American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange

Some of your favorite classic American foods and dishes are normal to you but just plain odd to the rest of the world

Flickr/ Jeffrey W
The "Sloppy Joe" concoction may be popular and delicious in the U.S. but seems like a very strange dish in many other places around the world.

There are plenty of foods eaten around the world that Americans think are just plain odd. In Asia, for example, eating fried insects is commonplace and, while unorthodox and less common in the U.S., it is a staple of the culture’s food and a good source of protein. Meanwhile in South America, eating cuy (guinea pig) has been a widespread practice for centuries, and though many North Americans may find it abhorrent to eat a beloved family pet, the guinea pig holds no such honor in non-Western societies and is often raised explicitly for food. There are plenty of foods eaten in the States that are also thought of as a little strange.

Click here to read more about the American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange (Slideshow)

Admit it, you’ve looked at aerosol spray cheese that comes out of a can — that bright-yellow, gooey, cheese-like concoction that’s sprayed onto bread, squeezed onto other foods like hot dogs, or just eaten straight from the nozzle — and thought “that’s a strange thing to be eating.” You’re not alone… many American foods baffle people from other countries.

Even American “classics” like the corn dogs are a little mind-boggling… a hot dog, battered, deep-fried, and then smeared with ketchup and mustard is not a combination many people would turn to when it comes to preferred snack foods.

Still, while many favorite American foods may be considered downright strange by the rest of the world in some ways it can be a good thing — America (in this case meaning the U.S.) is often criticized for not having its own cuisine. The expression “as American as apple pie” is not really accurate since the British were eating apple pie centuries before. The hot dog is really a German, not an American invention. But… the corn dog amalgamation, strange as it may seem, that’s entirely American in origin.

Read on to see what other foods are enjoyed across the U.S. that the rest of the world thinks are strange.

Maple Bacon (Also Bacon Chocolate, Bacon Cupcakes, and Bacon Lollipops)

Bacon is overwhelmingly popular across the U.S. with people enjoying it crispy, juicy, with cheese, on waffles… just about any iteration you can come up with is likely to impress (unless you’re a vegan). But having a prepackaged product that’s both maple syrup and bacon, though tasty, is a little off center for the rest of the world. The same applies to chocolate with bacon in it and a premade cupcake mix with bacon bits mixed in.

Grits

Grits are just one of many Southern food favorites that seems bizarre to the rest of the world. This dish of ground-up corn kernels boiled in milk is enjoyed mushy and with butter (and/or lard), cheese, and gravy. The texture is difficult to qualify… is it supposed to be like mashed potatoes? Is it like porridge? We just don’t understand…

Read on to find out what other American Foods That the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange


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17 Comments

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Grits are made from coarsely ground dried corn. I'm 59 years old and lived in the south all of my life. I've never eaten or cooked grits in milk or with lard. I haven't even seen lard in any grocery stores. You're way behind the times. We cook them in water and add about a tsp of butter. Grits are similar to polenta. I've never had chicken with waffles nor heard of the fad in the southeast. I bet you've never even been south of the Mason Dixon. :-p

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Grits are essentially the same as polenta in Italy and ugali in Kenya (a cornmeal mush).. for that matter, a mush or porridge or oatmeal is the same, apart from the base grain used... Spam is well-known throughout the Pacific and Asia. This article is BS

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Leiberkase is a German meatloaf which is awesome and Spam has a fanatical following in the far east so not everybody thinks they're odd. Besides, I've not found jellied eels in the U.S.

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I like to eat rice with milk, butter and sugar. My old college friend from Nepal thought I was bats**t crazy for eating it that way.

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Honey chile, you better hope that you never have to relocate to the South. You will not be happy.

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White corn grits are a staple food across large parts of Africa.

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It's what makes America great. I like mustard on my corn dog, but i'm open to ketchup.

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I agree with the previous post . The author is greatly misinformed.

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You say that the world doesn't understand grits? you ever hear of polenta? Stupid. Get your facts staight.

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Author is greatly misinformed. Grits are called Polenta in Italy. SPAM was a national staple in Hawaii before it became a state and is also very popular in the Orient.

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grits are made from hominy, not corn as polenta is .and spam is from the continent not Hawaii - so I guess the author was not so misinformed - you are !

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Actually you and the author are misinformed about Spam! I know it is made in the US, but it is extremely popular in Japan ( I live there, so I have seen it on store shelves and menus all over the place!). Perhaps you need to get YOUR facts straight! :)

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Actually you and the author are misinformed about Spam! I know it is made in the US, but it is extremely popular in Japan ( I live there, so I have seen it on store shelves and menus all over the place!). Perhaps you need to get YOUR facts straight! :)

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Actually you and the author are misinformed about Spam! I know it is made in the US, but it is extremely popular in Japan ( I live there, so I have seen it on store shelves and menus all over the place!). Perhaps you need to get YOUR facts straight! :)

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Grits are made from corn. And hominy is made from corn. So CORN it is! And NO to using LARD! That's crazy. no gravy either. Salt, pepper, butter and maybe some cheese.

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