20 American Foods That Have the Rest of the World Scratching Its Head

You are what you eat, or so they say. But when it comes to these treats, you might hope to be something else entirely. Check out the top 20 foods that many Americans love, but the rest of the world can’t get their heads around.

Canned Cheese

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The idea of cheese in a can may seem strange, but it’s a convenient and nostalgic snack for some Americans. Others can’t understand how this processed cheese product gained popularity.

Grits

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Grits, a Southern dish made from cornmeal, often leaves foreigners confused. Its texture and lack of flavor can be off-putting to those who are not familiar with it.

Root Beer

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Root beer is a beloved soda in the United States, but its unique flavor can be puzzling to international taste buds. Some people find it similar to cough medicine, which makes it difficult to sell outside of the States.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Are Great
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The classic PB&J sandwich is a favorite among Americans, but many visitors find it strange. The combination of sweet and salty flavors takes some getting used to, making it an acquired taste.

Twinkies

Twinkies
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These golden sponge cakes filled with cream have been a favorite in the United States for years. However, the rest of the world is understandably suspicious about these preservative-laden snacks with their unnaturally long shelf life.

Corn Dogs

Corn Dogs
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A corn dog is a hot dog on a stick coated in cornmeal batter and deep-fried. It’s a popular food at American fairs and carnivals, but for those outside the U.S., the concept of deep-fried, battered hot dogs may seem excessive.

Biscuits and Gravy

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Biscuits and gravy are a classic Southern breakfast, but they can be bewildering to foreigners. For many people outside the States, smothering fluffy biscuits in a thick, meaty gravy isn’t an appealing way to start the day.

Pop-Tarts

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Pop-Tarts, which are sweet, filled pastries, are a popular choice for breakfast in the U.S. However, their high sugar content and artificial flavors can be a turn off for international visitors.

American “Chocolate”

American _Chocolate
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American chocolate is known for being overly sweet and lacking the smooth flavor of its European counterparts. People from other countries often find it disappointing compared to the rich taste they expect from chocolate.

Meatloaf

Meatloaf
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Meatloaf, a dish made from ground meat and seasonings, is a nostalgic comfort food in the United States. However, the concept of a “loaf of meat” can be unappetizing to the rest of the world.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
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While sweet potatoes are enjoyed worldwide, topping them with marshmallows for a sweet and savory casserole is perplexing to many. The combination of flavors and textures may not be universally appealing.

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad
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Ambrosia salad is a classic American dessert made with canned fruit, whipped cream, and marshmallows. However, people from other countries often find it too sweet and question its classification as a “salad.”

Candy Corn

Candy Corn
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Candy corn is a divisive Halloween treat even within the United States. Its sugary and slightly waxy texture leaves many wondering what the fuss is all about.

Jell-O Salad

Jell-O Salad
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Jell-O salad, made with flavored gelatin and mix-ins, is a puzzling concept for many outside the U.S. The sweet gelatin combined with savory ingredients like vegetables and mayonnaise can be seen as unusual.

Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid
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Kool-Aid, a sugary drink mix with artificial flavors, is a popular childhood beverage in suburban America. However, its bright colors and intense sweetness can be off-putting to those who didn’t grow up with it.

Pimento Cheese

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Pimento cheese, a Southern spread made from cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and diced pimentos, is a beloved comfort food. However, its combinations of flavors and textures may not excite foreigners in the same way it does those in the States.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak
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Chicken fried steak, a breaded and deep-fried piece of beef, is a popular dish in the South. The idea of breading and frying a steak can be puzzling and unappetizing to those from other countries.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes
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Sloppy Joes, which are sandwiches made with ground beef and a tangy tomato sauce, are a favorite in American households. For people outside the United States, the loose meat filling and soft bun combination may seem unusual and messy.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip
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Cool Whip, a whipped topping made from hydrogenated oils, is commonly used as a dessert topping in the U.S. Its artificial ingredients and overly sweet flavor can be off-putting to those who prefer more natural whipped cream alternatives.

Spam

Spam
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Spam, a canned pork product, is enjoyed in various dishes across the United States. However, the idea of canned meat with a long shelf life can be hard to get to grips with and even alarming to people who aren’t used to the idea.

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