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20 American Foods That Non-Americans Will Probably Never Understand

Let's start off by agreeing there's plenty of international foods that many Americans will never understand. Chances are, most of us won't ever see the appeal of haggis, the classic Scottish dish made from sheep organs. We are unlikely to choose Marmite, the brown, salty spread beloved by Brits, over peanut butter. And while the braver among us might give crispy chicken feet a try when traveling East Asia or South America, we're probably not going to pack poultry bones into our kids' lunchboxes anytime soon. But we get it, because we love our own weird American food.

For all the foreign dishes we find confusing, there are plenty of American dishes that non-Americans find odd, troubling, and downright revolting. We took to Reddit to find out what folks from other countries consider weird American food. Let's be clear, though: America is a big country and not even people who have lived here all their lives get some of the country's favorite regional foods. For example, most people outside the South have probably never heard of Koolickles (pickles soaked in Kool-Aid), so many people can't stand Spam, and even classics like meatloaf are considered weird by many.

So without further ado, here are 20 American foods that non-Americans do not and probably will not ever get.

1. Grits


To be fair, not even every American gets grits. This Southern food isn't even popular in every part of the South. If you've never tried it, trust us and put cheese on it. You can even get gluten free grits at your local grocery store.

by u/yummy_yummy_red_wine from discussion Non-American redditors, what American food do you consider to be completely gross or weird?
in AskReddit

2. Cheese Whiz

spray cheese on cracker

We can agree that Cheez Whiz is a weird American food. It's less the taste and more the fact that it's spray cheese. We're easily entertained, okay?

3. Red Vines

Red vines

Licorice of any kind tends to be polarizing, even in the United States. This one depends on your personal taste buds and preferences.

4. Sugary Cereal

colorful cereal fruit loops

Kids love the sugary cereal. We're not sure it's one of the weirdest foods, but it's definitely not good for you. But hey, at least we have plenty of low-calorie and high fiber cereals as well to make up for that. Right?

5. American Bread

sliced bread in basket

Not all American bread is baked the same, but plain white sandwich bread isn't the best, we agree.

6. Root Beer

Apparently, root beer tastes like cough syrup made in other countries. It's kind of like how many Americans don't like black licorice, so although we think root beer is awesome (especially in the form of root beer floats), we can understand how this one would be considered  weird American food.

7. Peanut Butter

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

All we can say is, more for us. We're happy to proudly call Reese's, PB&Js, peanut butter on apples, and any other type of concoction with peanut butter - even the pickle and peanut butter sandwich - American favorites.

8. Hot Dogs

It all depends on what kind of hot dog you get, though there's just something about getting a dog from a street vendor or the classic $1 Costco hot dog. Put on some ketchup, mustard and relish and we're good to go. We're also fond of hot dogs used in casseroles and battered and deep fried as corn dogs.

9. Apple Sauce


Apple sauce is a truly great invention and lunch boxes wouldn't be the same without it. We stand by this "weird food" no matter what anyone says.

10. Taco Bell

(Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Taco Bell)

Maybe most fast food seems weird in countries where eating in your car isn't a thing, but there is a place and time for Taco Bell cravings and we get that it's nowhere but America, usually after midnight.


11. Pop Tarts

It's not that breakfast pastry is a weird American food, but they are so much better if you make them yourself.


12. American Chocolate

Getty Images/YelenaYemchuk

Yeah, this is one we have to agree with. American chocolate is not the best out there.

13. Pancakes a la Mode

pancakes with ice cream

For the record, pancakes with ice cream are not a standard breakfast food. Also for the record, pancakes with ice cream are a really good combo.

14. Buttery Popcorn

It's a movie theater-only treat; there's nothing like eating a giant bucket of buttery popcorn while you watch previews.

15. KFC Double-Down

kfc double down sandwich


The fried chicken fillets instead of bread on this chicken sandwich are a little out of the ordinary, but that's how we roll with weird American food here in the States.

16. Big American Breakfasts

big breakfast

Waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs. I mean, you can even get most of those items in one thing at McDonald's. And since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we're good with a big breakfast.

17. Velveeta

cheese dip

We know it sounds and looks a weird American food, but Velveeta melts like a dream which makes it perfect for cheese dip.

18. Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow

Sweet potato with marshmallow

Thanksgiving has its own set of comfort foods and sweet potatoes with marshmallows definitely fits the description, though adding marshmallows to a vegetable makes it a weird American food.

19. Coldstone Creamery

Americans do tend toward excess and the whole experience at Coldstone is all about excess.

20. American Cheese

sliced cheese

To be fair, a lot of Americans don't really like American cheese in the form of Kraft singles either, at least once they grow up. Processed cheese isn't really cheese, so it counts as a weird American food.

READ MORE: The Fast Food Restaurant Voted America's Best Might Surprise You