Foreign Perspectives: Surprising American Foods That Non-Americans Find Weird and Disgusting

When it comes to food, what’s considered normal in one culture can be seen as bizarre or even disgusting in another. This is true even for American cuisine, which is often viewed as relatively tame compared to some of the more exotic dishes found around the world. However, there are a few American foods that non-Americans often find surprising, weird, or even disgusting. Let’s take a look at some of these dishes and explore why they might be seen this way by people from other cultures.

American Cheese

While Americans might love their cheese slices for their meltability and convenience, many foreigners find the idea of processed cheese to be unappetizing. In countries like France and Italy, where cheese is a revered culinary tradition, American cheese is often seen as a poor imitation of the real thing.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Considered a classic American comfort food, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is often met with confusion by non-Americans. The combination of sweet and salty is not common in many other cultures, making this sandwich a strange concept for many.

Root Beer

Root beer is another American favorite that often doesn’t translate well overseas. Many foreigners describe the flavor as similar to mouthwash or medicinal. In fact, in some countries like Denmark and France, certain ingredients in root beer are even banned due to health concerns.

Corn Dogs

The corn dog, a hot dog coated in cornmeal batter and deep-fried, is a staple at American fairs and carnivals. However, the idea of a deep-fried hot dog is often seen as excessive and unhealthy by non-Americans.


These pre-packaged, sugary pastries are a common breakfast item in the United States, but many foreigners find them overly sweet and artificial tasting. In countries where breakfast is typically a savory meal, the idea of starting the day with something so sweet can be off-putting.


Grits, a type of cornmeal porridge, is a traditional dish in the Southern United States. However, its texture and lack of flavor can be off-putting to those unfamiliar with the dish.

In conclusion, while these foods may seem normal or even delicious to Americans, they can be quite strange to people from other cultures. It’s a reminder that food preferences are largely shaped by what we’re used to, and what’s considered “normal” can vary greatly from one culture to another.