20 American Dishes That Non-Americans Just Can’t Understand

Published 1 year ago

There’s an old saying, ‘different strokes for different folks’ that also applies to food. Taste can be highly subjective and food preferences can differ accordingly. This can be personal preferences where you discover someone’s penchant for weird food combinations or sometimes these preferences can be based on cultural influences. 

Today we explore American cuisine in all its glory. So what are the common food habits that Americans have that are considered quirky by the rest of the world? Many non-Americans imparted their thoughts on the eyebrow-raising ‘American’ delicacies that they just cannot fathom.

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Image source: Mac4491, Amy Ross

The way they eat apple sauce.

Over here in the UK you would have a very small portion of it with some pork. It’s just a condiment.

In the US they would pretty much have an entire bowl of the stuff and would just put spoonful after spoonful of it into their mouthes. It’s like a snack or a meal itself.


Image source: anon, sashafatcat

Grits. What the f**k even is grits? It sounds like the most unappetising thing ever. “I had grits for breakfast” WHY ARE YOU EATING TINY ROCKS?


Image source: sunshine_orchids, Mike Mozart

I have a British friend who nearly vomited at the smell of Smartfood White Cheddar popcorn…. you know, the kind that comes in the black bag? He said it smells like baby s**t.


Image source: CiaranBAC

A friend of mine brought back loads of American sweets from holiday. The Hershey’s chocolate kisses were one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. I thought I was going to be sick.


Image source: TheDoorDoesntWork

Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was just like REALLY sweet coffee, I didn’t get the craze.


Image source: PacSan300, Steven Miller

Multiple Europeans I’ve met have been baffled by the popularity of root beer in America. As they say, it tastes like medicine.


Image source: 98thRedBalloon, Kevin Lim

Sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. What the actual f**k?


Image source: InquisitorVawn, Phil King

Casseroles made with “cream of” anything soup. Green bean casserole, tuna casserole, mushroom casserole. I know what those Campbells soups are like, we get them over here, and the idea of using them as a constituent ingredient in a main meal makes me shudder just from the idea of the sodium bomb. Especially those casseroles that are suggested to be topped with crushed chips.

Peanut butter and jam (jelly) sandwiches I can get behind. Pumpkin pie was a revelation of awesomeness for a new dimension on what to me is normally a savoury veg. Chicken-fried steak and sausage gravy? Genius.

But the idea of those casseroles make my stomach turn every time.


Image source: anon, Casual Cooking

Cookie Dough in a tube, which you guys apparently eat raw, according to the movies. Obviously I have no idea what this stuff tastes like (I can only assume it’s awesome), but the concept just seems strange to my Scottish mind.

Having said that, we consume assorted animal innards, oats and spices in a tube allegedly made from a sheeps bladder (aka haggis), so I admit that we’re on pretty shaky ground to be criticising anyone else’s eating habits.


Image source: nicklo2k, Ming Xia

Aerosol Cheese. Seriously America, what the f**k?


Image source: goldboldsold

American bread. I lived in the states for six months. At one point shortly after moving, I bought a loaf of bread and made a sandwich. To my surprise, the bread was so sweet. I told my housemates that I accidentally bought dessert bread, but nope — it was just regular bread in America.


Image source: Robxxx, karlos346

The fact that I ordered one pound of corned beef hash, three eight-inch pancakes with butter and maple syrup, four scrambled eggs with ketchup, six strips of bacon, four sausage links, three pieces of toast, and endless coffee for $12 at a diner. That was my breakfast while visiting the states. I love America.


Image source: tigersmadeofpaper

Granola as a “healthy” breakfast option. It’s basically a dessert.


Image source: Wild_Hunt, Mike Mozart

Pop tarts, or God forbid microwaving your water when you have a cup of tea


Image source: MonolGaming

The felt obsession with anything deep-fried is unnerving to me. There’s a good few things that are excellent deep-fried, don’t get me wrong, but putting literally anything in batter and frying it seems…wrong.


Image source: tigersmadeofpaper, publicdomainpictures

Ranch dressing. Why don’t you people want to taste the actual salad you’re eating?


Image source: deleted, Rusty Clark

My German brother-in-law lost his mind at the concept of American ‘all you can eat’ buffets. He was like, ‘All of this…all one price? ALL of it?’ He was amazed by it.


Image source: jamonjem, Mike Mozart

Boxed macaroni and cheese. My partner is Swiss, and he is appalled by Kraft Mac & Cheese. He could not believe I was looking forward to ingesting orange powder mixed with noodles.


Image source: urgh_eightyeight , Sarah Stierch

Lobster is not odd in itself, but seeing “lobster mac’n’cheese” was wierd. Where I’m from, lobster is expensive, exclusive, and considered fine dining, and mac’n’cheese does not exist as a dish you can order anywhere. I love pasta, I love cheese, so pasta with cheese is common in my own kitchen, but that is far away from that “fine dining” lobster.

My first time in the states was a trip to NYC. I was pregnant at the time, and that’s probably why I allowed myself to order lobster mac’n’cheese for lunch at a restaurant, against my husbands comments on how it was a shame for the lobster to be served like that … it was bloody delicious. I still dream about it.


Image source: rekoja3189, Scott Ableman

A friend visited me from Italy and wanted to try Krispy Kreme donuts. He took one bite and said, ‘Now I understand why Americans are fat!’ He made me take him back twice for more.


Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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