ambrosia

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Slideshow: Strangest Things Americans Eat

Some of your favorite dishes might seem normal to you but are just plain odd to other people
ambrosia

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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

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A Southern staple and Christmas tradition, ambrosia salad is a fruit salad with oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut, and whipped cream. Other variations include yogurt, pudding, or sour cream in place of whipped cream and can be found with other fruit options as well. This sweet dish is interestingly named after the food eaten by the Greek gods. 

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

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0in">Another odd Southern food: biscuits and gravy. Buttermilk biscuits are delicious alone and are enjoyed throughout much of the world with jam and clotted cream or butter. However, drenching them in gravy as a savory dish is something else entirely that isn’t quiet understood by all.

0in">Click here to find the best biscuits and gravy in America.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles

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This Southern favorite quickly gained popularity across the country for its tasty flavor combination. Though it may be delicious to Americans, the rest of the world is not that keen on putting deep-fried chicken on a buttermilk waffle and drizzling it with maple syrup or gravy (yet again). That’s pushing it a bit!

Click here for the South’s 10 most iconic foods and where to eat them.

Corn Dogs

Corn Dogs

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0in">Corn dogs are 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.

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Grits

Grits

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Grits are just one of many Southern food favorites that seem 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 explain; is it supposed to be like mashed potatoes? Like porridge? We (along with the rest of the world) just don’t understand it.

Click here for some of the best cheesy grits recipes.

Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip

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Mayonnaise is not an American creation (it’s French and used commonly throughout the world), but American mayonnaise is a lot sweeter. Then there’s Miracle Whip, which is part mayonnaise, part sandwich spread, part salad dressing, and 100 percent confusing.

Click here for six things you didn’t know about mayonnaise

Olive Loaf

Olive Loaf

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Olive loaf is a strange concept to most people who’ve never tried it. The ingredients for an olive loaf include meat blends, spices, green olives, and water. This lunch meat is most often made with beef and pork, but can also be made with chicken and turkey, and blended with green olives (not black olives because of firmness and aesthetic appeal). The loaf is made similarly to bologna but can have a different taste depending on the spices used. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Peanut butter is eaten in many countries but it’s not as popular elsewhere as it is in the States (it even made an appearance at the Emmys). When you combine it with jelly, it forms an off-center combination that many people outside of the U.S. would not even want to try. However, in some countries, peanut butter is drizzled with syrup or honey to make a piece of toast or a sandwich sweeter. It just isn’t commonplace to combine peanut butter with jelly or jam.

For 20 crunchy, creamy ways to upgrade your PB&J, click here.

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

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You either love or hate these buns stuffed with ground beef drenched in sauce. Sloppy joes are strange-looking, greasy, and deliciously messy. The rest of the world may not want to eat it, but it’s easy to see why so many Americans are happy to dig into this dish with delight, regardless of the mess.

For the best sloppy joe recipes click here.

Spam

Spam

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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, almost exclusively popular in Hawaii, is a lot like a hot dog but slightly “springier” or “fluffier” and is carved from a slab. It’s used in sandwiches, stews, or can be eaten by itself. It’s right up there with meatloaf as odd meat foods the rest of the world (and some Americans) just can’t make sense of.

Here are 11 things you didn’t know about Spam.

Spray Cheese

Spray Cheese

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Spray cheese is one of the most processed forms of cheese — and many countries pride themselves on their fresh cheeses. Many non-Americans (and Americans, for that matter) think that cheese that can sit in a pantry instead of the refrigerator and that sprays out of a can like whipped cream is unusual and unnatural. (Hint: it is.) Although it has declined in popularity in recent years, it’s safe to say that it is one the weirder American food products ever created.

Click here to find out how long Kraft cheese lasts.