15 American Foods Non-americans Think Are Completely Bizarre Or Disgusting

Welcome to our exploration of 15 American foods that non-Americans may find completely bizarre or even disgusting. While American cuisine is diverse and beloved by many, certain dishes can elicit strong reactions from those unfamiliar with them. From regional delicacies to popular snacks, these foods often challenge traditional culinary norms and push the boundaries of taste and texture. In this article, we’ll delve into the cultural nuances and unique ingredients that make these American foods stand out, shedding light on why they might seem strange or off-putting to non-Americans. Whether you’re a curious traveler or simply intrigued by the quirks of American dining, join us as we uncover the culinary curiosities that define the American food landscape.

1. Scrapple

Scrapple is a traditional American dish that originated in the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Made from pork scraps, cornmeal, and spices, scrapple is formed into a loaf, sliced, and fried until crispy. While beloved by some for its hearty flavor and crispy texture, the idea of using leftover pork parts can be off-putting to non-Americans, especially those from cultures where nose-to-tail eating is less common.

2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

While a staple of many American childhoods, the combination of peanut butter and jelly between slices of bread can be perplexing to non-Americans. The sweet and savory pairing is unique to American palates and may seem odd to those who are accustomed to more traditional sandwich fillings like cheese or cold cuts. Additionally, the texture of peanut butter can be off-putting to those who didn’t grow up eating it.

3. Deep-Fried Twinkies

Deep-fried Twinkies are a quintessential fair food in the United States, where the iconic snack cake is battered and deep-fried until golden and crispy. While indulgent and decadent, the concept of deep-frying a pre-packaged dessert may seem bizarre or excessive to non-Americans, especially those from cultures with different culinary traditions. The combination of sweet and fried flavors can be polarizing, with some finding it irresistible and others finding it unappealing.

4. Chitlins (Chitterlings)

Chitlins, or chitterlings, are a traditional Southern dish made from the small intestines of pigs, which are cleaned, boiled, and often fried. While popular in Southern cuisine, the idea of eating intestines can be off-putting to non-Americans, especially those from cultures where offal is not commonly consumed. The strong smell and distinct texture of chitlins can also be a barrier for those unaccustomed to this type of dish.

5. Spam

Spam, a canned meat product made from pork shoulder and ham, has been a pantry staple in American households since its introduction during World War II. However, the idea of eating canned meat can be strange or unappealing to non-Americans, especially those from cultures where fresh meat is more readily available and preferred. Despite its reputation, Spam has a loyal following in certain regions and is enjoyed in a variety of dishes, from Spam musubi in Hawaii to Spam and eggs for breakfast.

6. Jell-O Salad

Jell-O salad is a classic American dish that combines fruit, vegetables, or other ingredients with flavored gelatin to create a colorful and often sweet-savory dish. While popular at potlucks and family gatherings, the concept of combining gelatin with vegetables or meat can be perplexing to non-Americans, who may be more accustomed to using gelatin in desserts rather than salads. The vibrant colors and wobbly texture of Jell-O salad can also be visually striking and unusual.

7. Livermush

Livermush is a regional delicacy found primarily in the Southern United States, particularly in North Carolina. Similar to scrapple, livermush is made from pork liver, head parts, and cornmeal, seasoned with spices, formed into a loaf, and sliced for frying. While cherished by locals for its rich flavor and crispy exterior, the idea of eating a dish made from pork liver and head meat can be off-putting to non-Americans, especially those from cultures with different culinary traditions.

8. Candy Corn

Candy corn is a divisive Halloween treat in the United States, with its waxy texture and overly sweet flavor eliciting strong opinions from both fans and detractors. While popular among American children during the Halloween season, the concept of eating candy shaped like corn kernels can be strange or unappealing to non-Americans, who may be more accustomed to traditional candies or sweets from their own cultures.

9. Grits

Grits are a staple of Southern cuisine, made from ground corn kernels that are boiled and often served as a savory side dish or breakfast porridge. While beloved by many Americans, the idea of eating a corn-based porridge can be unfamiliar or unappealing to non-Americans, especially those from cultures where rice or wheat-based grains are more common. The creamy texture and mild flavor of grits can also be an acquired taste for those trying them for the first time.

10. Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain oysters, also known as prairie oysters or calf fries, are a regional delicacy in the Western United States, particularly in cattle-raising regions like Colorado and Montana. Despite their name, Rocky Mountain oysters are not seafood but rather the testicles of bulls or sheep, which are breaded and fried. While considered a delicacy by some, the idea of eating animal testicles can be shocking or unappetizing to non-Americans, especially those from cultures where offal is not commonly consumed.

11. Corn Dogs

Corn dogs are a popular American street food made by skewering a hot dog on a stick, dipping it in cornmeal batter, and deep-frying until golden brown. While beloved by many Americans for their crispy exterior and juicy interior, the concept of encasing a hot dog in sweet cornbread batter can be strange or even off-putting to non-Americans, who may be more accustomed to eating hot dogs in buns or with savory toppings.

12. Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and waffles is a beloved Southern dish that combines crispy fried chicken with fluffy waffles and sweet maple syrup. While popular in the United States, the combination of savory fried chicken and sweet waffles can be perplexing to non-Americans, who may be more accustomed to eating chicken as a savory main course rather than as a breakfast or brunch item. Despite its unconventional pairing, chicken and waffles has gained popularity in recent years and can be found on menus across the country.

13. Kool-Aid Pickles

Kool-Aid pickles, also known as Koolickles, are a unique Southern snack made by soaking dill pickles in a mixture of Kool-Aid powder and sugar. The result is a sweet, tangy, and brightly colored pickle that is both unusual and polarizing. While popular among some Americans, the concept of combining pickles with sugary Kool-Aid can be strange or unappealing to non-Americans, who may be more accustomed to traditional pickling methods and flavors.

14. Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian pizza is a divisive American pizza topping that features a combination of ham and pineapple. While beloved by some for its sweet and savory flavor profile, the concept of putting fruit on pizza can be controversial and even offensive to purists of Italian cuisine. Non-Americans may find the combination of pineapple and ham on a pizza strange or unappetizing, especially if they are not accustomed to the American tradition of experimenting with pizza toppings.

15. S’mores

S’mores are a classic American campfire treat made by sandwiching a roasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers. While beloved by generations of American children, the concept of combining marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers into a messy and gooey dessert can be unfamiliar or even bizarre to non-Americans, who may not have grown up with the tradition of making s’mores around a campfire. Despite its simplicity, s’mores hold a special place in American culinary culture and are a beloved treat at summer camps and outdoor gatherings.


In conclusion, American cuisine is a melting pot of flavors, traditions, and influences that can both delight and surprise. While some American foods may seem bizarre or even disgusting to non-Americans, they are often cherished by locals and hold special significance within their cultural contexts. Whether it’s the unusual ingredients, unconventional combinations, or unfamiliar flavors, these dishes reflect the diversity and creativity of American culinary culture. So, while you may find some American foods strange at first glance, don’t be afraid to embrace the opportunity to try something new and expand your culinary horizons.


FAQ 1: Why do non-Americans find these American foods bizarre or disgusting?

Non-Americans may find these American foods bizarre or disgusting due to cultural differences, unfamiliar ingredients, or unconventional flavor combinations. What may be considered normal or even delicacies in one culture can seem strange or unappetizing to those from different culinary backgrounds.

FAQ 2: Are there any cultural reasons behind the uniqueness of these American foods?

Yes, many of these American foods have deep cultural roots and are often tied to specific regions or communities within the United States. They may reflect historical influences, regional traditions, or even economic factors that have shaped the development of American cuisine over time.

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