It’s hard to deny that Americans love their deep fried food, large portion sizes, and fast-food chains. But what’s normal to those in the US, might be strange to other people around the world. Because of this, we’re diving deeper to find out what foods Americans eat that Australians don’t.
I’m an American who lived in Australia for several months, so to learn more, I asked my Australian friends and dug through some Quora threads to find out what foods Americans eat that Australians would never touch.
It’s worth noting that every person has their personal food preferences, but these are just some of the most popular opinions I came across.
Spray can cheese is not a thing
Spray can cheese, where you press a nozzle and squirt out an orange substance, is not common in Australia. In fact, Australians INSIDER spoke to seemed repulsed by it.
“It has an unnatural consistency. Also, why is it orange?” Jack from Queensland told INSIDER.
Well, that would be the canola oil that keeps cheese in a can from solidifying and the apocarotenal that gives it a yellow-orange pigment.
Cheese slices look fake
While we’re on the topic of cheese – Australians (along with some Americans) refer to pre-packaged cheese slices as “plastic cheese.” But in the US, it’s a staple for sandwiches and burgers.
“When I watch food shows that take place in America all I can think about is, why does your cheese look fake?” Jacquie from Queensland told INSIDER.
“Our signature yellow and orange cheese really freaks Australians out,” said Quora user Brian Collins in this thread.
Twinkies are strange
“I hear that Twinkies can survive a nuclear war. That’s alarming,” replied Jack when we asked his thoughts on Twinkies.
Starbucks coffee isn’t popular
Australians take great pride in their coffee culture. So when Starbucks tried to expand within the continent, mutiple reports said it fell flat.
“Australia is a land of coffee culture, so much that when your flagship Americanism that is Starbucks came to the end of the world, it failed miserably,” explained Hai Ling W Pole on this Quora thread.
So what is it about Starbucks coffee that turns Australians off?
According to a CNBC report, Starbucks doesn’t fit Australians’ tastes because the company serves sweeter coffee options than Australians prefer. It’s also more expensive than their local cafes. Although this might be more of a pride thing – for Australians – a simple Flat White will do (though we should note that Starbucks does serve a Flat White that experts say is rather good).
American style bacon isn’t a breakfast staple
“American bacon is not bacon! It’s too crispy and it doesn’t taste good,” Stephanie from Queensland told INSIDER.
Bacon in America is technically made from pork belly, while bacon in Australia includes pork belly with a lean cut of pig loin that’snot cooked until crispy. This gives it a thicker texture and, according to Australians, a more flavorful taste.
Outback Steakhouse doesn’t exist Australia
Though the chain definitely channels Australia, many Australians said that they aren’t fans.
“Literally no food on their menu would remind an Australian of home. I’ll bet their coffee is awful too,” said Quora user Richard Russell in this thread.
“Labelling random American food as Australian tends to annoy us much more than it really should,”said Quora user Josh Duck.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches aren’t childhood favourites
Eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in America is different than eating one in Australia for one very important reason: jelly versus jam. For Aussies, it should be “peanut butter and jam.”
“PB&J is peanut butter and JAM, not jelly. Jelly is a dessert. Jam is what you put on your toast/sandwich,” Grace from Queensland explained to INSIDER.
According to this Washington Post article, most Australians think eating peanut butter and jelly is as gross as eating bologna and glue.
Sweet potato with marshmallow casserole is weird
“I had an American friend make a weird dish with sweet potatoes and marshmallows. Who in their right mind puts those two things together?” Samantha from Queensland asked INSIDER.
You can thank marketers of Angelus Marshmallows for that. Saveur Magazine reported that the first recipe dates back to 1917. Saveur also reported that the marshmallow company aimed to develop recipes designed “to encourage home cooks to embrace the candy as an everyday ingredient” and this would hopefully boost sales.
Grits are a turn-off
Most Australians don’t really understand what grits are. Grits, a beloved food in the South, is ground cornmeal that’s boiled and served with meals. But try explaining that to an Australian and their face will say it all.
“From what I imagine in my head, it would taste bland and gross. Plus, the consistency is a turn-off. I would rather eat oats for brekky,” said Jack.
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