When it comes to food, it seems like pretty much everyone has a strong opinion. It’s difficult not to be picky about what goes in your mouth and stomach. And when it comes to other countries' cuisines and the quality of ingredients, you’ll find that many folks are incredibly vocal about their likes and dislikes. Mainly the latter.

Redditor u/ergoegthatis asked non-Americans to share what American foods, in their opinion, are the ‘nastiest.’ We’ve collected some of their posts to show you the range of opinions others have about US food. Scroll down and be sure to voice your own thoughts in the comments, Pandas. What American food do you love the most? What do you absolutely hate? There are a lot of options to choose from.

Oh, and just to be completely open and honest with you, Pandas: we absolutely looove having a cheeky American meal… from time to time. Pretty much every country has its culinary stars and kitchen disasters—and a lot depends on personal taste and the lifestyle you enjoy leading. So take everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt. Usually, the issue isn’t with the food item or dish itself, so much as the low quality of the ingredients, the portion size, and whether you gobble everything up or eat slowly. Enjoying. Every. Single. Bite.

Bored Panda reached out to redditor u/ergoegthatis, and we had a friendly chat about the wide range of American food, what dishes they did and didn't enjoy at home and abroad, and why they definitely recommend traveling and broadening one's horizons.

"I was traveling outside the US and tried the cheeses there and they were a world of difference from the cheese-like substitutes we have in the US, which look and taste disgusting now compared to authentic cheeses. I look at them and think, 'Am I the only one grossed out by these fake cheeses?' A few days later, I came across an old news story about a famous donut company that turned its signature glazed donut into a drink, which also sounds nasty and not just because of how horribly unhealthy it is," they explained what drove them to create the thread in the first place. (We have to agree, cheese elsewhere is far better!)

Remember: everything in moderation; even food critiques!

#1

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans That bright orange plastic that you call "cheese".

The100thIdiot , wikimedia.commons Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am American and that stuff is only good for grilled cheese sandwiches.

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In redditor u/ergoegthatis' experience, American cuisine is "radically different" from what they've seen around the world.

"The emphasis in American food is on taste and speed. This doesn't mean all of American food is like this," they pointed out.

"The US is huge with a lot of different foods such as jambalaya, chili, gumbo, Kentucky burgoo, shrimp and grits, Brunswick stew, and many other dishes with history. But there is definitely a characteristic that has been influencing a lot of American food which is speed and taste," the author of the thread shared with us.

"This also affected how we eat: quickly, in massive portions. In other countries I traveled to, I noticed many eat slowly and enjoy the food while making conversation. They also have much healthier food, more plant ingredients, and less sugar/flour/additives."

#2

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Those Midwestern "fruit salads" where half of the ingredients is marshmallow fluff or mini marshmallows, Jello, whipped cream... I have a high tolerance for American food, but I cannot handle these, or even comprehend why and how they exist.

CecilPalmer , dkmadness Report

Benita Valdez
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm with you on that. I don't see it around much these days so hopefully people got the hint it's gross and that we shouldn't abuse fruit like that

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However, it's not like everything is automatically delicious abroad. "Dishes I didn't like abroad were some super pungent cheeses in Europe, sheep tripe in the Middle East, and excessive use of coconut in Asian countries," they opened up to Bored Panda. "I'm used to this being part of desserts but there it's added to even savory dishes."

The redditor has a lot of favorite American dishes, too, and it's going to be very relatable to most of you Pandas. "My mom's cooking of course! Nothing greater in the whole world. Brown rice and seasoned chicken/lamb is her specialty. Other American dishes I love are Philly cheesesteak (with real cheese only), grits with butter, and Texas barbecue." There's absolutely nothing like a homemade meal, prepared with love.

"I'd like to add some advice to everyone, especially Americans: travel! Get a passport and travel. There's a whole world out there of culture, art, history, relaxation, and of course, food. The US is large and diverse but that is not enough. If you don't travel to many other countries, you have not lived," the OP urged.

#4

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Those cakes that have large amounts of fondant on them. The time and talent it would take to make one of these cakes is unreal but fondant is just nasty tasting in my opinion. That was not meant to offend anyone.

Orphan_Sandwich-06 , Katie Rosario Report

#5

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans The prevalence of high fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, being in Canada, it's bleeding over the border as a lot of products here are manufactured in the USA.

yugosaki , Pixabay Report

Benita Valdez
Community Member
1 week ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate this soooooo much. Fortunately, they're putting out more products without high fructose corn syrup. I really wish we'd stop putting that cráp in everything

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#6

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans American bread. I'm sure you can get good bread somewhere in the US, but the generally available, sugary, long-shelf-life bread is so appalling.
Now, of course, your export of fast-food restaurants has nothing to do with haute cuisine, but any burger would be so much better if at least you used acceptable bread.

UhtredTheCold , Charles Chen Report

Be honest, Pandas, are we the only ones craving artisanal cheeses with a side of junk food? It’s perfectly fine to have a cheat meal once in a while. But if your entire diet consists of sugary snacks, meals dripping with saturated fat, with no fiber to be seen anywhere, you’re probably wrecking your health.

Unfortunately, the cold hard truth is that the people living in the United States have pretty awful dietary habits. Far from everyone; but most. The CDC found that 73.6% of all American adults over the age of 20 were either overweight or obese. Meanwhile, 41.9% of adults are considered to be obese. Nobody deserves to be body-shamed. However, obesity shouldn’t be celebrated, considering the health risks it poses.

Obesity leads to a far lower-quality life and increases one’s health risks. It can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, clinical depression, and others.

Though there are various other factors to consider when it comes to health and obesity (e.g. genetics, eating disorders), the general tendency is that Americans eat poorly, live more sedentary lives, and simply don’t exercise enough. However, this health crisis isn’t a purely American one. For example, the NHS reports that in the UK, two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

#7

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Some of the savoury Jello recipes from the 50s and 60s look grim.

TimGJ1964 , root_27 Report

#8

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans That Thanksgiving dish Americans love with marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes — it sounds and looks disgusting.

anonymoustrashpandas , dingdongyourmomhasa Report

Daniel Atkins
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They are much better with pecans and brown sugar on top

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#9

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans the chocolate out there is FOUL

lcg25 , Nathana Rebouças Report

RyanRyanRyan
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

unfortunately true. I'm so glad I moved to Panamá and live on a chocolate farm. Totally serious; suck on cacao seeds all the time for a snack.

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In the US, the FDA has a reactive approach to food standards inspections. What this means is that food additives are allowed, unless they’re proven to be harmful. Meanwhile, in Europe, the exact opposite happens: regulations are stricter. Additives must be proven to be unharmful before they’re allowed to be used in food items.

According to Politico, the FDA is pretty much a hot mess. “Food is not a high priority at the Food and Drug Administration. [...] Over the years, the food side of FDA has been so ignored and grown so dysfunctional that even former FDA commissioners readily acknowledged problems. There’s a long running joke among officials: The ‘F’ in FDA is silent,” writes Helena Bottemiller Evich.

Overall, this means that food grown and manufactured in the US is more likely to have growth hormones and chemical preservatives in them. This isn’t good news for someone who wants to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle! Compare the food that the US is known for with that from, say, Italy, Spain, or Japan. The cultural difference, when it comes to the culinary arts, is massive: quality local ingredients and smaller portion sizes (among other important factors!) result in a higher quality of life. And the life expectancy speaks for itself.

In the US, the average life expectancy is 74.5 years. Compare that to 81.6 years in Japan, 80.1 years in Italy, and 79.7 years in Spain. The difference is staggering. However much we might like that fake orange cheese, it really isn’t good for us.

#10

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans I once had a pizza in America and it had ranch dressing on it. Ranch dressing doesn't really exist in Europe and it's this weird salty fatty mayo-like sauce and it certainly does not belong on a pizza. Or inside a human body for that matter.

No-Vehicle6028 , Ginny Report

#12

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Boiled peanuts. My wife loves them and every time we drove through South Carolina we had to stop and buy them. The stench was so bad I would have to roll the windows down. Those peanuts and Lindsey Graham are on my top two hate list for that state.

Uglycanadianindc , assortedeats Report

Richard Anderson
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think I would eat boiled peanuts before I would eat Lindsey Graham.

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#13

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Chinese Canadian. I'm going to provoke a lot of proud Southerners with this. Sweet tea is sugar water with a hint of tea.

My first experience of sweet tea was at a Floridian McDonald's. I ordered iced tea and I got the question of "sweet or unsweet?" I'm dying of the heat and humidity (Canadians don't do well in hot weather) and I wanted slightly sweetened tea and I didn't know the history of sweet tea (sugar was expensive so people showed off by mixing diabetes inducing amounts of the stuff into their tea) so I was expecting anything but a sugar syrup in a cup.

I went back and bought a bottle of water. If a 12 year old with no easy access to sugar thinks it's too sweet to drink, it is.

Also, any mayo based salad! Ewww.

astrangeone88 , bady abbas Report

Kayla J
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

McDonalds sweet tea is on a totally other level than Southern sweet tea.

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#16

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans I had a deep-fried Mars bar at a festival in America the first time I ever visited and I'm reasonably sure it's going to give a few of my ancestors diabetes

Initial_School7286 , Outatime_doc Report

Kayla J
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As an American, I am not totally familiar with what a Mars bar really is so I clicked through to Reddit to see the comments and learned the deep fried version is actually of Scottish origin, how about that!

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#17

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Twinkies. Not food though lol.

MrMorsley , Mike Mozart Report

Birdy
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think Twinkies, along with cockroaches will survive a nuclear apocalypse 🙃

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#18

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Twizzlers, I found some in a shop in London and decided to buy some, they were the nastiest things I'd ever tasted and for the price I paid for them, I'm disappointed

gay_idiot53 , Mark Bonica Report

Ellie
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Twizzlers taste like someone was vaguely thinking of cherries while putting plastic bags thru a noodle press

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#19

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans When they introduce me chicago pizza something in me died, that should not be called pizza is just a devil fat pie.

2019Loser , Manvi Mathur Report

ATM
Community Member
1 week ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You know the expression “There’s no such thing as bad sex or bad pizza” your pizza is like sex with a corpse made of sandpaper. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! THIS IS NOT PIZZA! THIS IS TOMATO SOUP IN A BREAD BOWL! THIS- IS AN ABOVE GROUND MARINARA SWIMMING POOL FOR RATS! Let me tell you something about your f**k!ng NOT PIZZA! I wanna know when I get drunk and pass out on my pizza that I’m not gonna drown. Let me tell you something! I look at this-! MMMARGH! YOU SONOFAB!TCH! I LOOK AT THIS! MEEEAUGH! GABBA-GOO! I look at this— When I look at your deep dish f**k!ng pizza I don’t know whether to eat it or throw a coin in it and make a wish. AND IF I MADE A WISH IT WOULD BE THAT I WISH FOR SOME REAAAL F**K!NG PIZZA!

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#20

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Their dessert. I lived there for 3 years and the amount of sugar they dump into their desserts are mindblowing. Beautiful to look at but holy s**t were they sweet as hell.

Ililea , Nicole Michalou Report

Benita Valdez
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And that's the reason I learned how to bake. Everything you buy here is too freaking sweet and I can't handle it; sometimes it makes me gag when I try a dessert

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#21

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Poptarts or whatever they’re called. And twinkies.

Living-Departure-102 , CaligulasPeri Report

Nolgoth
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those pictured must be some off brand ones cuz those are weak lookin poptarts lol

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#22

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans The felt obsession with anything deep-fried is unnerving to me. There's a good few things that are excellent deep-fried, don't get me wrong, but putting literally anything in batter and frying it seems... self-destructive at best.

MonolGaming , Wine Dharma Report

BeepBeepBoopBoop
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

sometimes I think it's just curiosity! Like I see something I love that's deep fried... I wonder what it'll taste like ngl. Especially at fun events like festivals. It's not like we're eating it all the time

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#23

I tried a big-name American chocolate brand once but couldn’t eat it due to the vomit smell and taste.

TomomiimomoT Report

Gustav Gallifrey
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At this end of the galaxy-scale: Belgian chocolate. At the other end: American chocolate.

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#24

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans I find biscuits and gravy to be absolutely disgusting. But I'd like to counter-balance that by adding how crazy delicious corn bread is and why on earth hasn't it become a staple here in Europe? It's SO yummy!

FifiLaFifi , CcaidenN Report

Benita Valdez
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love fresh homemade biscuits and gravy. I do find that in restaurants the gravy is usually too salty, has too much flour or is a congealed glop so I'll only have it if I make it. Also, cornbread with a little maple butter is heavenly

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#25

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans I hate scrapple. There's a reason the word 'crap' is in the middle of it.

mrmitchs , wikimedia.commons Report

#26

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Pig feet.

LeRacoonRouge , /bob-the-cook Report

Diamond
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it’s good that someone is eating them, rather than have them discarded. I’m also glad that I’m not the one who has to eat them.

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#27

American here, absolutely DESPISE pre-packaged frosting. It’s either as hard as a rock or a liquid. Don’t know what they put in that stuff but it’s just awful.

WinterPublic2776 Report

Laura Jackson
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My son and I may be considered weird here but we're ok with it. We both despise frosting/icing. Nope, not gonna eat it on cake, not gonna like the frosting knife or stick our finger in the bowl to taste. It's mostly lard/shortening and a touch of flavor with food coloring. Fondant? Oh, hell no. We will scrape a cake until it crumbles to get it off so we can eat it. If I make cake or cupcakes at home I leave about half unfrosted for us to enjoy. We do actually like the frosting made with whipped cream (real, not the Cool Whip c**p in a bowl) but we eat it in a thin layer. I also will sometimes bake cakes with chocolate or caramel chips, different fruits, or even pudding in the mix if we want a little more flavor at times. To each their own, I suppose!😉

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#29

Ghirardelli, Guittard, Dove, Scharffen Berger, and hundreds of smaller companies are fine. Pretty much just avoid anything you would find near the register at a grocery store

mostlikelynotasnail Report

BeepBeepBoopBoop
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

dove chocolate - 10/10. Their dark chocolate is perfect if you don't want something too sweet

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#30

30 'American' Foods That Are Nasty According To Non-Americans Corn dog

6IXTY9INEhaha , Blake Guidry Report

ƒιѕн
Community Member
1 week ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everything is a carrot if you're brave enough (said some random person on BP)

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Note: this post originally had 33 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.