of delicious variety snacks like pretzels, mini breadsticks, corn Chex, rye chips and wheat Chex, Chex mix is a typical American assorted snack. Chex mix, the kind that is commercially available, is not a new snack in American markets; snack mixes have been around for many years now. Most commercial brands contain a similar mixture of cereals and snacks. But what sets the Chex mix brand of snack mix apart from others is its unique seasoning – sweet, salty and savory, it offers something for every kind of snacker! And who can resist the superb taste of those delicious dark brown rye chips? Though the individual ingredients of Chex mix were being sold much earlier, Chex mix as a pre-packaged snack mix only came about in 1985. A dynamite combination of textures and flavors, the familiar packs of Chex mix are a very American phenomenon. While it’s hard to believe that other countries haven’t yet discovered the delights of Chex mix; that just means that there’s more Chex mix for us in America! If you are one of those who can’t down a cold beer without a bowlful of Chex mix, better carry a few Chex mix packs from the States, and introduce them to your foreign friends too!
2. Dr Pepper
Invented in 1885 by a pharmacist, Dr Pepper is a ubiquitous American soda. It is said to have even preceded the introduction of Coca-Cola. It was initially sold at soda fountains and in glass bottles and even marketed as a healthy drink. Over the years, the marketing strategies evolved and it is now a firmly established soda brand in the American market. So popular has it been through the ages that Dr Pepper even has its own museum! As described on the Dr Pepper can, it is an authentic blend of 23 different flavors that give it a very unique taste of its own. Available in a variety of flavors like Cherry, Cherry Vanilla, Diet, Caffeine Free, and more, Dr Pepper is undoubtedly an iconic drink in America. For some, it is a drink of choice and some just can’t go without downing at least one can a day. But you may have a tough time finding it outside America. Other countries don’t seem to have caught on to our love of the famous Dr Pepper. The manufacturers tried to introduce it to many foreign markets, but it was not well received by the consumers. So, it was eventually pulled off the shelves of many countries. You may find a can or a six-pack here and there in specialty import shops, but be prepared to pay exorbitant prices for it.
1. Lucky Charms
A bowl of cereal is right at the top of the list of easy breakfast options for Americans. And almost every American has their preferred choice of cereal. Cheerios, Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or plain old cornflakes; there is an unending variety of breakfast cereal to choose from. But a truly unique brand of cereal that is only available in America is Lucky Charms. This magically delicious brand of cereal has been around since 1964 and is made up of toasted oat pieces with the added fun of colorful marshmallow bits in shapes like hearts, shooting stars, horseshoes, rainbows, balloons, moon, etc. The manufacturing company, General Mills, also occasionally comes up with limited edition versions around holidays or special events. Its cheerful leprechaun mascot has now become permanently associated with Lucky Charms in the minds of all Americans. While it is a mainstay on American supermarket shelves, it is nearly impossible to find Lucky Charms in other countries. Regular corn flakes, frosted cereal, wheat cereal, and such other generic cereals may be easily available, but good luck trying to find a box of Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops or the likes! The world is truly missing out on the magical taste of Lucky Charms!