The Rest of the World Thinks These American Foods Are Strange

05/02/2014 12:55 pm ET | Updated Jul 02, 2014

There are plenty of foods eaten around the world that Americans think are just plain odd. In Asia, for example, eating fried insects is commonplace and, while unorthodox and less common in the U.S., it is a staple of the culture's food and a good source of protein. Meanwhile in South America, eating cuy (guinea pig) has been a widespread practice for centuries, and though many North Americans may find it abhorrent to eat a beloved family pet, the guinea pig holds no such honor in non-Western societies and is often raised explicitly for food. There are plenty of foods eaten in the States that are also thought of as a little strange.

Admit it, you've looked at aerosol spray cheese that comes out of a can -- that bright-yellow, gooey, cheese-like concoction that's sprayed onto bread, squeezed onto other foods like hot dogs, or just eaten straight from the nozzle -- and thought "that's a strange thing to be eating." You're not alone... many American foods baffle people from other countries.

Even American "classics" like the corn dogs are a little mind-boggling... a hot dog, battered, deep-fried, and then smeared with ketchup and mustard is not a combination many people would turn to when it comes to preferred snack foods

Still, while many favorite American foods may be considered downright strange by the rest of the world in some ways it can be a good thing -- America (in this case meaning the U.S.) is often criticized for not having its own cuisine. The expression "as American as apple pie" is not really accurate since the British were eating apple pie centuries before. The hot dog is really a German, not an American invention. But... the corn dog amalgamation, strange as it may seem, that's entirely American in origin.

Read on to see what other foods are enjoyed across the U.S. that the rest of the world thinks are strange.

  • 1 Corn Dogs
    They’re a favorite at street carts, fairgrounds, and parks, but most of the world still thinks that this hot dog dipped in batter and deep-fried is strange. Stranger still is when it’s drenched in ketchup and mustard before being eaten.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / Andreanna Moya Photography
    Click Here to see More American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange
  • 2 Biscuits and Gravy
    Another in the retinue of odd Southern foods the rest of the world doesn’t quite get — buttermilk biscuits seem delicious, and they’re very similar to scones that are enjoyed throughout much of the world with jam and clotted cream or butter. But drenching them in gravy as a savory dish is something else entirely...
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / starlighthill08
  • 3 Miracle Whip
    Mayonnaise is not an American creation (it’s French and used commonly though out the world), but American mayonnaise is a lot sweeter than many like. Then there’s Miracle Whip, which is part mayonnaise, part sandwich spread, part salad dressing, and completely confusing.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / James
    Click Here to see More American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange
  • 4 Spam
    Weird food extraordinaire Andrew Zimmern once said, “Spam is, I think, the poster child for everything’s that’s wrong with food in the world.”
    This ground-up meat creation is a lot like a hot dog but slightly “springier” or “fluffier” and is carved from a slab and used in sandwiches, stews, or eaten by itself. It’s right up there with meatloaf as odd meat foods the rest of the world can’t quite understand.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / Chie Gondo
  • 5 Sloppy Joe
    You either love or hate these minced meat filled buns and the barbecue/tomato-y sauce that literally drips down your arms (and probably your shirt) as you try to eat it. They’re strange-looking, greasy, and quite frankly, look deliciously messy. While the rest of the world may not eat them, or even be tempted to make them, it’s easy to see why so many people in the U.S. are happy to dig into this dish with delight regardless of the mess.
    Click Here to see Even More American Foods the Rest of the World Thinks Are Strange
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / Chie Gondo

-- Serusha Govender, The Daily Meal

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