- British users on Quora were asked which commonly eaten foods in America they found unappealing, strange, or downright impossible to understand.
- Items like Twinkies and Cheez Whiz made the list, as did national favourite foods like Kraft Mac & Cheese.
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It turns out that cherished food combinations and pantry staples of many Americans often strike horror into the hearts – and stomachs – of British people brave enough to taste them.
British Quora users shared which American food items they just don’t understand, from the biggest brand names to the obscure and bizarre foods Americans love, as well as the foods Brits think are completely and utterly disgusting.
Many complaints focused on foods that seemed and tasted artificial or “fake,” as well as too sugary. British people also had a problem with Americans’ larger portion sizes.
Lia Ryerson previously contributed to a version of this article.
Brits are unsure of what grits actually are.
“Just no, that is all!” – Quora user Doug Hepburn.
“No-one really knows what they are and we have the vague feeling they’re something one should be a little wary of.” –Rob Fletcher.
“But what in the name of heaven are grits?? They look utterly unappetizing, and the descriptions I’ve read have me imagining a sort of salty porridge.” – Clare Celea.
“If you never had it, don’t try!” – Jerome Cohen.
Non-fat milk is too watery for many foreigners.
“That’s not milk – that’s water with some white in it.” –Adam M. Steiner.
Many non-Americans don’t get the appeal of peanut butter … much less in combination with jelly.
“These are pretty common in the US, and to many British people the very idea is repulsive.” – Paul Murphy.
To Brits, biscuits are meant to be sweet — and definitely not served with gravy.
“‘Biscuits and gravy’ sounds weird to British ears as it sounds like ‘cookies and brown gravy.’ The gravy is actually similar to something we might eat with chicken or fish. Pouring it over something similar to British scones is confusing.” –Rob Fletcher.
Cheese? More like “Cheese.”
“Orange ‘cheese’ squares and/or Cheez Whiz. Just no.” – Adam M. Steiner.
“That so-called cheese in a spray can? Whatever culinary genius thought that up really needs to be publicly humiliated for that.” – Paul J Dobbs.
Root beer has an unusual flavour most non-Americans just can’t place.
“Tastes like disinfectant.” – Doug Hepburn.
“If it were not brown, I would use it to clean the floor.” – David Pfeiffer.
Many foreigners are wary of corn dogs.
“I tried one in San Francisco, sort of a hot dog inside a doughnut.” – Garry Taylor.
“Imagine the cheapest quality meat you would dare consume (the sort of meat you have to boil rather than grill) made into a rude sausage shape and shoved on a stick. Cover it with a tasteless batter – no beer in this one – and fry it so that the outside crisps but the inside stays soggy. It’s not nice.” – Kimberley Lear.
Twinkies taste stale to the British palate.
“A Twinkie would be much more enjoyable if it had fresh cream and non-stale cake.” – Franki Marsh.
Many foreigners maintain that Hershey’s tastes faintly like vomit.
“I don’t know what it is, but it is not chocolate.” – Doug Hepburn.
“Hershey’s horrible powdery chocolate springs to mind.” –Neil Anderson.
“I tried a well-known brand called Hershey’s and it tasted of vomit. Seriously. I was as astonished as I was revolted.” –Guy Roberts.
Sweet salad dressings defeat the point of a salad.
“Why would you put sugar in salad dressing? Doesn’t that kind of ruin the whole point of salad?” – Adam M. Steiner.
Chicken-fried steak covered in gravy turned many Brits off.
“Take a piece of steak. But not too good, like rib eye or flank, because that fat is bad for your arteries, and flank may taste great but it’s on the chewy side. No, something boringly lean and puritanical, like round steak.
“Bread it, so that it not only won’t acquire that nice caramelised outer coating, it can’t acquire it. Fry it, so that you have bread encasing flabby grey beef. (Arteries? What arteries?)
“Douse it with gravy, to console yourself for the fact that you could have been having a good steak instead of grey meat coated in greasy bread.
“Oh, wait, what? The gravy has to be made with milk? I just threw up a little in my mouth. Look, forget the whole thing.” – Alex Johnston.
Packaged bread was deemed too sweet.
“All the American bread from shops was sweet. I found it really unpleasant – the only ‘proper’ bread was in a mid-level restaurant that had decent, unsweetened wholemeal bread with a soup.” – Jonathan Elder.
“Supermarket wrapped bread is invariably very, not to say extraordinarily, sweet to a European palette. I find it completely inedible. It ruins the taste of anything, and everything, sandwiched between it. Essentially it is cake masquerading as bread.” – Toby Low.
Bacon is an American favourite, but many Brits thought it was too greasy, salty, and not meaty enough.
“The bacon is basically fried cardboard that seems to have been dipped in salt. You couldn’t make a decent bacon sarnie [sandwich] with it.” – Paul Jones.
Huge portions of food — like giant turkey legs at theme parks — made Brits sick to their stomachs.
“There is a lot of meat on a turkey leg. It’s more meat than anyone needs to eat over the course of a few days, let alone as a snack while walking around a theme park. The first bite tasted OK, if a little uninspiring, but it soon became a chore.
“My good old-fashioned northern-English stubbornness and dislike of waste forbade me to throw it away until I had made a reasonable dent in it though, and I ate far more of it than I should.
“I would wake up in the night for months afterward with visions of that turkey leg and how thoroughly unappetizing it became. There is no need for such gluttony.” – Simon Crump.
Boxed macaroni and cheese is thought to be totally disgusting.
“Americans have so many foods that are processed and come from boxes or tins and have little to do with the original ingredients – like Kraft Mac & Cheese.” – Tamara Stevens.
“Macaroni and cheese should never be out of a cardboard box.” –Debsy Opperman.
- Read more:
- The 9 biggest differences between British and American diets
- 13 strangely delicious food hybrids you need to try in your lifetime
- The most popular cocktail in every state
- 50 famous foods you should eat in your lifetime
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