Let me preface this article by saying I'm having an amazing time abroad! The food here is amazing and I love learning about the culture that surrounds it! But, being in a foreign country has made realize that there are some foods that take up such a large part of my diet that I have little-to-no access to here in Europe.

Food is an immense part of the culture here and getting used to it was one of the biggest adjustments I've made since arriving.

So here it is; my whiny-girl article about all the processed garbage my friends and I miss from America.

1. Salad

Although salads are served in Europe, it’s not common to see places like Chop’t, Sweetgreen, or Salad and Go where you can sit down and specifically just eat a salad. Places that do serve them are very different from salads in the U.S. Salads in Europe are very simple and small. They might have 3 or 4 ingredients, and that’s it.

2. Protein Shakes

Anyone who knows me knows that I love protein shakes. It’s my favorite on-the-go lunch, and I have one almost every day. My dependency is gone and now I actually have to make plans and go out of my way to get lunch. 

3. Chipotle

DO NOT JUDGE ME! If you lost your immediate access to Chipotle, you’d probably be sad too! Obviously I’m in a place where Spanish food is as good as it can get, but don’t think that I don’t miss getting a burrito bowl and chips, and finishing off the night with a great food coma.

4. Breakfast

My favorite meal of the day has pretty much disappeared on me. In everyday life, Europeans don’t particularly care about breakfast; their big/important meal in lunch. I’ve got to be honest; I miss breakfast food almost as much as I miss my dog. Small pastries, coffee, eggs, potatoes. That it! No pancakes, no omelets (falls to the floor).

5. Peanut/Almond Butter

Do I really need to explain myself? Well I’m going to anyway due to passion about the absence of the best thing to come out of America. Not being able to dunk my spoon into a tub of peanut butter whenever I want is alarming because it makes me realize how often I actually do it without realizing. No quick PB&J's for lunch, no almond butter toast with bananas for breakfast.

6. Late-Night Food

Ahhh the best time of a drunk college student's night. Nightlife in Europe is insane. Clubs start getting busy around 2 or 3 am and they close at 6 or 7am. No matter what time I leave, NOTHING IS OPEN FOR DRUNCHIES! We’re spoiled in Syracuse with Insomnia Cookies, Acropolis, Jimmy John’s and Calios, but in Europe there is nothing.

7. Water

It’s a nice bitch-slap in the face when you see a bill with a charge for water at a restaurant. No it’s not crazy expensive, but we definitely take advantage of our easy access to tons of water in America. Here in Europe they drink two things: coffee and booze. It’s very weird when something that you don’t even think twice about, like water, is not only harder to get, but it’s not even popular to drink. At home, I drink four to five bottles of water a day. Here, I’m lucky to get one.