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10 Repulsive American Foods, According to Non-Americans

American cuisine is a rich tapestry of diverse flavors and culinary traditions. However, what may be considered delicious and enticing to Americans might be repulsive to individuals from other parts of the world. Cultural differences and varying palates contribute to contrasting opinions on certain American foods. In this article, we explore ten repulsive American foods, according to non-Americans, shedding light on these peculiar culinary choices.

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

The combination of sweet jelly/jam with savory peanut butter can be unusual for those unfamiliar with this classic American staple. While Americans adore this quick and easy sandwich, individuals from other cultures might find the amalgamation of flavors odd or unappetizing.

2. Deep-Fried Twinkies

The idea of deep-frying a pre-packaged cake snack can be seen as excessive and unhealthy. Twinkies, with their spongy texture and creamy filling, are iconic in America. However, non-Americans may find the concept of deep-frying these already indulgent treats repulsive and unnecessary.

3. Jell-O Salad

A mixture of gelatin, fruits, and sometimes vegetables, Jell-O Salad may seem odd to those unaccustomed to combining gelatin with savory ingredients. This colorful and wobbly dish is a common sight at American potlucks and holiday gatherings. However, the idea of gelatin and vegetables together can be quite perplexing to those from different cultural backgrounds.

4. Chitlins

Fried or boiled pig intestines, chitlins are a traditional Southern dish that can be off-putting due to its strong smell and acquired taste. While they hold cultural significance for many Americans, the idea of consuming intestines can be repugnant for non-Americans, who may not be accustomed to such culinary choices.

5. Corn Dogs

Hot dogs coated in cornmeal batter and deep-fried, corn dogs are a combination that may seem unusual or overly indulgent to some. This fairground favorite is cherished by Americans, but the concept of encasing a sausage in cornbread and frying it to golden perfection might not appeal to individuals from other countries.

6. Spray Cheese

Processed cheese in an aerosol can, spray cheese can be seen as unnatural and unappetizing by those accustomed to traditional cheese. While convenience is a significant factor behind its popularity, the idea of dispensing cheese from a can, instead of savoring carefully crafted artisanal varieties, can be quite repulsive to non-Americans.

7. Scrapple

A breakfast meat made from pork scraps and cornmeal, scrapple can be considered an acquired taste due to its texture and strong flavor. This regional dish found primarily in the Mid-Atlantic states of the United States can be polarizing. Its unique combination of ingredients and the inclusion of pork scraps might deter non-Americans from embracing it.

8. Meatloaf

A mixture of ground meat, breadcrumbs, and other ingredients baked in a loaf shape, meatloaf is a comfort food classic. However, its appearance and perceived simplicity can be unappealing to some. Non-Americans might find the concept of a loaf-shaped dish made primarily from ground meat less enticing compared to other culinary options.

9. Grits

A dish made from ground corn, often served as a breakfast side dish, grits can be unfamiliar and have a unique texture to non-Americans. Grits, a staple in Southern cuisine, are enjoyed by many Americans. However, individuals from other countries might find the texture of this corn-based dish puzzling, as it differs from their traditional breakfast offerings.

10. Candy Corn

A popular Halloween candy made from corn syrup and sugar, candy corn can be divisive due to its overly sweet and waxy texture. While Americans often associate this tri-colored candy with festive celebrations, it is met with mixed reviews from non-Americans. The intense sweetness and distinct texture of candy corn can make it repulsive to those who prefer more subtle and nuanced treats.

In conclusion, American cuisine boasts a wide array of flavors and dishes that have become part of the cultural fabric. However, what may be appealing to Americans might not be as enticing to individuals from different backgrounds. The repulsiveness of certain American foods, as perceived by non-Americans, often stems from cultural disparities and divergent taste preferences. It is these differences that make global culinary exploration fascinating and open the door to diverse gastronomic experiences.


1. Are these repulsive American foods universally disliked?

No, opinions on food can vary greatly across cultures and individuals. While these foods may be considered repulsive by some non-Americans, others may find them intriguing or even delicious.

2. Can I find these repulsive American foods outside of the United States?

In certain cases, these foods have gained popularity or are available in international markets or restaurants specializing in American cuisine. However, their presence may vary depending on the region and local preferences.

3. Why do Americans enjoy these repulsive foods?

Cultural and historical factors play a significant role in shaping culinary preferences. These repulsive foods often have deep-rooted traditions and nostalgic associations for Americans, which contribute to their enjoyment.

4. Are there any alternative American foods that non-Americans find appealing?

Absolutely! American cuisine offers a vast array of dishes that are widely appreciated by individuals from different cultures. Foods like hamburgers, barbecue, and apple pie are often celebrated and enjoyed by non-Americans as well.

5. How can I overcome cultural differences in food preferences?

Embrace diversity and be open to trying new foods. Exploring different cuisines and understanding the cultural context behind them can lead to a greater appreciation for varied tastes and culinary traditions.

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