expat cravings

Last week’s French Fridays with Dorie hamburger recipe got me discussing expat cravings with a few of my fellow american expats. Though tastes and even regional foods in the US are different, our general list of top foods we miss from home was remarkably similar.

  • Mexican food – This is probably the one I hear most often from my fellow american expats. Paris based blogger & expat David Lebovitz recently did a post about how good Mexican food is slowly becoming available in Paris. One can only hope that the rest of Europe follows suit. As it stands now, even the ingredients to make Mexican food at home are difficult to come by.
  • Breakfast – I actually really enjoy German breakfast foods and would similarly miss them if I moved back to the states. But there are quite a few typical american breakfast dishes which are difficult (if not impossible) to find here: eggs benedict, breakfast burritos, heuvos rancheros, french toast, and bacon (who would have thought!). Pancakes would probably also be on this list except that I make them myself at home about once a month, and smother them with Vermont maple syrup which I periodically smuggle back in my suitcase.
  • A good hamburger or patty melt – and no, I’m not talking about McDonalds here, but it shouldn’t be too fancy either. Just thick, juicy, and fresh!
  • BBQ!
There are so many more and I could go on for pages, but these seem to be the ones that are common to most expats. What is interesting is that my German friends are always surprised to hear that there are foods I miss from home. Possibly this has something to do with american food’s reputation abroad; I have gotten into more than a few debates defending the merits of my homeland’s cuisine. But actually, I think that it has more to do with the fact that we don’t tend to give these things much thought until we move away from wherever our home is. For example, I honestly never seriously considered Mexican food until I moved to Germany and that’s probably because I didn’t have to, it was simply always available. It was more than available, I didn’t even really consider it ”ethnic food”, it was just food and it was a part of my regular diet which suddenly went missing when I moved here.
Have you ever considered what you would miss if you moved away from home? I guarantee that there would be a few things that you would not even think to consider. 
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One Response to expat cravings

  1. I know that I miss a lot of Southern food ever since I moved to Chicago. But, I couldn’t imagine not being able to get Ranch dressing if I moved overseas.

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