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American sweets/candy/snacks not available in the UK/Ireland?

Hello, I was just wondering what sweets/candy/snacks from America aren't available in the UK. I'm planning on sending a good friend of mine a some food and give her a taste of what we snack on. Since the world is so globalized now, I figure everything from here can be found there, but I hope not.

I hope this is in the right place to post this.


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  1. American confectionery is generally only stocked in specialist food shops or a few newsagents spotted around town. You'll be hard pressed to find a good range of U.S goodies in the average corner shop, so your friend should be pleasantly surprised by a Baby Ruth or Butterfinger.

    1. Hershey's anything (God knows why) and miniature Reese's peanut butter cups (especially the dark chocolate ones) were my two biggest requests over 3 years of delivering British friends cereal and candy.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JFores

        I'm a Brit but things I bring back from the US are buttermilk pancake mix, good maple syrup, tinned Boston baked beans, chowder, Old Bay seasoning, coating for fried chicken/tomatoes, and then, for comedy value, things like cheese in a can and once I found a whole chicken! Gross!

        1. re: JFores

          Hersheys is now (unfortunately) available at Asda. Chocolate in the UK is generally of a higher quality than US chocolate - so any imports would really only have novelty value, not gourmet interest.
          Peanut butter M&Ms are hard to find in the UK - and are very expensive. Maple sugar is impossible to buy here.

          1. re: JFores

            I saw Reese's peanut butter cups in Tesco recently!

            There are specialised stores such as Cybercandy which have a reasonable range, but are quite expensive, so your friend will surely appreciate the gesture!

          2. I have never found a canned tuna fish in the UK that's as good as Bumble Bee albacore in spring water. Sainsbury's makes one, but it's not in the same league at all. If your friend likes Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, that's not too easy to find here.

            Helen B.... I think I've seen Old Bay seasoning at Whole Foods, but I'm not 100% sure.

            4 Replies
            1. re: zuriga1

              I've noticed a real lowering in quality in canned tuna over the last 10 years. Used to see big meaty chunks in cans of tuna steak but now it seems a lot less firm and more bitty. Almost across the board.

              1. re: stilldontknow

                Hmmm.. .that's interesting. I'm not a good judge since I've only lived here 7 years. The albacore here seems darker in colour - that's one thing I've noticed. The American brands are almost white - and meaty as you said. I'm expecting a CARE package one of these days from my son. I'm now thinking that no one here is old enough to remember what a real CARE package was! :-)

                1. re: zuriga1

                  Not old enough to know, but young enough to google!!!

                  Regarding your tuna -- go to an italian store and buy theirs, either in olive oil or in brine. It knocks the socks off of any American brands, in my opinion. Callipo, Rio Mare, Ortiz (Spanish possibly) are both well known and very good, albeit far more expensive than supermarket brands.

                  1. re: brokentelephone

                    You're always so funny! Well, the Italian sounds fine, but I try to stay away from oil, and I don't much like brine either. I guess I'm just used to water. That said, I do love the peppers that come in oily jars, and the ones in brine just don't make a good dish I do with sausages and tagliatelle taste good or the same at all.

            2. I use these 2 sites, I just LOVE them!!!

              http://www.americansweets.co.uk/index... This has a shop in Aldershot.
              http://www.americansoda.co.uk/uk/Amer... This has a shop in Greater Manchester.

              3 Replies
              1. re: psycho_fluff

                Whole foods in South Kensington stocks some things you won't commonly find in supermarkets such as Lucky Charm cereal

                1. re: elcapitano

                  My mother used to give us that for breakfast. Really don't understand why people like it.

                  1. re: cathodetube

                    My kids liked Lucky Charms for awhile when they were kids. It's just like eating candy for breakfast - not very healthy at all. I think there was also peanut butter Kix, which was popular. Then there are the squares that taste like straw... very popular here, too. :-)

              2. You may also want to try Panzer's deli in St John's Wood

                St Johns Restaurant
                24 Sir Thomas Street, Liverpool L1 6JB, GB

                1. Please don't send anything Hersheys - it's vile! I've never met a Brit who likes it.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: greedygirl

                    The reason for that being threefold. Firstly, it's a cultural thing - we grew up with Cadburys so that taste is synonymous with chocolate in the memory of our tongues! But it's also the recipe. Hersheys has a much lower cocoa content and moreover the 'milk' they use is actually the dehydrated whey from making cheese - which is why to us, if you eat it after a bar of Dairy Milk, it tastes, well cheesy!

                    1. re: helen b

                      a friend of mine from Northampton referred to Hershey's as "chocolate flavoured wax", and a Belgian chocolatier referred to it as the nastiest excuse for chocolate he's ever tasted.

                      Both of which are quite apt descriptions.

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          Agree and I grew up eating them. But, for some reason the Kisses with almonds are passable. They also make all sorts of other flavoured Kisses.

                          1. re: cathodetube

                            the one and only thing I use Kisses for is making Peanut Butter Blossoms at Christmas -- I haven't found another type of chocolate that works right for this recipe.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I should update -- I ran out of Kisses one year, and used a bar of French milk chocolate. The chocolate ran all over the place, and they weren't as cute as the Hershey's cookies, but oh, my hell -- they were amazing.

                      1. re: helen b

                        "cheesy" is a very kind description. tastes more like vom to me...

                        1. re: gembellina

                          Agreed. Gives me exactly the same feel at the back of my mouth as sick. Strange!

                      2. re: greedygirl

                        I'm an American and I thought it was rather funny that yinz thought Hershey's was distasteful because I've had some of my friends here say the same about Cadburys. They believed it tasted rather bland. Personally both are ok to me, though I do tend to lean toward Hershey's because it's what I grew up with. Though I think the reason why neither of them are particularly vile tasting to me is because I've always been introduced to different foods from different cultures as a part of how I was raised and was constantly trying new things of all different natures.

                        1. re: emilyjoyce

                          After moving here and having more chocolate from France, Belgium or Holland, I will never put Hershey's in my mouth again. :-) It really can't compete with what's made on this side of the world.

                          In America, I often used Valharona chocolate for cooking, and I think it's still one of my favorites. America has lots of imported chocolate.. why eat Hershey when those are easily available?

                          1. re: emilyjoyce

                            @emilyjoyce: You are a beacon of tolerance, God Bless America!

                        2. My guilty American import pleasure is a 2lb block of Velveeta cheese and a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chili for making Chile con Queso.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: FarleyFlavors

                            I think you can get the Rotel Diced Tomatoes at Partridges and/or Whole Foods now.

                            1. re: brokentelephone

                              One's not much use without the other though.

                              Incidentally, if you do decide to put a large block of Velveeta in the hold you can pretty much guarantee that your bag will be searched by the TSA. It's happened every time I've done it.

                              Presumably it resembles Semtex or similar on the X-ray machine.

                              (I have a feeling that eating 2lb. of semtex would probably be less hazardous to your health).

                              1. re: FarleyFlavors

                                do make sure you send out warnings if you have to fart.

                          2. the larger Reeses peanut butter cups are on sale over here now.Apart from Peanut butter kit kats there aren't many other peanut butter flavoured bars on sale over here.

                            York Peppermint patties are always a hit when i bring them back.

                            Chocolate covered pretzels aren't that common over here either, i like the new pretzel M&M's

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Frizzaldo

                              I didn't know peanut butter Kit Kats were still available here. There seemed to be a run of them a couple of years ago and then they disappeared. Really, really liked them.

                            2. Chipotle peppers! Trying to get some myself...(not sweets, I know but something that is difficult to get here)

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: pj26

                                don't know if they mail to the UK or not, but you can get ground chipotle from l'Epicerie de Bruno on rue Tiquetonne in Paris.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  you can also get dried ones in tesco...

                                  1. re: chickendhansak

                                    This link is intentionally to the canned-in-Adobo-sauce variety as I assume that's the kind you mean.

                                  2. re: pj26


                                    Has a good selection of dried chillis or chiles, never know how to spell the word......

                                  3. You can buy American food in many Tescos now (major supermarket) and that is mostly candy or cereal based stuff or things for baking. Perhaps send more region-specific snacks as we are unlikely to get the more local products.

                                    - haha, just realised the thread is very old. Oh well i shall leave this here as an update.

                                    1. Snyder's sourdough pretzels. The plain ones that come in a box (or a bag) - not the flavored ones I see in pubs every so often. I'm told they are sold here (UK) but I've never found them. I crave them regularly!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jerico

                                        One can get very small bags of the Snyder's onion/mustard variety at some of the online, American stores like www.americansoda.co.uk. I get a craving for those once in awhile, but the bags are so small!

                                        1. re: zuriga1

                                          I pass the end of the road that the American Soda shop is on every time I go to the farmers market at Ashton under Lyne. It's the sort of area that you would never imagine would be catering to an American ex-pat customer base. Power of t'internet, I suppose.

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            The internet has changed so many things and especially shopping. Who would have ever imagined the capabilities we now have? I think I remember a photo of that shop on the website, and it's probably a good thing I don't have to worry about its appearance. :-) I've always been happy with their service, although I still can't find some products on any of the many, similar sites. There's one near me in Guildford.. I wonder what that one looks like.

                                      2. It's worth popping into a Filipino supermarket sometime to check out (weird) Americanized food. There are a few around Earls Court, and they have a random selection of American goods from the Philippines.

                                        I used to get my A&W root beer there until my laziness finally trumped my hatred of Partridges.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: brokentelephone

                                          There used to be/hopefully still is one near me in Camberwell so will have a look for the root beer. A Chinese supermarket in Peckham used to sell root beer but no more sadly.