17 ‘All American’ Foods that Foreigners Find Gross

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 9:47 am (UTC-4)

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

When my French-born niece visited us in the United States a few years ago, she was pleasantly shocked to discover the world of all-you-can-eat buffets and unlimited soda refills at American restaurants.

But those gluttonous delights might be the only aspects of American cuisine that appeal to foreigners. Our food doesn’t exactly have a good reputation abroad; we might be best-known for exporting McDonald’s Big Mac hamburgers overseas.

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Business Insider reports that Reddit recently asked its non-American users which U.S. foods they consider gross or weird.

From grits to Velveeta cheese and Hershey’s chocolate, the foods that made the icky list turn out to be kitchen staples in many American kitchens.

Cheese Whiz, a cheese-like product that squirts out of a can, topped the list.

One user reported, “It tastes like plastic and cancer.”

Another Reddit user couldn’t believe that Pop-Tarts, rectangular pre-baked toaster pastries with a sugary filling, were considered a morning meal.

“They were revolting,” homovore wrote. “People actually eat them for breakfast?”

President Barack Obama enjoys a snow cone while on the campaign trail, Aug. 13, 2012, in Denison, Iowa.

President Barack Obama enjoys a snow cone while on the campaign trail, Aug. 13, 2012, in Denison, Iowa.

Red Vines candy also made the list for tasting like “soap”, supermarket bread was deemed “too sweet”, and casseroles using Campbell’s soups were likened to a “sodium bomb.”

Root Beer floats — root beer soda with a scoop of ice cream in it — are a special treat to many Americans, but one foreigner called it “disgusting”. To be fair, many Americans might agree with the latter opinion.

President Obama has been photographed eating number 11 on the list. The most powerful man in the world might enjoy a snow cone — crushed ice with sugary, flavored syrups poured over it — but the rest of the world doesn’t appear to share his tastes.

And while many American children love the colors and treats that come in sugary cereals, our overseas friends do not.

“It has all these different colors and weird tastes, and there are marshmallows in some of it too,” wrote a user called TheInsaneDane. “That’s not ideal for a breakfast meal. No wonder why many kids struggle with obesity.”

Other foods on the gross list as selected by non-Americans include Twizzlers candy, beef jerky, grits, corn dogs, biscuits and gravy, meatloaf and bacon.

11 responses to “17 ‘All American’ Foods that Foreigners Find Gross”

  1. Ben (USA) says:

    I find it ironic that Velveeta is one of the highlights. One of my friends from Sweden had never tried Macaroni and Cheese before, so we made him some (to be fair, it was Kraft). He liked it a lot! He said, “Now I understand why so many Americans are overweight! This is dangerously good!” Cool article!

    • Yuki says:

      Agree. I love many American food, Mac and cheese is actually my number-one favorite dish in US, especially Kraft one!
      Also, I baked corn muffin with Giffy today(My friend living in SD bought me when he visited me in Japan), the crispy dough
      correctly hit my taste! I think most foreigners just focus on the image of the food, balance of nutrition, and combination of taste.
      Actually one odd combo of ingredients struck me such as spreading peanuts butter and jam on bread because it definitely looks
      too fat and much calorie. American cuisine often makes me feel lack of vegetable. Our Japanese dish is frequently used large variety
      of green, sometimes a bit salty yet less fat and oil, and pretty much nutritious and healthy.

  2. Bill H says:

    America is made up of a homogenized version of the worlds people and it is reflected in our food stuffs. We have something for everyone. No other nation on earth has the diversity of food available for their people. It is not at all suprizing that some people in other countries find some of our food stuffs discusting. I do too. Piticurally those pickeled things in rural/western bars. Stay away from those.

  3. Kurt Jennet says:

    There are some glaring inaccuracies in this piece, Cheese Whiz does not come in a can, grits are called polenta in Italy and more popular than bread in some Italian regions as well as Romania and Bulgaria. If the populations of other countries found McDonalds “icky” then they would close since they do not exist on Government Subsidies. Did you put a lot of research into this writing?

    • Waldo says:

      If that’s the best you can do, go back to your cave. Cheez Whiz comes in a variety of packaging — not important. Doesn’t change the taste or texture. So grits is also called polenta – some people don’t like it, under either name. You’ve given only a tiny example of people that do. Some people like blood pudding, marmite, gin, haggis, dogmeat, all kinds of things. That doesn’t make them world favorites.
      He didn’t make up the list, he just reported what someone else reported about an informal questionnaire someone else again did. They don’t like Hersheys chocolate? All the more for me!

  4. Pam D says:

    These foods are not accurate portrayal of “typical” American food. At least not in Los Angeles. I agree that the foods listed here are disgusting.

  5. rahul says:

    From the State Fair options like deeply fried lobster on-a-stick to fattening foods, United Nations is viewed as gluttons who cannot get enough fat, sugar, and salt.

  6. kevin says:

    Most of these foods are not exactly healthy. I’m from Ireland and have an American friend who lived here who gave us an ‘American Cook Book’ and most of it was made from processed crap..the Cambells soup in Casseroles etc is just weird… Sure, i love processed crap….who doesn’t….and i must be one of the few non Americans who actually likes ‘American Cheese’ which is basically plastic.

    I guess the reason why these foods are so Traditionally American, is because USA came into it’s own in the Industrial age, when mass-production was a new possibility….big cities were sprouting up etc.. European and Asian food cuisine, generally contains fresh vegetables and meats and had been part of the culture for hundreds/thousands of years….so to differentiate from the Old World, to make them feel like a real country, they needed their own food types, so industrialisation and capitalism was employed to Cuisine and Americans were proud of their new mass produced food. But I guess hindsight….100 years later tells us that it’s really really bad for us to eat this! It is pretty much obesity Cancer on a stick.

    Like the first true original American art form……Jazz, American food took it’s own turns during the 20th Century that set itself apart from Europe in interesting new ways.

    Unfortunately, traditional American food products do not have the world renowned qualities of Jazz!! more like spazz.

  7. I used to live for sometime in US,where I worked for sometime in a Mexican food restaurant, which by the way was very popular for its hearty, tasteful and inexpensive fare, and had a considerable size patronage. When I arrived in the US I had to get used to its food, which for me tasted badly, especially the fare served in buffets, I even overheard American patrons in Mc Donald’s joints refering to its food as unsavory food that tasted like cardboard. I don’t know if they ever tasted carboard. Used to, as I was to spicy food in my country, the thing that I missed most was my home’s tasteful, spicy meals that my mom used to cook. Even while I worked in that restaurant, the owner would go to Juarez, Mexico, to purchase natural ingredients, because all dishes in that restaurant were made from scratch, and she used to bring along sweets made in Mexico. When the patrons knew of her return from Mexico, because the owner of the restaurant was a she, they would go in a bee line towards her avidly waiting for some of the sweets that she would bring from Mexico, because frankly speaking, they had nothing to do with the kind made in US, which are all gooey, and taste badly. On the other hand, all Mexican sweets are natural, without any preservatives, and exists a great variety of them, and even Mexican food is the second in rank in the US market only after Italian food. So it cannot be a coincidence.

  8. Sheila says:

    The photo of the president eating a “sno-cone” is inaccurate. What the president is eating is actually Shave Ice. No, not “shaved ice”, just shave ice. Snow cones are crushed ice out of a machine put into a cardboard cone and flavored with syrup while shave ice is actually shavings from block ice done by hand every time, placed into a plastic “cone” with a brim to catch the drippings, and then flavored with different syrups. It may also have ice cream and/or azuki bean in the bottom for an extra special treat. Here in Hawaii, nobody would be caught dead eating a “sno-cone” but shave ice is a purely Hawaiian, highly sought after treat.

    • Sheila says:

      I also googled the company in the photo, Tropical Sno, and their website says they don’t call their products “sno-cones”, the call them Shave Ice, even in Illinois and Kansas City.

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