The Greatest and Absolute Worst Dishes Made in America



Even if you choose Justin’s over Jif and Bonne Maman over Smuckers, you can still expect the delicious taste of patriotism.

Photo by Kathleen Lee

Apple Pie
Made by grandma or bought from your local farmer’s market, apple pie is an American pastime on par with treating pets like people and geo-tracking all members of the Kardashian family. Make your own, with this recipe

Photo by Jessica Chu

The people who say these small sugary excuses-to-eat-more-cake are overrated, I say, Why do you hate fun? Whether they’re from Georgetown, Magnolia or Sprinkles, cupcakes are adorable and delicious. America, ya did good. (RIP Crumbs.)

Photo by Delissa Handoko

Perfecting that golden mallow s’more may not be my forté but it certainly hasn’t stopped me (and shouldn’t stop you) from trying 5 or 6 times when within a 5 mile radius of a campfire. Or just make a few of these and call it a night.

Photo by Danielle Chen

Grilled Cheese
A nice toasted cheese dunked in creamy tomato soup pretty much wins the lunch game. Bacon guac grilled cheese anyone?

HyoJin Park/Spoon

A smiling face covered in sauce surrounded by piles of napkins in front of a plate of ribs just screams ‘murica. Holy smokes, this looks good.

Photo by Kathleen Lee

Maybe we didn’t invent this, but we definitely made it great. Whether you take it classic burger, bun, lettuce and tomato or “animal style” from In-N-Out, you’re chomping down on the best of American innovation. Check out these burger toppings to take it to the next level.

Photo by Anastasia Yip

Chocolate chip cookies
The OG American cookie. Homemade obviously wins, but a block of Toll House break ‘n’ bake is instant happiness too.

Photo by Mimi Takano

Corn on the cob
Slathered in butter and coated in salt or spiced up, corn on the cob has the convenient ability to get stuck between your teeth as a special snack for later AND make you feel good about yourself for eating a vegetable. Check out these ways to spice up the average corn.

Photo by

Lobster Roll
Hot or cold, lobster is always good. And when tossed with butter and stuffed into a grilled roll, oh my God it’s heaven. You better roll over to your nearest seafood shack before the summer is over.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Neil Conway


The all-American snack cake so bad the company went bankrupt. Or maybe that’s just because these cream-filled sponge cakes have a 45-day shelf life and no chocolate. Well, maybe they’re not too despicable.

Photo courtesy of the Medifast Plan

Corn Dogs
America’s favorite mystery meat sausage gets coated in cornmeal and deep-fried. The result is an odd-looking oblong heart-attack-on-a-stick whose creator once referred to it as a “wholesome refreshment.”

Photo courtesy of flickr user John Whalen

Cheese Whiz
The whipped cream of cheese, what could go wrong? Answer: EVERYTHING. Even Two-Buck Chuck wouldn’t deign to be paired with this “cheese product.” (Even though Two-Buck Chuck might be nasty too. Read about the origins here.)

Photo courtesy of flickr user Jamie Campbell

Slim Jims
For being a tube of processed meat encased in grease, they’re a surprisingly popular, albeit gross snack. With ingredients like mechanically separated chicken and the lowest possible USDA grade of beef, they’re understandably irresistible, but you certainly won’t find them on this list.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Brittany

If it has the words “precooked” and “meat product” in the title, that’s a huge tip off that it’s inherently disgusting. But there’s always room for improvement.

Photo by Julia Murphy

Chicken-fried steak
No, not everything fried is good. Almost everything, but not steak. If you’re going to do it, do it here and do it right.

Photo courtesy of Kate Hopkins

Turkey? Great on Thanksgiving. Duck? In my Americanized Chinese food, yes please. Chicken? Grilled, fried, smothered in barbecue sauce, I’m down. Stuff them all inside of each other? That’s a hard no. Quit while you’re ahead America.

Photo courtesy of Lingster72

At the risk of making a blanket statement, mayonnaise makes everything thing worse (unless it’s this, this is bliss.) But hey, at least they made it ovo-vegetarian and…kosher?

Photo courtesy of moohcohw

The first few bites of onion-flavored crunch are okay, but then the inexplicable after taste of shame sets in and it’s game over. And by that I mean you continue to finish the bag, hating yourself even more with each handful. Pro tip: Eat these instead.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Sam Howzit

Pork Rinds
Waste not, want not, right? I think the US of A could’ve abstained from frying up pigskin to make a previously inedible part of animal look like popcorn. Plot twist: they’re healthy.

Photo courtesy of Renee Tuen

Up For Debate

Doritos Loaded
After their debut July 2nd at a 7-eleven near you, these triangles of fried cheese coated in nacho flavor and “secret seasoning” have had mixed reactions ranging from divine revelation to unpleasant indigestion.


Photo courtesy of flickr user Hungry Lobbiest

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