American Food and Drinks vs Their Original Counterparts

January 8, 2016 10 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

It's not exactly a secret that the products sold here in the United States are not identical to their overseas counterparts. Sometimes this is due to legal reasons. Certain ingredients are banned or just not commonly used. Other times, it's simply due to taste. But no matter, take a look at the key differences in American food and drinks versus their overseas counterparts.

Smarties vs. M&Ms;

If you've ever been to Canada or Europe, you've probably noticed that Smarties are the overseas equivalent of M&Ms;. They're both round and come in a variety of bright colors. Both are made by Nestle. The biggest visual differences are that there is a tiny "M" imprinted on the shell of American M&Ms; and Smarties are slightly bigger. In terms of how the product is made, the shell of M&Ms; is crafted out of sugar, corn starch and color, whereas Smarties have all those ingredients plus wheat flour. The blog also states that Smarties have more of a pronounced crunch and tend to have a little less chocolate than M&Ms;.

American vs. British IPA

IPA or India Pale Ale is one of the most popular craft beers around. Allegedly, the product's name originates from the 1700s when the British exported beer to India. Hops were added to preserve the beer during the long voyages. Flash forward to today and IPAs are one of the biggest staples of American craft beer. Since Americans are known for putting their own twists on products, American IPAs tend to have more hops and be a little stronger than their British counterparts.

IPAs are now so closely associated with the U.S. that it is hard to remember that other countries also are making great strides when it comes to brewing this popular beer. One great example is Guiness' Nitro IPA. What really makes this brew stand out is in the title: Nitro. The blend of carbon dioxide and nitrogen balances out the hoppiness of the beer, making it feel smoother.

Authentic Mexican Food vs. Tex-Mex

One of the biggest food debates in the U.S. revolves around what authentic Mexican food really is. Many Americans think Chipotle and Taco Bell serve classic Mexican food, but this is not the case. The biggest differences are:

  • Mexican food doesn't feature hard shell tacos, only soft tortillas.

  • Burritos are not truly Mexican cuisine. Tacos de harina are the real deal. They're typically smaller and feature just three ingredients.

  • The shredded Mexican cheese you see for sale isn't what's served in Mexico. You'll want to stock up on white cheese if you want to sample the real stuff.

  • You might think nachos are a traditional Mexican plate, but they're not. They were actually invented in Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass, Texas. They originate from chilaquiles, which are lightly fried corn tortillas topped with salsa, eggs and pulled chicken.

  • You might not think there's much difference in salsa, but the stuff you buy off the shelf just isn't as good as authentic Mexican salsa. Try making pico de gallo with diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro instead. It will taste fresher and feel more authentic than what you get out of a jar.

Guest article courtesy of Cherie Wicks