American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange (slideshow)
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.
Flickr/ Charles Chamberlain
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…
Flickr/ Ethan Tewhitt
This southern favorite is fast gaining popularity across the U.S. for its tasty flavor combination. But while it may be delicious to America, the rest of the world is not that keen on putting deep-fried chicken on a buttermilk waffle and drizzling it with maple syrup… that’s pushing the boat out a little too far!
Peanut butter is eaten in many countries, but it’s not as popular elsewhere as it is in the States. When you combine it with jelly (or Marshmallow Fluff), well that’s just an off center combination that many people outside of the U.S. would not even want to try. Bear in mind though, in some countries, peanut butter is drizzled with some golden syrup or honey to sweeten it up on a piece of toast or in a sandwich… it’s just never combined with jelly (or jam, which is traditionally its own separate sandwich spread).
They’re a favorite at street carts, fairgrounds, and parks, but most of the world still thinks that this hot dog dipped in batter and deep-fried is strange. Stranger still is when it’s drenched in ketchup and mustard before being eaten.
Flickr/ Adreanna Moya Photography
Another in the retinue of odd Southern foods the rest of the world doesn’t quite get — buttermilk biscuits seem delicious, and they’re very similar to scones that are enjoyed throughout much of the world with jam and clotted cream or butter. But drenching them in gravy as a savory dish is something else entirely...
Mayonnaise is not an American creation (it’s French and used commonly though out the world), but American mayonnaise is a lot sweeter than many like. Then there’s Miracle Whip, which is part mayonnaise, part sandwich spread, part salad dressing, and completely confusing.
Weird food extraordinaire Andrew Zimmern once said, “Spam is, I think, the poster child for everything’s that’s wrong with food in the world.”
This ground-up meat creation is a lot like a hot dog but slightly “springier” or “fluffier” and is carved from a slab and used in sandwiches, stews, or eaten by itself. It’s right up there with meatloaf as odd meat foods the rest of the world can’t quite understand.
Flickr/ Chie Gondo
You either love or hate these minced meat filled buns and the barbecue/tomato-y sauce that literally drips down your arms (and probably your shirt) as you try to eat it. They’re strange-looking, greasy, and quite frankly, look deliciously messy. While the rest of the world may not eat them, or even be tempted to make them, it’s easy to see why so many people in the U.S. are happy to dig into this dish with delight regardless of the mess.
Flickr/ Jeffrey W