Which American foods are actually not American

Cult brands & products

One raves about a certain type of breakfast cereal she got to know in the USA. The other person has chocolate bars or salad dressing sent from America on a regular basis. I would like to put a virtual memorial stone here on these passionately missing USA specialties - and I would be happy if you write me which products you think are still missing!

Oreo - this biscuit is nibbled by the world

Oreos are the best-selling biscuits in the world - more than 500 billion (!) Are said to have been sold by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) since 1912. In terms of appearance and taste, little has changed since then - the “Standard Oreo” consists of two embossed, crispy chocolate biscuits with a creamy-sweet filling. There are now several variations: double stuff (more filling), fudge-covered (covered), peanut, chocolate or peppermint filling. The best, of course, are the ones with peanut butter!


Comment from Helge: “I come from Hanover and there are now Oreos in almost all Edeka (formerly sparmarkets) as well as in the Strauss branches and often in the supermarkets that can be found downstairs at Karstadt / Kaufhof. Sometimes they even have several varieties! "

Bounce & Co: Dryer Sheets

For me, Dryer Sheets (i.e. the fabric softener cloths that you throw in the dryer with the damp laundry) are a real cult product - and one that I really miss in this country. They not only ensure a good smell (whether in the laundry, in old shoes, in a suitcase or in a drawer), they also prevent static charging and attract dust. This even works with towels that are already "used up" when you use them on the television or PC monitor! Mosquitoes and flies can also be deterred. I got the tip from an American farmer's wife to attach a cloth to the horse's bridle in summer to keep horseflies away - and what can I say? It works!

Coca-Cola - Always the real thing

Doctor John Stith Pemberton is the one who invented Coca-Cola. In May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, he developed the secret recipe. The original name was French Wine Coca and the brew was similar to the then popular Vin Mariani, a cocaine-infused Bordeaux that was considered a medicinal product. And so Pemberton recommended his mix as a remedy for nervous disorders, digestive problems and impotence. The name Coca-Cola comes from Pemberton's accountant Robinson, who derived it from the ingredients coca leaves and kola nuts - today 97 percent of the world's population knows this brand.


Pepsi - ask for more

Six years after Pemberton (see above), the young pharmacist Caleb D. Bradham in North Carolina mixed “Brad’s Drink” from water, pepsin, vanilla flavor and cola nuts, which he finally renamed “Pepsi Cola”. After 17 years of successful business, Bradham drove Pepsi into bankruptcy by speculating on commodity futures. The Loft Candy Company initially tried in vain to revive sales - it wasn't until 1940 that the rise began with the first nationally broadcast commercial. And advertising remained important for Pepsi: Since the mid-1960s, the group has been engaged in spectacular advertising battles with Coca-Cola, for which many celebrities were also harnessed.

Twinkies - Cake & Cream

Fluffy cake and even fluffier cream in the form of a bar - these are Twinkies. Yes, they are delicious and yes, they contain several dozen ingredients whose names I can neither pronounce nor want to know what is behind them. By the way, Twinkies are not only suitable for eating (some doubt that), but also for physical projects such as falling from great heights or inflation experiments in a vacuum, see YouTube ...

Julia to Twinkies: “I think they are just as much a part of the American lifestyle as Peanut Butter & Jelly or Pop Tarts. While they're terribly cute, the mix of soft cake and delicious cream filling make them unique. Real pastry chefs would say I'm crazy, but I love them. By the way, they are particularly good fried or once they have been frozen! "

Campbell’s Soup - is soup art?


Andy Warhol made it famous, the red and white Campbell’s soup can. I was satisfied with it during my college days - Tomato, Clam Chowder, Chicken Noodle, Cream of Mushroom, of Broccoli, of whatever ... Inexpensive and quite tasty, I thought. Campbell products are sold in more than 120 countries around the world - but in Germany mostly only those of the subsidiaries Erasco and Heisse Cup. Pity!

Crest - also with a cinnamon flavor

Crest is Procter & Gamble's popular toothpaste that was first launched in 1955. At the time, it was the first fluoride toothpaste whose anti-caries effect had actually been proven in clinical tests. Above all, Crest showed me how different national tastes are - I had caught a variety with a cinnamon flavor! There is now even Vanilla Mint, Lemon Ice, Wild Berry and the tingling "Sparkle Fun" variety for children.

Kitchen Aid - Mixers & Food Processors

There are probably cheaper ones of their kind, there are certainly other brands of the same quality. But there are definitely no kitchen machines or mixers that are more beautiful - at least not in the eyes of an Ameriphile, who simply HAS to love the retro look of the gleaming chrome monster. Needless to say: Yes, I own a Kitchen Aid and proudly present it on a specially purchased kitchen cart - too good to hide such a piece of jewelry in the closet! I have saved myself the not inconsiderable purchase price and I use the device almost every day - it kneads powerfully and stirs persistently. And it just looks BEAUTIFUL - would you say that about a Thermomix?

Reese’s - a cool combination

The enveloping chocolate cannot stand up to any comparison with Swiss chocolate, but still: I find the combination of salty, sweet and creamy peanut butter and Hershey's chocolate irresistible. The flat, round candy is an invention of H.B. Reese, who worked his way up from a farmer to the owner of a small candy factory. The huge success of the product has lasted for over 80 years and the peanut butter praline is still at the top of the snack hit lists.

Heinz Ketchup - red sauce for the world

Anyone who says ketchup has to say "Heinz" - world market leader in sauce and founded in 1876. Henry John Heinz was neither the one who invented the modern ketchup recipe nor the one who was the first to sell ketchup commercially in bottles. The company's founder, a son of immigrants from southern Germany, had a special nose for marketing, although the word didn't even exist back then: the best raw materials had to be processed, preservatives were frowned upon, special hygiene standards were introduced in his production facilities, and he was the first to hand out pins with a pickle logo and put up a giant neon sign. The recipe of the Heinz ketchup has been unchanged since 1876 and the typical bottle belongs on the table of every diner or coffee shop in the USA.

Häagen-Dazs - luxury ice cream from NY

Häagen-Dasz sounds Danish, but it is a fantasy name, because the roots of this luxury ice cream lie in the Bronx: This is where the Polish immigrant Reuben Mattus began producing particularly high-quality ice cream in 1959. Without much advertising, the product found its way into delis and gourmet shops, eventually into our own ice cream stores and ultimately into supermarkets across the country. Today Häagen-Dasz is available in 54 countries around the world - and the best variety is clearly “Macadamia Nut Brittle”, right?

Mac’n’Cheese - fast filler

The right product at the right time: When Kraft launched the Macaroni & Cheese Dinner at the end of the 1930s, milk and meat were in short supply due to the World War - a cheap filler that the whole family liked was just right. The first variations of the long-life fast food classic appeared in the 1970s, when Kraft initially offered simple spirals and cogs and finally even pressed comic characters like Super Mario Brothers or the unspeakable SpongeBob SquarePants into noodle form. Since 1998 there have been portion packs that only need to be pushed into the microwave while adding water. How does this version taste? I don't know, I only eat M&C homemade 🙂

US American Lucy, who has lived in Germany for ten years, describes Mac'n'Cheese as follows: “The processed cheese, which was previously powder, is really getting richer and thicker and also more - to the satisfaction of ever-growing Americans, I have to Unfortunately to admit ... If you have a blazing desire for as much cheese as possible and you don't necessarily value vitamins and nutrients, go for it! Delicious!"

Jelly Bellys - crisp and soft at the same time

The “Jelly Belly” jelly beans, which are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with the typical print, have been around since 1976. They were the first candy of this kind that could not only be bought in the range, but also individually in the eight “basic types”. Today there are more than 50 variations with exotic flavors such as rootbeer, cafe latte, peanut butter or jalapeno!

A & W Root Beer - uh!

Rootbeer is just as American as apple pie and hamburgers. And you probably have to be an American to like the sweet and bitter soft drink! The non-alcoholic “root beer” has a strange taste (for me) and consists of sweeteners, water and carbonic acid. Depending on the manufacturer, juniper berries, wild cherry bark, ginger, birch bark, sarsaparilla and sassafras roots, anise and lemon oil are used as flavorings. A & W is the best-known rootbeer brand - named after the company founders Allen and Wright, who served the drink in their refreshment stands and later in restaurants from 1922.

Renate's story about Rootbeer: “I remember my first trip to the USA in 1982: My American aunt said I had to let us (me and 2 friends) try it. The three of us spit it out at the same time - on the phone with a friend, my aunt put it this way: "They didn't like the rootbeer - they watered the plants with it."

Quaker Oats - mother of all cereals

The almost unmanageable variety of breakfast cereals in American supermarkets today began here: in 1901, three milling companies merged to form the Quaker Oats Company. The name should clarify quality and purity, just as the company wanted to guarantee more quality and purity with the packaged oat flakes than with the previously common sale of oat flakes from open barrels. Quaker now also produces many other cereals and ready-made products such as Capt’n Crunch, Aunt Jemima or Rice-a-Roni.

Dr. Pepper - does it taste good?

Confession: I've never met Dr. Pepper drank. As a staunch Pepsi drinker, I was always convinced that this was just another Kola copy. Not even close! "Tastes completely different," say Dr. Pepper fans. But how? "Can't be described" and "The secret is the cane sugar" answer some, "disgustingly sweet" and "somehow sticks" the others. What made me wonder how Dr. Pepper because now it tastes good, doesn't really help. Well, I'll have to try it myself ...

Lucy's contribution to Dr. Pepper: “Describing the taste is really a challenge, but when the drink is served ice-cold, all my taste buds ring with great joy! It's somehow not as brutal as Coke, tastes sweeter and as an American it can hardly ever be too sweet for me ... "

And Isabell thinks: “If Coke and Pepsi are already too cute for many people in this country, Dr. Pepper with a sugar content beyond good and bad. Paired with everything that the laboratories produce for artificial flavors and colors, Dr. Pepper with every decent taste bud the alarm bells ring after the first sip, because SO many vitamins B, A, S and F can certainly not be healthy. And there it makes no difference whether you try the classic version or try one of the different varieties such as Cherry or Light! "

Finally, Kirsten's opinion: “Dr. Pepper is like Coke with a Dash cough syrup! For the taste buds of the Americans, really yummi !!! "

Update: I also have Dr. Tried Pepper. My impression: like Cola plus X (and I can't name the X at all, not even as an eloquent journalist) and hideously sweet. No, I don't have to!

Baking soda - not just for baking

Driving muff out of the refrigerator, increasing washing power, polishing teeth, fighting heartburn or clarifying pool water - those who only bake with baking soda are giving away the talents of the chemical jack-of-all-trades sodium hydrogen carbonate, also known as baking soda. In combination with acid (buttermilk, lemon) and heat, baking soda "foams" - this ensures the desired loosening of the cake batter. In Germany we buy soda in green sachets, in the USA the distinctive yellow pack with the red Arm & Hammer logo is the market leader. The product has been around since 1846, the logo (it symbolizes the strong arm of the god Vulcan) has existed since 1866.

Pop Tarts - breakfast from the toaster

Here you have the typical product where the uninitiated shakes their head (“The Americans, we always said it”) and America friends look ecstatic: Pop Tarts! The fruit-filled dumplings are a popular snack between meals or a quick breakfast from the toaster. The "pop" has nothing to do with music, but stands for the "popping out" of the roaster. And of course “tarts” does not mean that you are getting something deliciously, cakey French patissier style - no, pop tarts are a bad work of food chemistry. I still love them, especially the Peanut Butter and Blueberry flavors!

Starbucks - coffee cult from Seattle

The coffeehouse chain's success story began in 1982 when Howard Schultz joined Starbucks as Head of Marketing. Schultz convinced the owners of Starbucks that by then a small coffee shop in Seattle would implement the Italian espresso or coffee bar concept in America. Today there are more than 24,000 Starbucks stores in 75 countries around the world. What domestic US friends also appreciate at Starbucks are American pastries: brownies, muffins, carrot cake, bagels.

Tylenol - to make the pain go away

Ever stood in front of a painkiller shelf in a US drugstore? 30 linear meters of relief - can it be baby or already children's strength, is it about women's complaints or muscle pain, would you like a few additional vitamins, caffeine or vanilla flavor or do you need the double, triple or mega dose? A whole family of products operates under the name Tylenol in the USA - all they have in common is the antipyretic and pain reliever active ingredient paracetamol.

Sweet & Low - good sweetener?

Sweet’n Low is two inventions in one: In 1945, while visiting a coffee shop, Ben and Betty Eisenstadt got angry about the unhygienic sugar pots that were swarmed with flies and began to produce sugar sachets. From 1957 they were the first to fill a calorie-free saccharin mixture in distinctive pink sachets, which were supposed to stand out from the “bad” white sugar sachets. It all worked out - Sweet’n Low is certainly the best-known sweetener in the world.

Relief in pink: Pepto Bismol

Something that looks so poisonous pink should be healthy? Must, because Pepto Bismol in its various forms is the panacea for Americans when it comes to stomach pressure or heartburn, nausea or diarrhea. Its main ingredient is bismuth salicylate, which is also responsible for the bright color. Pepto Bismol is available as a chewable tablet and capsule, but the best known is the thick syrup, which tastes horribly minty and floury! That's why Procter & Gamble has now launched an obviously more pleasantly flavored cherry version on the market.

Beef Jerky - that's what the cowboy chews

Aromatic jerky - that is "Jerky", a term that comes from the Arawak word "charqui". The Indians preserved strips of game meat by seasoning and drying. The pioneers then also applied the process to beef, and today extra-lean turkey meat is in demand.Jerky is cut thicker than European ham, is harder to chew and seasoned differently - preferably with liquid smoke (smoke aroma), the sweet and spicy note and the Asian teriyaki seasoning are also popular.

Kool Aid - for drinking or for dyeing?

This beverage powder in bags is a real insider tip. No, not among connoisseurs or those who are thirsty, but among handicraft enthusiasts. Each of the numerous flavors also stands for a strong color, for example if you want to dye wool or T-shirts in bright colors. Don't you think so? The woolly hen provides the proof. If you want to try it out, you should use rubber gloves, the Kool Aid also colors your hands, T-shirt or hair - the blessed Kurt Cobain from Nirvana is said to have used it to create the yellow-blonde of his hair. The question remains: who drinks that? Not me - but for example Connie, who asked for this product to be added to this list. She prefers the variety “Grape” (ie purple)!

Spam - the canned meat

Hardly anyone thinks of canned meat when they hear spam - the brand name has meanwhile become a term for unsolicited advertising emails. It has been the abbreviation for "Hormel Spiced Ham" since 1926. In the USA, the Hawaiians especially appreciate the spicy canned ham: they give it chopped up in soups and stews, serve it fried for breakfast or wrap it as appetizers in seaweed and sushi rice. I was allowed to try this "Musubi" - yuck 😉

Did you get to know and love certain products in the USA? Then write to us and describe your enthusiasm. We are happy to publish the articles!