The Practical Things for TAPIF: What foods ARE typically American?

When you’re preparing to leave, sometimes you want to try to take ingredients for typically American (or wherever you’re from) foods. For me, it was hardest to figure out what a typically American food was beyond hot dogs and hamburgers. It was also a question I was frequently asked. Here’s a list to get you started. Did I miss something? Comments!

  1. banana bread
  2. American style cookies (REAL chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle…)
  3. grilled cheese
  4. corn dogs
  5. corn bread
  6. Tex Mex cuisine
  7. peanut butter (and pb&j’s and general sweet and salty combos)
  8. macaroni and cheese
  9. fudge (ce n’est pas un gâteau!!)
  10. floats (oui, ça se boit)
  11. root beer
  12. cheese cake, though I do believe Picard sold mini speculoos cheese cakes
  13. jello (be conscious of your Muslim students, though)
  14. maple syrup
  15. pancakes (make them blueberry to kick the American level up a knotch)

And for fun try this Sporcle quiz on American foods:


About Quiche Lauren

A blog by an English teaching assistant in Nîmes (Académie de Montpellier) through the TAPIF program.
This entry was posted in Culture, Practical Things, TAPIF, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Practical Things for TAPIF: What foods ARE typically American?

  1. Anne Elder says:

    I was thinking of taking chocolate chips with me to make cookies but one of my friends told me she thinks it’s the flour in France that is different and that makes them difficult to make there. Did you try making them? I definitely want to take some for my kids!

    • I did try making them. They were definitely not quite the same, but this could also be because I had a mini oven which cooked things much faster than a normal oven would. There’s no all-purpose flour so I’d suggest using farine de blé fluide. Also, chocolate chips are hard to come by. And proportions! I wish I had taken an American measuring cup for American recipes. Good luck!! And yum.

  2. djplotkowski says:

    I would like to add an American breakfast to the list (beyond pancakes)- eggs, bacon, sausage*, HASH BROWNS all eaten AT breakfast time.
    *I found chipolatas aux herbes to be good substitutes for breakfast sausages

  3. mindfulexpat says:

    Not sure this qualifies as a typical American food since it’s just an ingredient, but one thing I think I’ll be stocking up on when I return to the States is brown sugar (for baking) — can’t find it here! Or even molasses to make your own… Also big boxes of baking soda — what’s with these teeny tiny individual packets? Although that sort of thing going through airport security might look like drugs…. Hmm…

    • Try “cassonnade” for the brown sugar. However, dark brown sugar was something I could never find, either. The little baking soda packets (and vanilla sugar packets) were so funny to me. They grew on me, with the happy little muffin logo : )

      • mindfulexpat says:

        My (French) boyfriend said to just use cassonnade too, but it’s really just raw sugar, not what we call brown sugar in the US (which has molasses added to it). I love the cassonnade instead of plain white sugar, but it doesn’t do quite the same thing in baking as brown sugar, so the texture of the baked goods can end up being really different. It’s a small point, but it’s just one of those little things I miss that I wouldn’t have anticipated. 🙂

      • So that’s why my chocolate chip cookies came out such a bizarre texture! Mystery explained. It really is the small things that are the most unexpected (like flushing toilets by pulling a hanging cord, or different types of light switches, or, well a lack of brown sugar).

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