Things I miss from the U.S.A.

I've lived in Mexico too long!

It used to be that when people asked me, "What do you miss from the USA?", I could rattle off a Top 10 list in seconds.  But now that I've lived here for ten years, it's gotten much harder.  I even had to ask Hubby for his input, because what I mostly miss is food.

Things I miss from the States: (in no particular order)

Friends and family:  Obvio!  I miss seeing and interacting with my friends and family on a regular basis.  Thanks to Facebook, email and this blog, I still feel like I'm a part of their lives, as they are a part of mine.  But I still miss them.   

Holidays:  If there's one thing you've learned about me, it's that I absolutely love holidays.  You name it -- Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter -- I've celebrated them all.  Before I moved to Mexico, I used to send out cards for EVERY holiday, including Groundhog's Day.  I've tried keeping up the tradition of celebrating all of the holidays here in Mexico, but it's not as easy.  Every year, I notice that it's getting harder and harder for me to find that holiday spirit, especially when no one else is celebrating.   

Classic Movies:  One of my favorite movies is "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and my all-time favorite actor, Jack Lemmon (I even named my youngest after him -- Jack Limon!)  Hubby and I used to rent old black and white classics all the time.  But not anymore.  Our local video rental place doesn't have any classic American films.  A real shame if you ask me.        

Bathtubs: As I've said before, most of the older houses in Mexico don't have bathtubs.  While I'm thankful for the fact that our rental home has a nice sized shower and running water, there are days that I wish I could relax in a tub filled with hot water and lots of bubbles.  Sigh!

Craft Shopping:  I really miss being able to walk into a Michael's or a Jo-ann Fabrics to just stare at their wall-to-wall supplies for every craft imaginable.  Especially holiday crafts!  Double Sigh! 

And now onto the good stuff...

Pickles!  I've been here ten years and haven't found a decent pickle yet.  I am able to find those tiny sweet pickles, but I don't care for them that much.  We also have sliced pickles for hamburgers, but the last batch I bought was neon green and pure salt.  No bueno!  What I'd really like is one of those big, juicy, sour pickles.  Yum!

Candy:  Here in Mexico, we have our fair share of candy, including American favorites like Snicker's, Milky Way and M&M's.  We also have a plethora of candies flavored with lime and chile powder.  That's all fine and dandy, because the kiddies love them.  But I miss my American candy classics like Reese's Pieces, Big Hunk, Babe Ruth, Pay Day, Butterfinger...I could go on and on.

Chips:  That's another thing flavored with lots of lime and chile powder...Chips!  I can't eat half of the chips sold here, because they are too spicy.  What I wouldn't give for BBQ or Chili-Cheese flavored Fritos. 

Grape Jelly:  What can I say?  Toast isn't the same without grape jelly.  Sure, we've got strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, apricot and peach.  But my poor kiddies have never eaten a PB&J sandwich with grape jelly.  That to me, is just wrong!

Cookies:  Again, there are plenty of cookies around, including American favorites: Oreo's and Chips Ahoy.  I just wish I could find Nutter Butters and Fig Newtons.  And Hubby wishes we had Twinkies.  According to him, the Mexican counterparts are not even close to being as good as a Hostess Twinkie. 

I think that about does it for my list.  It's getting late and all of this writing about food is making me hungry.

So what do you miss from the States?  Or what do you think you'd miss?



  1. Timely post. I was just craving licorice -- black licorice. The Australian variety sold at Costco in The States.

    And I am with you on chips. I got tired of chili-lime in the first month I was here. But it is a great weight loss tool.

  2. I agree with Steve, that Austrailian Licorice; except I prefer the red. That is good stuff. Failing that red Twizzlers.
    Sharp Cheddar Cheese, pickles.
    The Aka Si store here, (kind of like a $ store) sometimes has Fig Newtons. The stores now have Reeses Peanut Butter Cups which I love; but I am so used to not buying them now that I rarely buy them.
    Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips or a Canadian favorite Ketchup flavor chips lol.
    Mostly the cheddar cheese though, don't really miss the rest of the stuff that much.
    Oh a nice hot bath would be so lovely on these cold days.

  3. But......when I am NOB I crave for the eggs, butter, cheeses, tortillas, friends, somewhat of the daily routine. Not too much for the cookies and bad things for you....when you get older you figure you have to do whatever it may take to extend that final day......
    Get yourself a Roku box and you can get all the classic movies you want, if you have a decent Internet connection, the pickles you can make that will match any you remember....grow you own, it's pretty easy.And if you really got the hankering for the candy, you would be surprised of how easy it is to make them yourself. I found about 3 years ago I really wanted a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and about 3 hours later I had a half dozen, and they were pretty good. You would be surprised on what you can find instructions for on the net.....
    We have a bathtub, but it takes too long to fill up, so we only use it once a year or wife misses the tub experience more than I,

  4. My list has enviro-friendly cleaning products, unscented laundry detergent, milk chocolate chips (and also peanutbutter and white chocolate ones), tampons, Children's Motrin, and being able to go shopping and find the clothes (for me) and the toys (for birthdays/Xmas, etc) that I'm looking for.

  5. I suddenly feel so blessed. LOL. All these things you love are things I love too. I would really miss real PB&J with grape jelly, my bathtub, all the candies you mentioned - pickles...

    When I went to El Salvador for just 1 week, I lost 10 lbs. I love Salvadoran food, but I just desperately missed *my* food and my doctor scared me off eating street food, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc - told me I could get hepatitis and stuff, so that wasn't exactly appetizing. We found a market selling American breakfast cereals and I nearly survived on that. I also managed to find a Pizza Hut. The pizza was different, but close enough (and Carlos almost ordered anchovies because he couldn't remember how to say black olives!) ... I also ate at a "Biggest" which is like their version of Burger King... and a Pollo Campero, which is like KFC... I must have seemed like such a spoiled brat preferring fast food over authentic homemade dishes, but it was a long time ago. We'd only been married a year and I was in a bit of a culture shock. LOL.

    Sounds like we need to do a care package exchange. I can send you a box of American goodies and you send me a box of Mexican stuff :) I love Bubu Lubus and de la Rosa Dulce de Cacahuate, but I can get those at our local Latino market. Having trouble finding the Pollito lollipops though. I'm sure I could think of a few more things ;)

  6. Hubby gave me a piece of candy yesterday that reminded me of black licorice. Almost as good as the real thing. :)

  7. Brenda, I completely forgot about red licorice and salt & vinegar chips. Two of my faves. :) We have the reese's peanut butter cups here too. I used to crave them more, but now that we have them, I don't buy them or crave them as often. :)

    A couple of years ago, Barcel, the other Mexican chip company, had ketchup flavored chips. I don't know if they still make them. I'll have to ask the kiddies.

  8. I craved the same things during my last visit NOB. :) I used to crave more things, but I just started making them myself. I've always wanted to try my own hand at making pickels, but don't I need special jars and pickling spices?

  9. The chocolate, peanut butter and white chocolate chips should also have been on my list! Along with cinnamon chips. One of my best buds swears they're the best thing ever! :)

  10. LMAO - I got a giggle when reading this comment, When Im in the states I say hooray for tampons and unscented laundry detergent!! Go girl!

  11. it definitely made me hungry! now i have to go eat breakfast before i continue the housework. well, housework can always wait.

    have a great day!

    teresa in lake stevens

  12. Sounds like relatives from the USA should take your list and make up several care packages for you. Or, it doesn't even have to be relatives, just friends.

  13. I miss vegie products like vegie burgers. Also organics! And Bob's Red Mill flour and mixes. Bulghur wheat.

    All the fresh food here is great but I would love more natural products!

  14. No, the easiest are old fashioned half sour refrigerator pickles,either look on my recipe site about 2 years ago, or I will forward you the recipe .....
    You only need the jars and stuff if you are going to make the kind that last forever, and that's not a good thing...the taste is too vinegary. Any jar with a loose lid will work.

  15. come visit us in GDL! we have Michael's (miguel's!) :)
    what do i miss... hm... i agree with you, it's gotten to be less and less over the (5) years. Maybe i'm just better at tracking things down here in the city!
    I do miss Tillamook cheddar cheese, hot tamales candy, a good bagel, TARGET!, nice running paths & wide sidewalks. I also miss hiking (all the hiking here seems to involve LOTS of dust!) and definitely bathtubs... especially when I was pregnant!

  16. Oh my gosh, I feel like you read my mind! I used to miss tons of things, but over the past few years they don't seem as important anymore. I used to really miss the malls, but now the whole idea of clothes shopping in the States just kind of overwhelms me.

    Don't even get me started on the chili potato chips.

    I do still miss baths, like you. I also find myself pining away for Reeses Pieces and Junior Mints whenever I'm at the movies.

    Candy Corn. Fall weather. Christmas carols. Dogwood trees (Virginia). Friendly waiters. Peppermint-flavored coffee drinks at Starbucks around Christmas. TARGET!! Public libraries.

    Then again, if I were to move back to the States there would be a much, much longer list of things I miss about Mexico.

    Thanks for this post! It's always awesome to know I'm not the only one missing some of these things.

  17. Oh, and about 2 months ago I discovered dill pickles at our Walmart! They're cut into little circles (I prefer spears), but they taste incredible!

    I have a little bowl of them a few times a week while watching TV... and I may or may not drink the leftover pickle juice :S It's an addiction.

    And if you ask Jorge, he'll tell you that pickle breath is not sexy.

  18. I no longer use any cleaning products here except vinegar and bleach. I have lots of allergies and cannot tolerate the highly scented cleaning products here.
    I have to be careful which laundry softener I buy as some of the scents (to me) are overpowering.
    Fabuloso drives my allergies insane, you won't find it in my house lol.
    The biggest thing I missed before was Sweet Corn; but now I have found it here during the season. The rest of the stuff I have found I only buy it once in awhile anyway as my taste for it seems to have disappeared since being here, go figure.
    I would make dill pickles but can't find fresh dill. I actually found some dry dillweed the other day, I wonder how or if that would work?
    I have made frig pickles; but need to find a better recipe as I didn't care for the ones I made.
    All in all it is the Sharp Cheddar Cheese that I crave, the rest is no big deal.

    I sent a care package of HOT NUTS to a Mexican friend in Canada one time lol.

    Roys daughter tried to send him red licorice for his birthday and the customs wouldn't allow it through so we never got it. She had it returned to her. GRRRR.

  19. I miss the opposite! I moved from the border town of Laredo, TX to the DC area almost 6 years ago and I miss the spicy chips (Adobadas & Ruffles con queso are my favorites!), tamarindos, empanadas de cajeta, tacos de trompo (al pastor), elotes desgranados...sigh. I make my family send me stuff sometimes, but it doesn't happen so often.

  20. OMG - I can't even believe how much I miss the food. I actually was just telling hubby the other night I really missed the food from back home. SO much. Heck, even the produce in the supermarkets here aren't as good. Less selection. Why?? I have no clue!!

    I miss Salt n Vinegar chips. I miss coke bottles and sour soothers. I miss Heinz or Bush Baked Pork n Beans. YUP pickles. Butter - thank goodness for the Costco Kirkland brand. Spinach dip. Sour cream and not crema. Breads - good tasting, healthy breads - we basically can only find white flour everything! I think I could go on, and on when it comes to food! LOL!!!

  21. Okay, go ahead and laugh...but I really, really miss Taco Bell! I loved their bean burritos with no onions and root beer. I don't think the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that are made here taste like the ones from home. I also miss Strawberry flavored Twizzlers...Red Vines are available at CostCo, but they're not the same. Here in GDL we have stores that import all kinds of stuff, but it's all sooo expensive, I can't justify paying that amount. Quite often at the dollar store, I find a great selection of imported cookies like Pepridge Farms and Famous Amos. They have all the Granny Goose chips (the BBQ ones are heavenly) and I've found Almond Roca which I LOVE!!!

  22. As far as sending out cards for the holidays, since you have an Internet connection, you can design, sign and "snail mail" heartfelt greeting cards to people you need to reach out to by using the Internet based system that I use. The web page is It literally will be as if you went to the store, bought a great card, signed it and mailed it from a US post box.

    Valentine's Day is coming up. Try sending a card to someone you love for free - on me! Go visit

    Ira S.

  23. There is so little I miss any more, partly because I guess I'm happy with what I have and partly because even in the few years I've been here there is more and more available. Occasionally CostCo will have these huge blocks of sharp, white, cheddar cheese, I just bought one last week. So, we are pigging out on grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese and anything else I can think of to put it on. The blocks are so large that it is a struggle to eat it all before it starts to mold. Cheddar cheese and good Stilton cheese were the things I missed most, I'm ok on that now for a couple months. I would love a Bed, Bath and Beyond shopping spree though, good towels and sheets for cheap. I can get European high thread count linens here but they cost a fortune. Mostly I think I miss shopping online for deals and getting it delivered to the door.

  24. deep breath.... sigh.... craft shopping... deep breath sigh... holidays... OH WAIT JUST COME CELEBRATE THEM WITH US!!!!!

  25. Oh one thing I miss every year and start to crave is girls scout cookies. Heres a tip if you miss them to eat one of the polvorones (orange peel cookies) with penut butter and it kind of tasts like the pb girl scout cookies. We just discovered this one this week.