One of the great things about NorCal and much of the United States is the diversity in food options. There is so much food that I’m constantly craving that I don’t have available to me now that I’m here in Serbia. If it is available, it’s just not the same. That’s a problem too. I knew I’d miss certain foods the way I did when I was in Spain, but in a different country with different options, I had no idea what to expect. So what foods have I found myself missing the most?

1. SUSHI

Sushi is just not a thing over here people. It kind of makes sense because Serbia is landlocked and the population is mainly people from the Balkan region, but man do I miss it. Last night, Nenad and I looked up the new sushi place that opened up in Novi Sad and although I was craving it horribly, I knew just by looking at the photos that it was not going to live up to my personal expectations. He didn’t understand until I showed him photos of Blue Nami, Sumo Sushi, and other restaurants from back home. I mean the options here didn’t have sauces or any sort of toppings.. (gasp!)… I know, right.

2. BURGERS

There are burgers here, but they’re just not the same, of course. Also, there’s no variety to the burgers here. I mean you have a classic option (cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sauce) or you have a version that possibly has bacon, and that’s about it. I’m sure there are a few restaurants that I just don’t know about, but it doesn’t have what I’m looking for. I am just missing my teriyaki burger with pineapple and bacon and if you think that’s gross then you have not tried it!!! It’s a holy grail of a burger and I highly recommend you swing by a local Red Robin or Habit Burger and give it a shot.

3. BACON

Speaking of bacon. You guys. I actually feel like a piece of my soul dies every time I try a piece of bacon here. Each time I see a menu item with bacon I get excited and order it because I love bacon! EVERY SINGLE TIME IM SO DISAPPOINTED. It’s just not our thin, crispy, delicious bacon. It’s more natural, unprocessed, sometimes smoked instead of cooked, not crispy bacon. To be clear I don’t think the food is bad, it’s just different from what I’m used to and therefore I’m not a big fan, and that’s okay. There is a ton of food I’ve come to know and love here.

4. THAI FOOD

No one has any idea what Thai food is here. The people that think they know explain it to me and talk about the restaurants that have it, and that’s fine I play along, but it’s not Thai food. Usually, the pictures they’ll show me is Indian, which is also rare here and delicious, but not the same. Nenad and I have tried to make a few Thai recipes, but they are nowhere near as delicious as the mom and pop Thai kitchens in Roseville, California and it is so sad but also helps me appreciate the art of cooking!

Of course, I could go on but bottom line, there’s not much variety over here. They have so much food from different countries in the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and the European part of Turkey), but not necessarily authentic Mexican, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, etc.

Personally, I try not to think about my cravings because drooling for hours isn’t going to help the situation. Instead, I make a list of all the food I’d like to eat upon my return home to The States, whether to visit or live. It’s a long list, but I have a lot of time. So I hope at this point you’re now craving one of the four options above. If you’re lucky enough to have somewhere you can go get them, count your blessings and know that I’m 5,000 miles away, jealously dreaming of when my time returns.