American food has a dubious reputation across the globe for being woefully over-processed (and therefore a touch on the tasteless side), yet also soaked in butter, oil, and salt... in other words, "fake flavor." Now that's not to say there isn't any great regional food in the U.S., because there certainly is if you're willing to search it out — but by and large, there are many foods enjoyed widely in the U.S. that simply aren't as great as they are in other countries.
There are several reasons for this: certain foods, like döner kebabs and noodles, originate in other parts of the world (in Turkey and Asia respectively) and were conceived with certain ingredients and food products in mind, often not indigenously available in the U.S., and so the American versions either use substituted ingredients or ones that are dried and imported — both of which change the flavor of the original dish. Though it is often a point of contention, many argue that the overseas version is simply a lot better than its American counterpart.
Another reason has to do with the actual fresh products in the States: genetically modified corn and soybeans dominate the U.S. market — while the government does vouch for the safety of GM crops, many argue that the process makes the foods more tasteless and less nutritious.
American beef, too, is getting the short end of the stick — general bovine stock in the U.S. is enhanced with growth hormones, which are transferred to the meat and milk that we consume. Stricter agricultural regulations in Europe ensure less or no hormones are given to cattle. Then there's the use of pesticides in crop farming.. Again, it’s different in the U.S. than in other parts of the world and that affects the quality of the products produced.
Then there's the obvious effect that culture has on food — the U.S. is a cultural melting pot of different peoples and palates, and while most people brought their favorite local dishes and flavors with them as a way of keeping their cultural heritage alive, there's no arguing that the flavors changed over time. Compared to the original version, many find the American counterparts to be watered-down.
American food certainly has its high points, but there are just some foods that are a lot better outside the U.S…. read on to find out more about them.
Hot Dogs / Bratwurst
The hot dog / bratwurst was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants (known in Germany as brätwurst) — the original version is a lot chunkier and more finely spiced, and many argue it also uses considerably better quality meat. The result is a more flavorful sausage that's a lot more than just a fast food. Brätwurst is a big feature in German cooking and there are countless varieties, many of which are consumed solo (without the bun).
While there are many great noodle dishes in the U.S. most Asian noodles, particularly Japanese udon (a type of wheat flour noodle), are much better in their birthplace — mostly because the flavors are more subtle and the noodles are incredibly fresh (often made from scratch). The type of flour used is also less refined, all of which add to the overall taste and quality of the food.