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.
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?”
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.