Ever wonder why people from other countries give Americans those funny looks when talking about our food? Well, it’s because some of the things we eat are pretty out there by global standards. This list of 11 foods is a perfect showcase of American eating habits that just might seem wild to the rest of the world. From deep-fried delicacies to oversized portions, here’s what makes our cuisine uniquely ours—and maybe a little bit crazy.

A piece of meat and onions on a cutting board.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.
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Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

With a name that promises food of the gods, ambrosia salad delivers… a confusing mix of canned fruit, mini marshmallows, and sometimes, coconut or nuts, all mixed together with whipped cream or mayo. It’s a dish that challenges the uninitiated to reconsider their definition of ‘salad’ — and not in a good way.

Spam

Spam. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Imagine opening a can to find a pink, jiggly mass that’s supposed to be meat. Spam is the mystery meat that’s sparked many a meme, often leaving foreigners wondering, “Is it really food, or a food prank?” It’s salty, it’s squishy, and it’s a far cry from the farm-fresh meats many are used to.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Cool Whip might look like whipped cream, but to a discerning palate, it’s like eating sweetened plastic. This faux cream concoction, made from a cocktail of oils and chemicals, can make traditionalists long for the simple luxury of real cream. It’s dessert, but not as we know it.

Scrapple

Scrapple. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

A loaf made from pork scraps and cornmeal sounds like a humble, economical dish. But when it’s described as “everything but the oink,” turned into a grayish patty, and served for breakfast, it’s a hard sell for those used to starting their day with something less… adventurous.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

A vegetable dish that decides to go undercover as a dessert, topped with a generous layer of marshmallows, that’s basically what sweet potato casserole is in America. This Thanksgiving staple confuses many, blending sweet, savory, and squishy into one dish.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

This is what happens when chicken and steak have an identity crisis. A piece of beef is battered and fried, then smothered in gravy, creating a dish that confuses foreigners expecting something, well, chicken-y. It leaves many wondering, “Why not just eat fried chicken?”

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

An American classic that puzzles many abroad, especially when paired with jelly in a sandwich. The combo of sticky, sweet, and savory between two slices of bread is a peculiarly American comfort food that leaves others scratching their heads by the jarring mix of flavors and textures.

Instant Ramen Noodles

Instant Ramen Noodles. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

A global dorm room staple, yet the neon-colored seasoning packets and brick-like noodles can seem less like food and more like a survival kit item to those accustomed to fresh, hand-pulled noodles.

Deep Fried Everything

Deep Fried Everything. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

State fairs in the U.S. take frying seriously, turning everything from Twinkies to cola into greasy, crispy oddities. This whole practice leaves health-conscious foreigners aghast, wondering about the limits of the human stomach’s tolerance for oil.

Head Cheese

Head Cheese. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

No cheese, just head. This meat jelly made from the head of a pig (or sometimes cow or sheep) puzzles with its appearance and concept. The idea of turning what’s essentially a meaty scrapbook into a dish is a testament to human ingenuity… and perhaps, our peculiar tastes.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

The ultimate culinary plot twist: these “oysters” are actually bull testicles. It’s a classic case of naming something pleasantly to make it more palatable. Diners are often intrigued until they discover what they’re really biting into.

11 Foods You Loved As A Kid That Make You Want To Gag Now

A white plate with a sandwich and chips.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Take a walk down memory lane and peek at the foods and drinks we absolutely adored as kids but can’t stand now. You know, those treats that had us rushing to the kitchen, eyes sparkling with joy. Fast forward to today, and it’s a whole different story. Why? Maybe our taste buds got a reality check, or perhaps we just realized that some things are better left in the past.

See them here: 11 Foods You Loved As A Kid That Make You Want To Gag Now

These Are 9 Of The Worst Movie Snacks And Here’s Why

A pile of chocolate covered almonds on a white background.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

You’re cozied up for movie night, the screen is glowing, and then it happens: your snack choice turns the evening south. It’s a universal truth that not all snacks are created equal, especially when it comes to enjoying them in front of a movie. Here are the top 9 snacks in no particular order that have a notorious reputation for dampening the movie-watching vibe.

See them here: These Are 9 Of The Worst Movie Snacks And Here’s Why

These Are The Worst 13 Fast Food Joints In America

A kfc restaurant with a red and white sign.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

We’ve all had those late-night fast food cravings that lead us to the nearest drive-thru, hoping for a bite of greasy bliss. But sometimes, what we get is less “mmm” and more “meh.” In a nation filled with endless fast food options, not all joints are created equal. We dove into the greasy underbelly of fast food to bring you a list of the 13 spots that might just have you rethinking your next order.

See them all here: The Worst 13 Fast Food Joints In America

Photos provided by Depositphotos.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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