As of 2010, the American diet seems to focus mainly on grains, fats, and oils, and ultra-processed foods make up about 58% of their daily energy intake.

And while diets around the globe are more similar than they used to be (in nearly 50 years, the differences in foods eaten has narrowed by 68 percent), foreigners are still having trouble with it.

So when Reddit user EskimoeExplosion invited non-Americans to name the quintessential US foods they will never understand, people from all over the world flooded them with all sorts of products.

(However, remember to take this list with a grain of salt, since, as we know, taste can be very, very subjective.)

#1

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Tube cheese or aerosol cheese. The latter makes me gag thinking about it.

the_law_talking_guy , Wikipedia Report

KindyKaiako
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tube or aerosol cheese?? Like a spray?? Oh my goodness 😂 you do you USA haha

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back That awful, orange, plasticky American cheese. I lived in North America for a year and missed good British cheddar so much!

Gemzaaa , Wikipedia Report

We managed to get in touch with EskimoeExplosion and even though they don't recall what exactly gave them the idea for the post, at the time the Redditor was working in the industry as a sous-chef at a country club and was pretty passionate about food. "It was a big part of my life back then," EskimoeExplosion told Bored Panda.

"The American diet stems from convenience, although we've developed cuisines similar to other cultures (mainly rooted in poverty like BBQ, Fried Chicken, etc.) there's always the Americanized asterisked version where it's just slightly more convenient," they said.

"The American diet is simple recipes we're not willing to make ourselves, BBQ sauce, ketchup, etc., are all easily constructed from scratch but very few Americans could tell you how to make ketchup or BBQ sauce from scratch."

#3

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back American bread. I lived in the states for six months. At one point shortly after moving, I bought a loaf of bread and made a sandwich. To my surprise, the bread was so sweet. I told my housemates that I accidentally bought dessert bread, but nope — just regular bread in America.

goldboldsold , Charles Chen Report

#4

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Pop tarts taste like someone half-as*ed an attempt at flavoured cardboard. They're horrible.

MaxMouseOCX , Sarah Deal Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's supposed to taste like cardboard with jam, but instead it tastes like cardboard a strawberry sneezed on. I'd rather make strawberry pancakes.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back It's not so much the food but more the portion sizes. I'm Australian and was raised as a kid to eat everything on my plate. I brought that mentality to the US. over a month I put on 5kg!

The portion sizes are obscene. I could hardly finish a meal there without feeling ill from eating to much. I think implementing cheaper, smaller portion options would be great. It would also cut down on wasting food (as I noticed a lot of people didn't eat all of their meal).

That said, American food on the whole was great. I spent a lot of time in the Deep South and I loved BBQ, baked beans, grits, sweet tea, Cajun food, Po Boys. Even Waffle House wasn't half bad.

EDIT: A lot of people are mentioning getting a to go bag. In Australia people don't really do that much. It is more for kids who liked their meal but don't eat much. Anyway, I don't remember ever been encouraged to do it by the Americans I was staying with in the Deep South. My friend in California used to do it (particularly with Mexican food). My girlfriend's mother would often cook and always had food in the house, so getting a to go bag wasn't a necessity for them. I really have no idea how her whole family had such good figures (must be good genetics). I would turn into one of those morbidly obese people you see riding scooters in Walmart if I lived in Alabama for a year.

A few people also commented on Australia having large portion sizes. I would agree that this is the case if you go out for a pub meal. Some of those meals are huge. Also out in the country (where people tend to be fatter) the food is often deep fried and in large quantities. Still compared to what was on offer in Alabama, it is nothing.

EDIT 2: Many people freaking out about what a kg (kilogram is). One kg = 2.2 pounds. So I put on 11 pounds in a month. I'm surprised the US just doesn't adopt the metric system as the rest of the world uses it and it is a really simple way to measure weight, length etc.

mrphasedance , Aleksey Bystrov Report

Karen Weiss
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A similar experience for me. My partner and I ended up sharing meals which seemed to be ok over there. Also cheese, everything covered in cheese. And chips (crisps) with sandwiches? Really?

View More Replies...
View more comments

According to Trust For America's Health, the U.S. adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent, the first time the national rate has passed the 40 percent mark, and further evidence of the country's health crisis. (In fact, this number has increased by 26 percent since 2008.)

Rates of childhood obesity are also increasing with the latest data showing that 19.3 percent of U.S. young people (ages 2 to 19) suffer from it. (For comparison, in the mid-1970s, only 5.5 percent of young people were obese.)

"That's a very complicated issue that can't really be rooted in one specific thing, it has a lot to do with the fast-paced culture of convenience we have but also just a fundamentally different way we see food," EskimoExplosion shared their thoughts.

#6

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, just WHY?

milkandnosugar Report

Jennik
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I thought it was a joke the first time I came across this in a book

View more comments
#7

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back HERSHEYS i seriously thought it was spoiled when i tried one.

Hand on heart i wouldnt eat it even if it was free, how they make a profit i will never know.

Sir_Fancy_Pants , Jennie Clavel Report

Lindsay Ameye
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As Belgians we are spoiled with our chocolate. When we went to NYC, we spent like 1 minute in the Hershey store before fleeing it, due to the horrible, horrible smell of the "chocolate".

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Twinkies. They're somehow delicious and disgusting, all at the same time. I am afraid of your gastromolecular science.

bozzley , Wikipedia Report

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've had one once, during one of my US vacations. Not impressed, way too sweet, won't buy again. (Sounds like something Gordon Ramsay would say)

View More Replies...
View more comments

Indeed, demographic trends and the conditions in people's lives have a large impact on their ability to follow a nutritious diet and maintain a healthy weight. Generally, the data show that the more a person earns, the less likely they are to have obesity. Also, individuals with less education are more likely to have obesity, as are those who live in rural communities as opposed to people from suburban and metro areas.

Socioeconomic factors such as poverty and discrimination have contributed to higher rates of obesity among certain racial and ethnic populations: for example, black adults have the highest level of adult obesity nationally at 49.6 percent.

#9

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Cherry flavoured anything. Have you tasted cherries? They tasted nothing like that icky flavouring!

golitsyn_nosenko , Brandon Richardson Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dr. Pepper doesn't taste like cherries. It tastes like prunes. -- Signed, somebody who once drank a Dr. Pepper

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Not so much disgusting as bland: Strawberries and tomatoes.

I remember going into a supermarket and seeing these absolutely huge strawberries. Biggest I'd ever seen. And bright red, like they were the juiciest, most ripe ever grown. Bought a punnet, went home and ate them, they tasted like wet cardboard. What a disappointment.

I'd say it was false advertising.

EDIT: Also, Twinkies. I grew up with Marvel comics and they had ads for all sorts of things at the back. One of the few ads I remember were for Twinkies. They looked delicious so when I got to the US I had to try one. Dessicated sponge wrapped around fake cream. The sponge was so dry and the filling so obviously unnatural that no self-respecting mould would go near the thing, I reckon it probably had a longer half life than platinum. I'm sure if humans nuke themselves into extinction any uneaten Twinkies will still be around when the lizards evolve civilization.

anon , Suzy Hazelwood Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We grow tomatoes in the garden and they're delicious. The reason store-bought tomatoes taste like that is that they are meant to be durable, not tasty. This allows them to survive (kinda) the 2,500+ mile trek from California to New England.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Canadian here... American soda. You can taste the corn syrup. All of my American friends drink Mexican Coke or that 'throwback' pop with sugar instead of corn syrup.

applecored83 , Breakingpic Report

BadCat
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you stop drinking pop for a while, once you start drinking it again the sweetness is almost unbearable.

View More Replies...
View more comments

"When I was in Europe, people would recommend the restaurant that had the best tasting coffee or pies, or the place that does the best version of a regional dish. In the US, most people will recommend the place that provides the best value," EskimoExplosion said.

"In Europe, someone might describe to you how silky the mousse is when telling you about their favorite spot, in the US they tend to talk about how much food you get compared to the price."

#12

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Circus peanuts are weird. Why would you shape them like peanuts if they taste like tainted bananas?

sir_b*tch_t*ts , Wikipedia Report

Nobody
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

those look like polystyrene packing beans (and probably taste like them also)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Turkey bacon. It's vile. Only pork should be made into bacon, I care not what ye say.

Jhasso , Michelle @Shelly Captures It Report

RainWingRoyal
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Turkey bacon is for us non-pork eaters, so we can also enjoy enjoy crispy meat strips! I love turkey bacon, it's great.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Fluff, that marshmallow spread

Like you find ways to add extra sugar to everything, even toast

sofyflo , Wikipedia Report

Firstname Lastname
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I want a fluffernutter maybe once every couple of years but can't bring myself to buy a whole jar because it is too sweet. Almost wish it'd be appropriate to serve them as finger sandwiches and host a tea party.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back I absolutely think cakes made in America are too sweet with too much frosting. I always end up buying cakes from Asian or Mexican stores since they're not as sweet.

euramuse , American Heritage Chocolate Report

Dynein
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Admittedly, most of what I know about US-American cakes comes from cakewrecks.com so it's likely not that accurate BUT what struck me reading that blog is how much cakes appear to be defined by looks. Ok, so it's a blog that's all about the look of cakes, but I gathered from the text around the pictures that this is really a thing there - kids wishing for barbie dress cakes or unicorn cakes and such for their birthdays. Growing up in Germany, I wished for... chocolate cake. Or lemon cake. What I mean is, it never occurred to anyone to define a cake by its looks - *all* that mattered was the ingredients. That might be changing now, but still, if you went to a bakery asking for unicorn cakes you'd get confused looks and staff helplessly waving at the assortment of strawberry cake (topped with strawberries), cherry cake (filled with cherries), cake heavy in nuts and unimaginatively dipped in chocolate, etc.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back American fast food. Honestly the quality of fast food in the U.S. is absolutely horrible compared to the very same chains in Canada. I'm talking about standard fast food like Burger King, McDonald's, etc...

earthmang2two , Ashley Green Report

String cheese muppet
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It’s like the USA make it and then everyone else does it better

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Red Vines. As a New Zealander I expected them to taste like hopes and dreams, solidified into a long strip of candy... But alas, they really taste like a*s.

JCLNZ , Wikipedia Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Twizzlers are the same, unfortunately. Another candy from my childhood that has had drastic ingredient changes that robbed it of its actual taste—-or any taste, for that matter. I recently revisited some foods that I haven’t had in years, but used to love as a child. They USED TO taste good. Most tasted like plastic, some left my mouth feeling like it was coated in Vaseline. What a huge letdown. Switching to cheaper, and usually artificial, ingredients is such a boneheaded move. They totally f****d up foods that used to be really tasty. Don’t f**k around with perfection. If. It. Ain’t. Broke. Don’t. Fix. It.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

'Imitation Pasteurized Process Cheese Food'. WTF is it? Why is it?

umbama Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The only accurate words here are "Imitation," "Pasteurized," and "Processed."

View more comments
#19

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Casseroles made with "cream of" anything soup. Green bean casserole, tuna casserole, mushroom casserole. I know what those Campbells soups are like, we get them over here, and the idea of using them as a constituent ingredient in a main meal makes me shudder just from the idea of the sodium bomb. Especially those casseroles that are suggested to be topped with crushed chips.

Peanut butter and jam (jelly) sandwiches I can get behind. Pumpkin pie was a revelation of awesomeness for a new dimension on what to me is normally a savoury veg. Chicken-fried steak and sausage gravy? Genius.

But the idea of those casseroles make my stomach turn every time.

InquisitorVawn Report

#20

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back As a Swiss:

* the cheese
* the chocolate
* the bread

And the coffee I once bought in a Dunkin' Donuts was horrible, never had another one.

Other than that I love almost everything... I could spend the rest of my life eating cheetos and kfc!

Skinnj , Wkipedia Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dunkin' Donuts started in Massachusetts, and local people love it. When the Boston Marathon bombers were trying to evade capture in Watertown, the police shut down every store there except the Dunkin' Donuts, which became HQ for first responders. Keeping "Dunkies" open in an emergency is the most Boston thing ever to happen. www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/04/19/cops-request-dunkin-donuts-stays-open/

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#21

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back I have a friend from New Zealand. I took him to Dairy Queen for his first Blizzard. He ate about 3 bites of it and said "Do you want it? This is gross." I then ate 2 Blizzards and felt like a big fat f**k.

anon Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dairy Queen is delightful. I will not die on this hill, but I will sit on top of it eating ice cream.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back The fact that your cheddar is orange. Whenever I'm in the States, I always get trolled by shredded cheddar in salads, thinking it's carrot.

Also anything from Arby's. Aerosol cheese. Pumpkin as a dessert item. Most straight-up chocolate, Hershey's is like biting into a block of chocolate flavoured wax. Ugh.

deathcabforkatie_ , Sigmund Report

Amanda Rose
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pumpkin as a dessert item has been around for a while. The colonies were a frequent consumer of baked pumpkin puddings (basically the pumpkin pie without the crust). Not as sweet as today's pumpkin pie filling but still quite nice.

View more comments
#23

Hominy grits.

I've been told they taste great and I'm sure they do, but I saw some in a hotel once and it looked like they left a bucket of cum out in the sun for a while.

ebles Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've never had these. They're a Southern thing. In the North, we're more likely to eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Mountain Dew. It doesn't even taste good. I mean, it doesn't taste *bad* and it's addictive, but I want to scratch it out of my veins as soon as I hook up to an IV of it.

bahanna , Wikipedia Report

Boreddd🇺🇦
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just read today, here, on bp, that a can of mt dew can dissolve a mouse in 30 days. I'm terrified

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Cincinnati Chili. Keep your spaghetti noodles out of my chili.

PompeyMagnus1 , Wikipedia Report

Pirates of Zen Pants
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Great chili comes from Texas. Nobody's making a pilgrimage to Ohio for the chili!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Maybe not disgusting, but just a weird combination to me:

Peanut butter and jam (Jelly for 'muricans)

I like peanut butter. I like jam. Together? No thanks.

f*ck_salad_eat_bacon , Freddy G Report

#27

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back New York Street vendor hotdogs.

I was so looking forward to this on my trip. I got one and it was tiny and when I bit into it, it actually dissolved in my mouth after one chew.

The bread was sweet tasting (high sugar content I guess). Overall a real disappointment

flicticious , Timoune Aracama Report

#28

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back When I first moved here a few years back, biscuits and gravy weirded me out the most, but I have grown to enjoy it. Still looks like vomit, though.

I still can't stomach the standard supermarket bread here. It's so sweet. Same goes for average burger or hotdog buns.

I find Americans' need/desire to eat sandwiches with potato chips bizarre. Where I'm from, a sandwich is a meal in and of itself - it doesn't come with a side. And potato chips shouldn't be a side. Ever. They're gas station junk food. To me, it's like getting a Snickers bar as a side.

Ranch dressing. Why don't you people want to taste the actual salad you're eating?

Flavouring everything with pumpkin around Fall. Pumpkin pie, ok, fine, I've learned to like it. Things I will never accept pumpkin in: coffee, ice cream, pancakes, doughnuts, smoothies.

Granola as a "healthy" breakfast option. It's basically a dessert.

Taco Bell. OK, I haven't actually tried it, but it looks so unappealing in the ads and posters in the store windows - more so than any other fast food chain - I just can't imagine why anyone ever would. It's not like actually good Mexican food is expensive.

One thing I think is great about American food, however, is all the regional variety. Sure, a lot of it is a bit gross and incredibly unhealthy (can't say I enjoyed my encounter with Jello salad), but I love that you can try new things in every city and how proud people are of their local specialties. We don't have that back in Australia, and I think we're poorer for it.

tigersmadeofpaper , Wikipedia Report

#29

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back As a Brit who's been living here for a few years there are so many odd foods. I know, the UK isn't known for its high quality food (although things are a lot, lot better these days), but the following stuff mystifies me.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - WTF? You take a salty spread that looks like it came from a milk-fed baby's nappy then add sweet jam? Stick it on sugary bread and people seem to love it.

Similarly putting syrup on bacon for breakfast. Bacon, food of the gods and the ultimate savoury snack and you cover it in cloying sticky sweetness. Can't get my head around it.

Pub cheese. The US doesn't make much good cheese but my New Jersey in-laws introduced me to this spreadable cheese going under the brand 'Pub Cheese.' It tastes like leper shavings, and the name only makes sense in that you have to spend all day getting utterly wankered in the pub to make it even remotely palatable.

White Castle burgers. Had one bite and that was enough. Oily meat that murders the taste buds and an aftertaste that hangs around like a fart in a spacesuit, yet people eat these by the dozen and made a film about how good they are.

Similarly Taco Bell. Food that not only looks, but tastes like someone else has eaten it before and excreted it into the wrapper.

Finally tea. You put the bag in the cup and pour boiling water over it. Please do not bring me a mug of tepid water and a bag for dunking. About the only place to get a decent cuppa is Starbucks. Also iced tea? I suppose in hot climates it kind of makes sense but it's foul tasting.

That said, soul food is marvelous, no country in the world does better BBQ (and the pizza can be as good as anything you find in Italy) and I could eat hash browns until they come out of my ears.

penguinopusredux , Wikipedia Report

Jennik
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The thing that often gets me is not the actual food but the recipes in American cookbooks/recipe sites. So many seem to be about a packet of [brand name] and a can of [brand name] and a teaspoon of [brand name]. Two issues: as a Kiwi I have no idea what these products are, and you are adding a whole load of additives etc to your meal instead of using "real" ingredients

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

Someone Asks What 'American' Foods Non-Americans Find Disgusting, And 30 Don't Hold Back Mayoneggs

soccerjazzinfidelity Report

Riani Kivela
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am an American and I don't know what this is supposed to be.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda