As American as Apple Pie

With the US about to celebrate Thanksgiving we take a look at some of the online retailers offering a taste of the States.

There are many American ex-pats living in the UK. They want a reminder of a taste of home. Particularly at Thanksgiving and Christmas they want access to the food of their homelands. Over the years a large number of websites offering US grocery items, sweets and drinks have sprung up. For those of us with a taste for American foodie treats this means we can nibble on the Hershey bars we discovered on our holidays and introduce our friends to the delights of grape jelly and peanut butter sandwiches.

Here is a selection of our most-used sellers, along with some of our favourite products. There are others, of course, but based on our experience those listed offer sensible pricing, a wide variety of goods and a safe and speedy service.

Great Online Sellers


Primarily an international sweet shop, Cybercandy are both an online, and a high street retailer. With shops in London's Covent Garden and in Brighton, Cybercandy were established ten years ago. They have a large American food section offering everything from sweets and chocolate to cake mixes and frostings, cookies, cereals, sodas and spreads. They accept Paypal and a wide range of credit cards too!

American Soda
Claims to offer the 'largest range of American soda and food in the UK' and the probably do! Every kind of candy and soda are offered alongside syrups, sauces, snacks, shortenings, seasonings, pickles and baking items. And for anyone yearning after the genuine American experience there are non-food items too - like Saran wrap and Ziploc bags.

The Stateside Candy Company
Again specialising in sweets and other groceries, the Stateside Candy Company is particularly good at sourcing seasonal products like Christmas candy and some of the harder to find foodstuffs like Baconnaise bacon flavoured spread (yes, really!). They also have a special section of products used by Nigella Lawson on her television series and her books.

Our Top 10 Favourite American Foods

1 Welch's Grape Jelly
The Concord Grape is unlike any other grape around. If you pick pretty much anything grape flavoured in the US, most likely it will taste of Concord Grape. If you've tried Welch's Purple Grape Juice in the UK, then you'll know the flavour. Many companies make grape jelly but Welch's are the most famous. They make a more traditional British-style jam too, but it is the jelly that makes up half of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Which is delicious, by the way, if a little weird!

2  Hershey's Chocolate  There is no chocolate in the world that tastes like Hersheys and the thin Hershey bar is a classic. Very cocoa-y rather than creamy and breaks into pieces that are just the right size to melt on the tongue. Hershey's Kisses, in their little foil wraps, are so iconic that the street lamps in the factory's town, Hershey, Pennsylvania, are shaped like them!

3 Brach's Christmas Sweets  With old-fashioned American favourite like Starlight Mints, ribbon candy, Christmas mix and peppermint nougat
Brach's sweets offer a real taste of Yuletide of yesteryear.

4 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Okay, so this might not be the healthiest of foods, but this little blue box certainly fulfills the role of comfort food. And it's quick. You just cook the pasta and stir in the powdered cheese and voila! Yummy and filling.

5 Aunt Jemima's Lite Syrup  When it comes to American-style pancakes for breakfast I don't believe in using maple syrup. Yes, it's nice, yes it's additive-free and it's relatively healthy, but it just doesn't cut it. What you need for a real American breakfast is a sticky flavoured syrup. And this one's 'lite'  so its lower in calories and it's delicious too!

6 Old Bay Seasoning  I know this sounds like a 1970s aftershave, but anyone whose eaten in fish on the US's Eastern Seaboard has probably tasted it. The blend of 12 herbs and spices has been pepping up fish and seafood for 60 years but it works just as well on pizza and corn on the cob among other things. But we use it in New England style fish pies, in crabcakes and in the crumby topping on Boston scrod.

7  Borden Eggnog   A traditional Holiday drink, ready prepared in a can, Borden Eggnog can be used for so much more. Just shake it up, as per the instructions on the can, and add a little rum (or rum essence if you prefer alcohol-free) and serve. But leftovers make a wonderful dip for making French toast the next morning.

8 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish These tiny fish-shaped biscuits come in a variety of cheesy flavours. They are delicious. Actually, they are addictive. I've ruined more than one meal in the Union Oyster House in Boston thanks to over-indulgence on goldfish while sitting at the bar. You have been warned.

9 Mountain Dew With its peculiar green colour and fruity taste, it's surprising that Mountain Dew has never caught on in the UK. I first tried it in Disneyland in 1980 and was immediately hooked. How does it taste? Citrusy? Sort of. Lemony? A bit.  Look, if you get a chance just try it and then you'll know!

10 Oreo Cookies I know these are now getting a bit more widespread in the UK, but I still consider them the ultimate US cookie. Dark chocolate biscuits sandwiching creamy white vanilla filling. Just perfect for those days when you want to be like a kid and drink milk.