9 American Foods That Make Foreigners Say WTF
Unless you travel internationally often, chances are you’re in a bubble when it comes to the food you eat, or the foods you perceive as being “normal” and mainstream. In a lot of ways, the United States is a melting pot of cuisines, but there are certain dishes that Americans have developed that confuse the hell out of foreigners, and for a good reason.
1. Root Beer
Unless you grew up on root beer floats, the popular soda is really an acquired taste. People who didn’t grow up in the United States usually say it reminds them of toothpaste or medicine.
If you’re from Pennsylvania, you’ve probably seen scrapple on a bunch of menus. It’s basically a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour and various spices. Scrapple is usually pan-fried before serving. You can imagine the concept isn’t too tempting to foreigners if they’re not familiar with it.
3. American Cheese
Honestly, even Americans are confused about American cheese. Is it real cheese? Nope. Does it melt better than most real cheese out there? Yep! A slice of the processed cheese is mild, salty, faintly sweet and has a medium-firm consistency. It confuses foreigners, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eat it on their cheeseburgers.
4. Chicken And Waffles
Both fried chicken and waffles are classically American foods and the idea of combining them, and topping the sweet and savory dish with butter and syrup, is pretty weird to people from other countries.
5. Corn Dogs
Putting anything breaded and deep fried on a stick is pretty American.
6. Sweet Potato Casserole
Believe it or not, a dish of sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top is pretty damn American. The idea wasn’t even introduced until the early 1900s when marshmallows became cheaply made, but had a fancy reputation. Marketers needed a way to fit them into American diets and that’s how the Thanksgiving staple came about.
7. Pumpkin Pie
Who even decided to put a winter squash in a pie crust with spices, top it with whipped cream and make it a Thanksgiving ritual? It’s true, Americans have a fascination with all things pumpkin. If you’re not so heavily saturated with pumpkin products all-year-round you probably think it’s weird AF.
8. Red Velvet Cake
Leave it to Americans to take something perfectly good like chocolate cake and add food coloring to it. Red velvet cake is made with cocoa, butter, red food coloring, vinegar and buttermilk. The reaction of the vinegar and buttermilk makes the red more vibrant in the cocoa and keeps the cake moist, light and fluffy. The red-tinted cake usually has cream cheese frosting on top, which makes the concept even more of an odd American concept.
Who’s to blame for the idea of shoving a chicken inside of a duck, which is then stuffed inside of a turkey? A man by the name of Paul Prudhomme, a celebrity chef at a lodge in Wyoming. It was around 1987 that the indulgent Thanksgiving dish was served at the chef’s New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul. Well, we always go big or go home.
Some American-made foods are (unbiasedly) creative, while others are admittedly stupid. That’s just how it is.