Non-Americans have reservations about certain things when visiting the United States, including freeway speed limits, TV commercials, and guns, to name a few. However, when it comes to eating, the American diet also takes some getting used to.
Here are some hot takes on American foods that those outside the States find questionable, according to a recent online conversation. Of course, these aren’t all dislikes. However, travelers visiting America sometimes think, “Wow, is that a thing?”
Table of Contents
1. Various Forms of Cheese
Wisconsin’s favorite product got a shellacking in the conversation. Comments ranged from ambivalence over mac-and-cheese to Cheese Whiz being disgusting, but particular outrage formed over cheese in a can or “cheese product,” which is only required to contain 51% cheese.
2. Sugar Content
I think most people are just surprised at how much sugar goes into the average American diet. I recall buying a peanut-butter cake recipe mix one time. Upon baking, I couldn’t eat the thing because it was so sweet, so I gave it to an American friend who demolished it.
3. Candy Corn
What’s not to love about baked cornstarch, filled with colored sugar and rolled in wax? A lot, according to some comments on the thread. Thankfully, haters just need to avoid the Halloween season if they visit. To be fair, it isn’t America’s most excellent candy offering!
Brits are elitist about their candy being the world’s greatest (biased sidenote: it is rather good). Such a sentiment appeared in one scathing epithet, stating how their mom once visited them in the States. She was amazed that “people were chewing on plastic.” After trying a Twizzler, she confirmed it tasted as expected.
5. Blooming Onions
Australians are struggling with America’s time-honored culinary excursion: the themed restaurant. The culprit here is Outback Restaurant and its use of the Aussie vernacular.
One chap, in particular, wanted to know “what in the flying firetruck a ‘Blooming Onion’ has to do with anything,” as it has nothing to do with Australia. Fair dinkum.
6. Canned Foods
For some reason, there was beef with the humble tradition of canned food — more precisely, items that “probably don’t need to be canned.” Maybe this is pertinent: things lose flavor if they live in cans too long. However, fierce patriots fought back, stating how a mountain winter in the Boonies relied on canned goods.
7. Sweet Potato Casserole
Anyone lucky enough to experience Thanksgiving dinner will attest to having a meal of ten on the enjoyment scale. Some may have bristled when offered the sweet potato casserole with its marshmallow and brown sugar topping. I think the combination of sweetness somehow works with its savory bedfellows.
8. Hershey’s Chocolate
Even Americans agreed on this one. Somehow, the iconic ‘chocolate’ bar-cum industrial candy bar still has a market.
The theory is that Hershey’s chocolate has cheapened in production over the years, using a soured milk powder that gives it a distinctive flavor. I agree wholeheartedly with some comments that we cannot call this a chocolate bar. Come on, now.
It is not news that Europeans eat less sugar than Americans. Therefore, complaints about donuts are hardly a surprise. But who could be down on this treat? Furthermore, with Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme dueling it out for supremacy, there has never been a better time to enjoy an American donut.
10. Ambrosia Salad
I am firmly in the camp on this one and have a perimeter fence with tripwires and angry rottweilers to defend my position. Another strange number, ambrosia salad, is like a sweet coleslaw. It is a variation of coconut, canned fruit, marshmallows, and nuts with mayo or cream. Just no.
This thread inspired this post.