Beloved American Foods That Other People Find Disgusting

Taste varies widely around the world. So it makes sense that some beloved and iconic American foods don’t enjoy the same popularity in other countries. In fact, people from outside the United States have some pretty strong opinions about American foods. And sometimes, they find beloved American foods absolutely disgusting.

Read on to check out the American foods that people from other worlds just can’t figure out.

1. Beef jerky

Pile of beef jerky shot

Beef jerky | Rez-Art/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Like many other American foods, the quality and flavoring of beef jerky vary widely. But that doesn’t save this meat product from landing on the list of American foods that disgust people from other countries. The kind of beef jerky you can find at the supermarket is highly processed, and doesn’t closely resemble traditional beef jerky in any way. But the chewy texture and plastic taste of that kind of beef jerky doesn’t win favor among foreign foodies, according to Business Insider.

Next: People dislike this southern breakfast food. 

2. Biscuits and gravy

biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and gravy | iStock

If you’ve spent any time in the American south, then you’re probably well aware that biscuits and gravy are a beloved breakfast in that part of the nation. But the combination perplexes people from other countries, Business Insider reports, especially because the gravy doesn’t exactly have a sophisticated list of ingredients. The combination of biscuits and gravy doesn’t exactly make for a light breakfast. That means that it really isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

Next: People find this appetizer disgusting. 

3. Blooming onions

blooming onion appetizer

Blooming onion | Source: iStock

Americans have invented a staggering number of fried foods. And as you’ll quickly figure out, many of the American foods that people from other countries just can’t get behind take a tip in the deep fryer before heading to your table. Delish characterizes blooming onions as one of the American foods that disgust residents of other countries. Australians, specifically, complain that they have no idea what the appetizer has to do with Australia, no matter what Outback Steakhouse says.

Next: This food tastes very different in the United States than in other countries. 

4. Bread

Toast bread

| iStock.com/SasaJo

You’ve probably grown accustomed to the flavor of the standard supermarket bread. But as Business Insider reports, supermarket bread also numbers among the American foods that disgust people from other countries. Whether you want to buy a loaf of bread for sandwiches, or pick up a pack of buns for hamburgers or hot dogs, you’ll probably end up with bread that tastes a whole lot sweeter than what you’d find in other countries.

Next: People don’t understand why Americans make this dish the way they do.

5. Casseroles

Green bean casserole in a white dish

Green bean casserole | iStock

This may be where things get heated for devotees of American comfort foods. Business Insider reports that many people from other countries just can’t get behind American’s definition of a casserole. Especially considering that many Americans use canned soup — usually cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup — as a main component of their casseroles. Even worse? When people decide to top their casserole with crushed potato chips.

Next: This food sounds like a weird combination of flavors to many people. 

6. Chicken and waffles

chicken and waffles

Source: iStock

According to Delish, chicken and waffles numbers among the American foods that people from other countries just don’t understand. Many people note that it seems like an incongruous pairing of flavors. And then there’s the problem of what sauce you’d top the concoction with. Gravy? Syrup? People from other countries aren’t sure, and depending on where in the United States you are, either one is a possibility.

Next: People think this food should stay away from the deep fryer. 

7. Corn dogs

Corn Dogs with fries on wooden board

Homemade corn cogs and French fries with ketchup | iStock.com

Anyone who’s ever attended a state fair in the United States could tell you that some things are better left out of the deep fryer. For many observers from other countries, corn dogs definitely make that list. We’ll admit: The concept of a hot dog on a stick sounds weird enough. But add the batter and deep-frying, and we can definitely understand why someone who didn’t grow up exposed to American carnival foods would want to steer clear of this American invention.

Next: This food confuses a lot of people. 

8. Grits

Cheese Grits

Cheese grits | dbvirago/iStock/Getty Images

Many people also seem perplexed by the concept of grits, according to Delish. This corn-based porridge is made from coarse corn meal. And according to observers from other countries, it’s about as appetizing as it sounds. People think the texture of the food is strange, and can’t quite understand why it would have a place in your breakfast. We aren’t sure, but we wonder whether they’d feel any differently about the quintessential southern combination of shrimp and grits.

Next: People think the American version of this dessert tastes terrible.

9. Hershey’s chocolate

Chocolate bar on the wooden background

Bar of chocolate | al62/iStock/Getty Images

Hershey’s chocolate may taste just fine if that’s what you’re used to eating. But as Delish reports, people from countries other than the United States typically characterize the brand’s chocolate bars as a pretty poor excuse for chocolate. They complain about both the tangy flavor and excessive sweetness of this ubiquitous American chocolate. And many consider it far inferior to other brands of chocolate — which, fortunately, you can buy in the United States as well as in other parts of the world.

Next: Many people think this food tastes disgusting. 

10. Meatloaf

meatloaf with ketchup and rosemary

Meatloaf | iStock

People also can’t understand why Americans would want to eat meatloaf, Business Insider reports. You have to concede: The name of this food probably works against it. Plus, a loaf of ground meat isn’t exactly an appetizing concept. You may know someone who makes a delicious version. But for many people who live in countries other than the United States, it sounds pretty weird.

Next: This popular sandwich sounds like a weird combination of flavors to many people. 

11. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, PBJ

iStock/Getty Images

Many Americans grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you’ve had decades to get used to this flavor combination, it probably doesn’t strike you as strange. But people from other countries, where peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are less common, are often perplexed. They complain that the flavors don’t go together. And they probably aren’t impressed by the white bread that most Americans choose for their sandwiches.

Next: People hate this breakfast food. 

12. Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tart toaster pastry

Pop-Tart | iStock

Pop Tarts also join the ranks of the sickeningly sweet American foods that disgust many people from other countries. Business Insider notes that some people even refer to them as “revolting.” We aren’t quite sure what they consider the worst quality of these pre-baked toaster pastries. But we’d imagine the cardboard-esque crust, the sugary filling, or the gritty frosting could all prove off-putting.

Next: Many people can’t understand these American foods. 

13. Processed cheese

homemade grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast

Homemade grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast | iStock.com/OlgaMiltsova

You can find an impressive selection of delicious cheeses at many supermarkets, including America’s favorite grocery store. But you can also find numerous kinds of processed cheese, something that people unfamiliar with American foods just can’t understand. Whether it’s the sliced cheese that people call “American cheese,” the physics-defying cheese-in-a-can like Cheez Whiz, or a giant hunk of Velveeta, you can find some pretty strange products on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Next: People hate this candy. 

14. Red licorice

Licorice

Black and red licorice | iStock/Getty Images

Americans may debate the relative merits of Red Vines versus Twizzlers. But it seems that many people who come from other countries don’t love either. Business Insider reports that people complain about the “soapy” flavor of Red Vines. And they also dislike the lackluster flavor of Twizzlers. Part of the problem? The fact that red licorice tastes nothing like black licorice.

Next: Many people dislike the flavor of this beverage. 

15. Root beer

Refreshing Root Beer Float

Root beer float | bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

Delish reports that it’s not just American foods, but also American drinks, that prove off-putting to people from other countries. People who aren’t used to drinking root beer complain that it tastes like a weird combination of licorice and wintergreen. (In fact, it’s made from sassafrass.) Some people also contend that it tastes like the flavoring used for cough syrup in other countries. Also perplexing? Root beer floats.

Next: This dessert confuses many people. 

16. Snow cones

Man getting two snow cones from vendor

Man getting two snow cones from vendor | arinahabich/Getty Images

If you pause to think about it, you could probably come up with a lot of questions about snow cones. Who decided that a pile of ice with syrup counted as a dessert? Why do all of the flavors taste so fake? Has there ever been a snow cone that wouldn’t stain your tongue blue or red or another shade of artificial coloring? We don’t have all the answers. But we do know, thanks to Business Insider, that people in other countries find this dessert perplexing.

Next: This casserole also confuses people. 

17. Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potatoe Souffle

Sweet potato Souffle | iStock.com/Kourafas5

Sweet potato casserole also remains a mystery to people from other countries exposed to American foods for the first time, according to Delish. Many people point out that sweet potatoes already taste sweet. So why would you need to douse them in sugar and cover them with marshmallows to create a sweet potato casserole? We have to admit, that sounds like a very valid question.

Read more: These Foods Used to Be American Favorites, but Nobody Eats Them Anymore

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