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Are food or drinks imported to the U.S. the same as abroad ?

I was just reading a reply about imported pasta. Saying that it's different than what we get in the U.S. It got me thinking.We brought back Nutella from Italy.We thought it tasted better. Guinness stout seemed to be different also when tasted abroad. Is it a fact or just a myth ?

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  1. Not Heineken. Made in the same brewery, but to a different formula. Even when it is the same, beer (and stout) always suffer from time and transportation. Possibly/probably other foods as well.

      1. Nutella that we normally can buy in the USA is made in the USA (or actually the label now says Canada). So it isn't as though they are making a different mix in Italy for export. However, it is easy to get similar spreads from other countries and brands.

        Sometimes we get 'export quality' items, which may be 'better' (in some way or other) - especially if the country needs the foreign cash.

        Probably the surest way of getting the same item in the USA as abroad, is to shop in ethnic or discount stores (grocery outlet, big lots) where you can find items that have the foreign label (with just a little added sticker in English).

        1. In Singapore, we've had Nutella imported from two different countries - don't remember which ones and don't have any to check. The list of ingredients differed.

          1. The Nutella in Italy is in a glass jar; here in the US it is in a plastic jar. Don't know if there is a difference beyond that.
            Fanta orange soda in Italy is more like an Aranciatta soda. Here in the US it is a sickly sweet syrupy swill that bears no resemblance to orange as far as taste is concerned.

            1. vast differences from place to place with most products.

              1. Went on a bunch of cave tours in Champagne disguised as Germans. Each talked about the North American market and how the labels were Shifted because the market there is for sweeter wines.

                Took a tour with a bunch of Americans in the summer and they failed to mention this.

                Still have my Glucks Pfenning in my wallet from Taitinger.

                1. Guinness. Most beers, in fact.

                  1. I've reckoned this for a while. In fact, a friend brought back powdered nutmeg from the Netherlands, and ignoring the Indonesian colonial ties for a bit, definitely noticed a difference in taste from McCormick and store brands.

                    As that's only one test, I'll have to compare more.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                      The top shelf of the Indonesian section at 99Ranch (large Asian grocery) has a variety of Dutch chocolates, like De Ruijter sprinkles.

                    2. Forgot about Anchor powdered milk. DEFINITELY a different recipe.

                      In Sri Lanka, it's been just plain milk powder at times alternating with milk powder with sugar added - exact same packaging.

                      In Singapore, with pretty much the same packaging (language on the packaging may have differed, but the product name was identical) with some kind of preservative or other additive that made the resulting milk taste absolutely vile.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LMAshton

                        That's not import to the USA is it? Looks like it is a NZ company that exports to SE & S Asia.

                        Nestle Nido (from Mexico and/or Chile) is the main whole powdered milk seen in the USA, with occasional Klim cans (probably the same company, different label). But most powdered milk is the USA is domestic nonfat.

                        Kaya (coconut jam) is the only Singapore product that I am familiar with.


                        1. re: paulj

                          No idea if it imports to the US or not. Yes, it's a New Zealand company and yes, it exports to at least a few countries in Asia.

                      2. Foreign foods and liqueurs made in the U.S. will be different from the original recipe as for example mangoes differ from those in India so Merwanjee Major Grey Chutney which l used to buy the Indian one by the case is now so different and insipid l would not take for free.
                        Nutella the same, different oils are use in the States so texture to me is greasier.
                        Coca-Cola using HFCS is different from Mexican or European coke and worse for the change.
                        OTOH l was not aware of the differences for export until the above post on Champagne.
                        Would love to see other examples.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          I drank lots of Lime and soda in South Africa a few years ago. (Popular non-alcoholic aperitif)

                          Their Roses's lime juice is made with cane sugar. Tried to make the drink here and discovered that our USA version has the dreaded high fructose corn syrup.

                          I am leaving lots of room in checked luggage for the "real thing" on an upcoming trip!

                          Barilla pasta for the US market is made in Iowa. You can find the Italian-made Barillal in specialty stores, but I would still consider it an industrial pasta.