8 Strange American Foods That Always Baffled Foreigners!


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Many of us grew up eating cuisine that’s local to us. We all make the mistake of assuming the taste will remain same worldwide. However, we are surprisingly very wrong!

Even so, some of the food that Americans eat are downright weird! After presenting some of the foods to foreigners and non-Americans, there were a few unexpected reactions.

Here are the top 8:

#1 Fortune Cookies

A user named Henry Wong writes on Quora:

“Fortune cookie. As a native Chinese, I am still puzzled by how this came to be the definitive end-of-meal dessert-thing served at every Chinese restaurant in the US.”

The fortune cookies were brought to the US in the late 19th century and until the World War II, they were called ‘cakes’ by the Americans.

Did you know that the Japanese have a similar treat called ‘Tsujiura’? It’s a lot darker and has a different flavoring.

#2 Velveeta Cheese

As per TheMadBotanist on Reddit:

“I know a lot of folks have already mentioned American cheese, but Velveeta is right up there with Cheeze[sic] Whiz on the list of fake ‘foods.'”

Velveeta cheese was made by Swiss immigrant Emil Frey. He added special chemicals to weaken caseins in the cheese. Frey wanted to reuse discarded cheese pieces thus Velveeta – the squishy, flexible cheese was born. Kraft later bought Frey’s company and made into a legend.

#3 Root Beer

Reddit user Holenek explains:

“Czech guy here. It took me 4 years in Canada to somehow accept it. The flavor/smell is used as a porta potty deodorant back in Europe. All my old continent friends universally hate it.”

Many say that root beer tastes like mouthwash and very few like it. Root beer contains mint – a common ingredient in mouthwash. The ‘root’ in root beer is made from sarsaparilla, licorice, wintergreen, black cherry, or a number of other sources. They all have that strong minty flavor in common. If you haven’t tasted these flavors in a drink, chances are you won’t like a glass of Root Beer.

#4 Miracle Whip

User marthamoo tells about Miracle Whip on mumsnet:

“It’s like a cross between salad cream and mayonnaise – thick and white, in a jar like mayo. But it tastes more like salad cream – vinegary and artificial sweetener-y. I think Americans make things with it – cakes and stuff, but I may have made that up as I can’t really imagine any cake made of it would taste anything other than vile.”

Miracle whip is not a flavored mayonnaise as many Americans think. The ingredients contain – high fructose corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, dried eggs, mustard flour, paprika, soybean oil, vinegar, and egg yolk.

Miracle whip is a comfort food very popular in the USA. As a part of its aggressive advertising, The company paid Lady Gaga to feature the product in her music video ‘Telephone.’

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#5 Casseroles

7teen38 shares on Reddit:

“I don’t understand what casserole really is. there’s desert casserole, meat casserole, pie casserole?”

The confusion isn’t far from reality. n 1866 marks the year of the invention for the mordern casserole. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the 1950s the casserole became popular in the American households. The casserole offered a fulfilling meal in a single dish and appealed to the convenience-minded of American people in that era. Although the casserole fell out of flavor in the 1970s and seen as a downscaled dish by many. But Americans stubbornly cling to it as a comfort food. As it varies from sweet to savory many non-Americans see it as a mixed of ingredients in a glassware.

#6 Biscuits and Gravy

Ahoneybadger3 pointed out a common misconception on Reddit:

“Biscuits and gravy. Or is that a Canadian thing? I dunk my biscuits in tea. What are these biscuits you’re pouring gravy over?”

The trick is in the biscuits. The American and Canadian biscuits are very different from the ones in Europe. Biscuits in Europe are sweet. But people in the US call them as cookies. American biscuits are closer to dinner bread and taste savory.

Did you know that ‘Biscuit’ comes from a French word meaning ‘Twice Cooked.’

#7 Chocolate

User Protonbeamface on Reddit notes:

“US chocolate or candy is pretty unpleasant to me. Hershey bars have this dusty texture (like 5 weeks after Easter when you come across an uneaten egg) and the taste isn’t very rich. Cadbury Dairy Milk used to be awesome, but Kraft bought Cadbury a couple years ago and the recipe seems to be gradually changing.”

The reason because US chocolate making process is different than other countries. They go through a process called Lipolysis – The process slightly sours the milk and gives the chocolate a longer shelf life. Although it extends the milky taste it also releases Butyric Acid that gives off a Parmesan-Cheese-like flavor to some people.

#8 White Bread

Reddit user BumbleBeeBat posts:

“Bread. It’s super sweet.”

American white bread tastes a lot sweeter than the bread from other countries. They also contain many preservatives that extend their shelf life. Common preservative includes Calcium Propionate and Sodium Bisulfite – they inhibit mold and fight bacteria. The common ingredients include – honey, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon – they also have similar antimicrobial effects.

If you are looking for the freshest bread follow the color-coded twists on top of the packages suggested by Wisebread. Blue: Monday, Green: Tuesday, Red: Thursday, White: Friday, and Yellow: Saturday.

Who knew that those twists provided a little more than visual variety.

Check out the Top Dos And Don’ts About Foods To Eat On An Empty Stomach



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