I was originally going to post this in the "Small but Important Suggestions Thread" but the longer I played with things in my head, the longer this list became - to the point that it made more sense to post it as its own topic. After all, if people had already read what I'm saying (or just plain don't want to), it's significantly easier for them to scroll past an individual topic than a long-ass post.
Also, this feels a little too lightweight to post in a thread of "Small but Important Suggestions".
Anyway, during my last playthrough of PZ, I started to get a little sick of scavenging the same food items over and over again. Every time I saw the same "Canned Bolognese " or "Frozen Peas" my mind started to drift and wonder what else I could have found in that cupboard/ refrigerator instead.
And yes, I am aware that this is extremely minor in the grand scheme of (PZ-related) things. I know the devs are already up to their eyeballs with far greater tasks, and I don't expect them to drop everything to start unnecessarily messing with the food in game just to appease my OCD. Still, maybe this'll come in handy to somebody (far) down the road. Maybe it'll at least stop the voices in my head from repeatedly listing various types of canned foods over and over again. Either way, I figured I'd be at least somewhat worth posting to the "Suggestions" board.
Also, before I start talking about foods that aren't in the game - I'd like to ask the devs to at some point rename "Can of Oats" and "Dog food" to "Canned Oats" and "Canned Dog Food" respectively. The way they are now just bugs me when I'm sorting my food back at base. Also, why is "Mushroom Soup" so special that it's listed apart the "Canned Soup" already in game? Shouldn't "Mushroom Soup" be gotten rid of (after all, one can already assume that at least a few cans of the generic "Canned Soup" contain Mushroom Soup), or the nondescript "Canned Soup" item replaced with multiple similarly distinct varieties of soup (Canned Vegetable Soup, Canned Tomato Soup, Canned Chicken Noodle Soup, Canned Cheddar Cheese Soup)? It's the same situation with "Pie" vs "Pumpkin Pie" as well.
Anyway, as I said before: I started to get a little sick of scavenging the same few food items, and my mind kept drifting to what else I could expect to find in the cupboards and fridges of Knox County. Here's a short list (and by no means a complete one - feel free to add to it if you think of something I didn't) of foods that would be nice (but not exactly necessary) to see in-game at some point in the future.
Frozen Foods - Because there's no way an average American refrigerator would not have at least a few easy-to-store easy-to-prepare staples. Hell, lots of American families own stand-alone freezers because they need the extra frozen storage space.
Frozen French Fries - An alternative to the fast food fries you have to luck out to find.
Frozen Pierogies - I don't know how common these truly are, but there's a box of them in my freezer, so I'm adding them to the list.
Frozen Fish Sticks - Super-common in freezers across America.
Frozen Chicken Tenders - Another common item in American homes
Frozen Pizza - The frozen pizza market of 1993 was surprisingly different to the one of today, but frozen pizzas still existed, and they were still common in American Freezers
Frozen Wieners - Extremely common in American Freezers. Wieners are able to be cooked in multiple ways - from grilling, to boiling in water, to roasting on an open bonfire. You also can't make hotdogs without them. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Frozen Onion Rings - Were onion rings sold in the frozen foods section in 1993? I know they are now, as I just saw a bag while perusing my local grocery store today.
Frozen Snacks - Because everybody likes ice cream, even after the end of the world.
Ice Pop - Cheap, popular, and we can't call it a "Popsicle" because that's a registered trademark that may or may not have become genericized but why risk it.
Fudge Bar - It's a Fudgsicle. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it - but I doubt the devs want a lawsuit so "Fudge Bar" it is.
Ice Cream Bar - Ice cream on a stick and covered in a thin layer of chocolate that inevitable breaks off and lands on your clean shirt.
Ice Cream Sandwich -A common frozen treat. I always liked the ones with chocolate chips in them.
Trail Mix - A popular treat among campers and hikers
Granola Bar - Not nearly as healthy as you'd think, and yet the backpackers who live off these things still look down their noses at you for enjoying a nice bacon-flavored ice-cream sundae
Pork Rinds - Basically chunks of pig skin that's been roasted in lard to make said skin eatable. You can pretend you're eating a football!
Pretzels - Salty twisty things. Especially popular as bar food. Can be bought in bags for snacking on at home, as well.
Tortilla Chips - One could argue these are already included in the in-game "Chips" item. One could also argue that doesn't make Tortilla Chips any less important an addition to PZ. Grate some cheese on them, pop 'em in the oven, and you've got something that could generously be called nachos. Maybe you could improve them with some hot peppers and onions.
Rice Cakes - Puffed Rice Cakes sort of resemble snacks - if you squint and are really desperate for something to nosh on.
Soda Crackers - I'd wager you could find these in almost every home in America. If you're feeling creative, you can use them to make little sandwiches.
Snack Crackers - A wide label that encompasses everything from Goldfish to Graham Crackers. Lacking the practical aspect of soda crackers - these are just for snacking on.
Graham Crackers - I had originally included graham crackers in the above-mentioned "snack crackers" before Tails pointed out that you could make smores with them.
Toaster Pastries - Pastries that can be cooked in the toaster or microwave or eaten straight out of the box.
Marshmallows - Bagged Marshmallows are non-perishable and can be found in stores, houses, and campsites across America,
Fruit Snacks - Popular among families with children, fruit snacks are sold in boxes containing six or so small bags of gummy candies.
Pudding Cups - Sold unrefrigerated, I can personally vouch that these snacks are good for at least three months past their Best Before date if kept refrigerated
Smores - A snack sandwich consisting of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows toasted over a fire. - suggested by Tails
Snack Cakes - Can Twinkies really survive the apocalypse? Looks like we'll finally be putting that theory to the test. - suggested by Tails
Chewing Gum - No nutritional value whatsoever, but chewing gum can alleviate stress for a lot of people. - suggested by Tails
Icing - A small container of icing for cakes. Probably not something you would admit to eating as a snack.
Licorice - A foul, horrible thing that some people seem to enjoy eating for reasons beyond understanding.
Jawbreaker - A round, extremely hard candy that probably won't break your jaw. Probably.
Gum Drops - They're gummy. You can drop them. They're gum drops.
Gummy Bears - These extremely common gummy candies are likely to be available anywhere treats are sold.
Jelly Beans - Ronald Reagan's favorite snack, these small candies would be found in every supermarket, convenience store, and in small bowls on most secretary's desks. - suggested by Tails
Candy Corn - One of the quintessential Halloween candies. You can pretend the zombies are trick-or-treaters! - suggested by Tails
Peanut Butter Cups - It's like peanut butter and chocolate got together and had a baby that I'm deathly allergic to.
Toffee - Sticky caramelized sugar (or is it sugarized caramel?). Very sticky. Seriously, I can't emphasize the stickiness enough.
Gelatin - It's Jell-O, we just can't legally refer to it as such. We're all calling it Jell-O in our heads, though.
Spray Cheese - Cheese-flavored chemicals sprayed from an aerosol can.
Baked Goods - Perishable Goods Found in Bakeries, Coffee Shops, and homes.
Croissant - A flakey, crescent-shaped pastry. - suggested by Tails
Baguettes - Bread, but really long and with a crispier crust. - suggested by Tails
Bagels - Kind of like a donut, but not sweet and commonly eaten as a breakfast food. - suggested by Tails
Brownies - Find these fudgy treats in bakeries or make your own during a quite moment back at base. - suggested by Tails
Cinnamon Rolls - Another popular treat you'd be likely to find in any bakery. - suggested by Tails
Donuts - A sweet circular baked good with a hole in it. Commonly sold in coffee shops and supermarkets. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Eclairs - These creme-filled treats would likely be found in bakeries across Knox County.
Garlic Bread - An extremely common item across America. Found in bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, and quite a few fridges/freezers. Goes great with pasta.
Salad Croutons - I listed these under "Baked Goods" because I had no idea where else to put them. Croutons are seasoned crunchy cubes of bread that - surprisingly enough - are eaten with salads.
Bread Sticks - Small crunchy sticks of bread commonly served before meals in some restaurants. You can buy them in supermarkets as well.
Fortune Cookies - Crisp hollow cookies containing a paper "fortune". Typically served after a meal in North American Chinese restaurants.
Gingerbread Cookies - If gingerbread cookies are added to the game, then please don't forget the cookie cutters! A gingerbread cookie that isn't cut into the proper shape is hardly a gingerbread cookie at all! - suggested by Tails
Canned Foods - This is Where this whole list started. When I realized that- despite my extremely picky eating habits - I still had a greater variety of canned food in my home than the the entire world of PZ.
Canned Gravy - Saw a very large can of this at my local grocery store. Imagine two regular-sized cans on top of each other, then widen them slightly. No idea who would need that much gravy.
Canned Meatballs - Meatballs packed in yet more gravy
Canned Chicken - A small can (same size as a can of tuna) containing shredded chicken meat.
Canned Turkey - Another small can - this time containing shredded turkey meat.
Canned Ham - A rather large oddly-shaped can containing cooked ham.
Canned Vienna Sausage - Small sausages in a small can.
Canned Salmon - Same shape and size as a can of tune, except with salmon.
Canned Crab - Roughly the same shape and size as a can of tuna, except containing what I expect is crab meat. They wouldn't lie to us and give us something else...would they?
Canned Clam Chowder - It's Chowdah! Say it Right! It's Chowdah! CHOWDAH! - suggested by Tails
Canned Stew - Similar to canned soup, but slightly different! I think it's thicker.
Canned Cat Food - Why Not? We've already got dog food in the game.
Canned Ravioli - Ravioli and Meatballs packed in tomato sauce. Quick, easy, and inoffensive this was a staple of many childhood lunches
Canned Lasagna - I don't care for lasagna, so I couldn't tell you if this canned variant is in any way accurate to the real deal. Probably not, though.
Canned Spaghetti - Low-quality spaghetti and meatballs packed in tomato sauce. Canned Meat Sauce - Small bits of meat in sauce. I wasn't sure if I should put this with canned meats, but since I tend to use it on pasta dishes, it ended up here instead.
Canned Pizza Sauce - Also available in jars! I just went with canned pizza sauce for completely arbitrary reasons. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Canned Beets - Beets in a can. What else can I add? Canned Apricots -Apricots in a can. Seriously, what else can I add to this? Canned Pears - Ah, Del Monte...Enjoy them old man, they will be your last. Canned Plums - The developers would be plum crazy not to add canned plums to PZ! Canned Peaches - A completely normal can of peaches. Nothing strange about it at all. No sir. Canned Pineapple - You can use pineapples to add a nice glaze to a ham. Canned Mushrooms - Probably safer than foraging for them in the woods. Canned Sauerkraut - I'm going to be 100% honest here - I have absolutely no idea what Sauerkraut is. It does, however, come in a can
Canned Fruit Salad - Why restrict yourself to just one canned fruit when you can have them all?
Canned Milk - Milk in a can! Tastes a bit weird, but has a Hell of a lot longer shelf-life!
Canned Heavy Cream - Don't feel like making your own heavy cream? Just buy it in a can! - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Fruits/Vegetables - A group of food that was completely overlooked by me when I did this list originally. Which probably tells you something my diet...
Brussels Sprouts - These leafy green vegetables look like miniature cabbages and were named after Brussels, Belgium. - suggested by Tails
Cauliflower - These vegetables weren't always an American kitchen staple, at one point being referred to as "Albino Broccoli". They'd be common enough by 1993, however.
Cucumbers - According to Wikipedia - botanically speaking, cucumbers are actually classified as a type of berry. - suggested by Tails
Celery - Celery is an extremely common vegetable that would be found in many American kitchens. Should definitely by added to PZ. - suggested by Tails
Spinach - It's leafy. It's green. It's highly nutritious. - suggested by Tails
Kale - A member of the cabbage family, Kale can be eaten and is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant. - suggested by Tails
Garlic - I don't know how likely somebody is to just chow down on a bulb of garlic, but these babies'll sure come in useful if the zombies are joined by a sudden influx of vampires!
Turnip - Nothing says "It's the apocalypse and I'm starving to death" like chowing down on a raw turnip.
Mangoes - A tropical fruit that is commonly sold in American supermarkets.
Grapefruit - A fairly large round fruit that is known to cause adverse reactions with numerous prescription drugs. - suggested by Tails
Pomegranate - I have no idea why these small, fluffy dogs are considered fruits, but who am I to argue? Maybe they grow on trees? - suggested by Tails
Papaya - These tropical fruits can be eaten raw, or used as an ingredient in stews and salads. - suggested by Tails
Coconut - A large, round fruit that grows on coconut palms - these fruits are hard enough that you might be able to use one to crack a zombie's skull open. - suggested by Tails
Kiwi - These small, green, tropical fruits were apparently once known as "Chinese Gooseberries" - at least according to Wikipedia, and surely Wikipedia would never lie. - suggested by Tails
Limes - Like lemons- except green. Which probably means they're more eco-friendly. - suggested by Tails
Pears - I suggested canned pears but not their non-canned perishable counterparts. Shame on me.
Plums - Take the sentence above, and replace "pears" with "plums".
Pumpkin - Pumpkin Pie is already in the game, so why not actual pumpkins? And if we don't have the option to turn them into Jack-O'-Lanterns, I will be very disappointed. - suggested by Tails
Raisins - I was tempted to list raisins under "snacks", but since they're dried grapes they're going here instead. They're still commonly eaten as a snack, however. - suggested by Tails
Olives - Every in-game bar should have a jar of these. - suggested by Tails
Rhubarb - I think part of this plant is actually poisonous. Doesn't stop it from being cultivated and consumed by humans, however.
Dandelions - Every part of the dandelion plant is edible. You're still not likely to find this in many kitchens, however.
Jalapeño Peppers - Spice up your post-apocalyptic life with these babies! - suggested by Tails
Cayenne Peppers - Jalapenos not spicy enough for you? Try cayenne peppers on for size! - suggested by Tails
Meats - Because zombies shouldn't be the only ones feasting on the flesh of dead creatures.
Turkey - Kind of like chicken, but bigger and better in every way - suggested by Tails
Salami - No refrigeration? No Problem! Salami can be stored for a month at room temperatures. - suggested by Tails
Ribs - Whether from a pig, cow, lamb, or deer, ribs are a staple of American BBQ Cuisine. - suggested by Tails
Ground Beef - Shape into a "meat patty", add to a taco, or simply fry it up as is. - originally listed under "Frozen Foods", this really better belongs under the "Meats" heading
Bologna - We already have canned bologna, so why not actual bologna? The apocalypse shouldn't prevent us from making bologna sandwiches dammit!
Chicken Balls - Balled and breaded chicken. A staple of North American Chinese takeout despite being unheard of in China itself. Found when looting "I Heart Wok & Roll".
Egg Rolls - Deep-fried appetizers served in North American Chinese restaurants. Despite the name, they don't contain any egg. - suggested by Tails
Duck - A bird that you should be able to find and kill yourself once hunting is properly implemented - suggested by Tails
Goose - Commonly eaten for Christmas in Europe, you'll be eating this waterfowl whenever you can hunt and kill one in PZ. - suggested by Tails
Seafood - Kentucky may not be adjacent to the ocean, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have your choice of aquatic critters to feast on!
Sushi - Sushi was a popular fad among the yuppie crowd in the 1980s, so while I doubt you'll find many sushi lovers in Muldraugh (at least in 1993), I would imagine there'll definitely be a sushi restaurant or two in upcoming Louisville. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Crab - Much like the lobsters below, once the pre-apocalypse supply of fresh crab meat is gone, it's gone for good! Although canned crab meat is a thing. - suggested by Tails
Lobster - Raid live lobsters from restaurant and supermarket seafood tanks while you can, because you won't be seeing another one once the transportation network that brings them in from the coast breaks down. - suggested by Tails
Crayfish - Multiple species of crayfish can be caught in the rivers of Kentucky and are perfectly eatable. There's no reason a player of high enough "Fishing" skill shouldn't be able to catch them him/herself. - suggested by Okamikurainya
Mussels - There are over 100 species of freshwater mussels in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It's about time we started dredging them out of their freshwater homes and inserting them into our bellies where they belong! - suggested by Okamikurainya
Oysters - These shellfish can be cooked in multiple different ways, or even eaten raw. They've also got a high shelf life of up to four weeks. - suggested by Tails
Cooking Supplies / Ingredients
Pancake/Waffle Mix - Given how rare actual (non-rotten) waffles and pancakes seem to be in Know County, it would be nice if we were given the means to make our own.
Cookie Dough - Believe it or not, this tasty snack can actually be used to make cookies with. Just chop the dough up and put it in the oven. Or just eat it raw, whichever makes you happiest.
Chocolate Chips - Chocolate Chips can be add to a recipe, or just eaten on their own as a snack.
Cornmeal - Can be used in the baking of cornbread and muffins, as well as in the preparation of grits.
Pizza Dough - Can be made from scratch, or looted ready-made from the supermarket (and probably Pizza Whirled). - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Taco Shells - Add some ground beef, sour creme, grated cheese, and whatever else you desire. I like bacon in mine. Or just eat the shells as is if you're hungry enough. - suggested by ZoneryQuasar
Tortilla Wraps - Feel like making a burrito instead of a taco? These tortilla wraps'll have you covered. And after you run out of wraps, you can make your own from cornmeal! - suggested by Tails
Drink Mixes - So far the only drinks we can make in PZ are tea and coffee. A handful of other choices would be nice.
Hot Chocolate Mix - Similar to tea and coffee, making a mug of hot chocolate would consist of pouring a packet of powder into a mug of hot water. Maybe you could even add a marshmallow.
Chocolate Milk Mix - Pour a pouch of this into a glass of white milk to turn it chocolate! It's like magic! - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Coffee Cream - You'll no longer have to drink your coffee black with this in stock. - suggested by Tails
Juice Mix - Available in multiple flavors, just pour a packet of juice powder into a pitcher and enjoy a few refreshing glasses of lemon-aid or fruit punch or the like
Spreads/Sauces/Condiments/And The Like - Lastly, if more food isn't enough, then at least having more things to put on said food should help to improve matters, right?
Maple Syrup - Because does anybody want to eat their pancakes/waffles dry?
Hot Sauce - As with the sour cream listed above, hot sauce goes with just about anything - including sour cream!
BBQ Sauce - Useful for adding an extra touch of flavor to the steaks and pork chops you'll be cooking.
Soy Sauce - Found in grocery stores and "I Heart Wok & Roll".
Cheese Spread - Essentially Cheese Whiz with the numbers filed off, Cheese Spread can be added to crackers, sandwiches, you could dip french fries in it if you were so inclined, It's versatile!
Sandwich Spread - It's a jar of spread for sandwiches. I'm sure you could apply it to other stuff as well - you just have to be creative,
Ranch Dressing - Technically a salad dressing, ranch goes with pretty much everything. It's also been the best-selling dressing in America since 1992. - suggested by Tails
Sour Cream - Goes with just about anything (within reason). Also makes a great potato chip dip.
Heavy Cream - Heavy Cream can be added to everything from broth, to mashed potatoes, to homemade ice cream. An all-around versatile substance. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Whipped Cream - A perfect companion for pies and ice cream. Can also be made from scratch using the above heavy cream.
Cream Cheese - Soft, mild, cheese that's often spread on bagels and crackers. - suggested by Tails
Cottage Cheese - Remember when Little Miss Muffet was eating "Curds and Whey"? Cottage cheese was what that nursery rhyme was referring too, apparently. Can be added to foods and used as a dip. - suggested by Tails
Salsa - Remember those nachos from the snack section? With those nachos, this jar of salsa has found its soul mate.
Relish - A pickled jam that's commonly eaten with hot dogs. It's Green! - suggested by Tails
Olive Oil - Used for cooking and as a salad dressing. Can also be eaten as is, apparently. - suggested by ZonaryQuasar
Alfredo Sauce - Found in stores, restaurants, and kitchens, this creamy sauce can be used on more than pasta if you're creative enough. - suggested by Tails
Chili Powder - Powdered chili peppers! Also works has an ingredient in crystal meth, apparently. Though I wouldn't expect the devs to add that to the game. - suggested by Tails
Anyway, that's my list of additional foods that might help make looting kitchens and supermarkets a little more interesting. This is by no means a complete collection of foodstuffs that are lacking from the game, but I feel it would be enough to keep a player from encountering the same stuff in almost every kitchen.
And feel free to post if you feel I've missed anything. If you do, I'd be happy to add it to the list above.