Five American dishes that I loved when I lived in the United States for four months, and two that I never eat or drink again

Miheira US Food Thumb

Miheira (left) and Pumpkin Pie (right) visited New York in December 2016.Miheira Friel / Insider, Smith Collection / Getty Images

  • In 2016, I left my home in Scotland and spent a semester abroad at a university in Pennsylvania.

  • While there, for the first time I started trying many American dishes such as pumpkin pies.

  • However, there were some things that I wasn’t used to.

In 2016, I lived in Pennsylvania for 4 months.

Miheira us

Miheira of America.Miheira Friel / Insider

In August 2016, I left my home in Scotland, England, and spent a semester abroad at the University of Millersville, Pennsylvania.There were many things surprised About life in the United States, and one of the big things was food.

Whether it’s a college cafeteria or traveling the east coast of the United States, I had plenty of opportunities to try new foods. Here are some of my favorites.

pumpkin pie.

Slice of pumpkin pie on a plate topped with whipped cream

pumpkin pie.bhofack2 / Getty Images

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, so pumpkin pie It’s not what we eat. I hadn’t seen or tasted pumpkin pie before I went to America, but I’ve heard it on TV shows and movies.

The college cafeteria offered it throughout Thanksgiving week, so I tried it several times during the overseas semester. I love it and when I returned to the UK I found a recipe online and made it for my family.

Shoofly pie.

Shoofly pie.

Shoofly pie.The Washington Post via Getty Images

Shoofly pie is something you’ve never heard of before arriving in the United States. Pies with plenty of brown sugar and spices are most commonly associated with Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine.

It tasted sweeter than any pie I’ve ever eaten. This was a great change as there aren’t many types of sweet pies in the UK.

Pizza for breakfast.

Pizza for breakfast

Pizza for breakfast.The Washington Post via Christian K. Lee / Getty Images

Pizza is a popular dish in the UK, but I’ve found Americans to be much more creative when it comes to toppings.What I enjoyed at the university cafeteria “Pizza for breakfast,” Every Sunday, a variety of breakfast-themed toppings were offered.

My favorite was an apple and cinnamon breakfast pizza that I had never tried in the UK.

Anything from Panda Express.

gone Panda Express First time during a weekend visit to New York City.

American-style Chinese food served by Panda Express is similar to Chinese restaurants in the UK, with one important difference.

At Panda Express, we loved the ability for customers to sample several different items before ordering a meal. That’s something I’ve never experienced in a takeaway restaurant in the UK.



S’more.Kelly vanDellen / Shutterstock

I tried s’mores First weekend at my friend’s home in New Jersey. My friend, born in the United States, hosted about 12 of us (all international students) just a few weeks after the start of the semester.

She wanted to show us the staple American food. When I chewed a delicious marshmallow and chocolate combination by a campfire in my friend’s yard, I felt like living in an American movie.

There were some things I didn’t like. American bacon was one of them.

Bacon fried in a stove pan

bacon.Erin McDowell / Insider

Before living in the United States Bacon is completely different From bacon served in the UK.

My American friend was confused when he first tried to eat bacon with a knife and fork. Most people were unaware that they would eat it by hand, as it was served in much crispy and thinner strips than bacon served in the UK.

American bacon comes from pork belly, but British bacon is leaner because it is cut from loin.

American tea was also unfamiliar.

Lipton tea.

Lipton tea.Jerry Redfern / Light Rocket via Getty Images

I knew that tea wasn’t as popular in the United States as it was in the United Kingdom, but I didn’t know how much.

When I requested English breakfast tea at the restaurant, many places didn’t serve it at all. Tea usually came with cream instead of milk when they offered it, but this wasn’t something I was used to.

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