19 American Foods Other Countries Just Don’t Want to Eat

American cuisine is hugely varied and influenced by a multitude of cultures, but there are a few U.S. delicacies and flavor combinations that leave foreigners perplexed or even disgusted! Here are 19 American foods that often leave international visitors shaking their heads in distaste and never appear on menus or dinner plates outside of the United States.

Deep-Fried Oreos

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This intensely calorific treat is common at state fairs and involves dunking everyone’s favorite cookie in batter before frying. While it may seem ‘normal’ to us, non-Americans often find the result too sweet, gooey, and greasy. While deep-fried desserts exist elsewhere (e.g., churros in Spain), the sheer amount of fat and sugar in deep-fried Oreos is beyond comparison!

Chicken and Waffles

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According to The Food We Know, this southern staple is well-loved all over the U.S., combining savory fried chicken with waffles drizzled with maple syrup. While mixing meat and syrup is common in America, most cultures eat these foods on separate plates, deeming the textures and flavors to clash rather than complement each other.

Green Bean Casserole

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A ubiquitous Thanksgiving side dish, most foreigners won’t have even heard of green bean casserole—canned beans in a creamy mushroom soup topped with crispy fried onions. Unless you grew up with it, the processed ingredients and the unusual combination of flavors can be off-putting. International dishes typically feature green beans simply steamed or roasted.

Funnel Cake

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This sugary pastry is made by frying streams of batter in hot oil and then dusting them with powdered sugar. It is often served with fruit toppings or whipped cream. Although a carnival favorite in the U.S., the sweet, greasy taste can overwhelm visitors, who may be accustomed to more delicate desserts featuring less sugar and oil. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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This quintessential American lunchbox staple is so familiar to most U.S. citizens that it can be surprising to see foreigners’ reactions when they realize what you’re eating. Business Insider states that the combination is a uniquely American creation, and, in many cultures, nuts are not commonly paired with sweet spreads.


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Most non-Americans only know Twinkies from Hollywood movies, as they aren’t typically available outside the U.S. These golden sponge cakes filled with creamy vanilla filling and dipped in a crunchy sugar coating are a nostalgic treat for many of us. Still, their artificial flavors and highly processed nature can be off-putting for visitors.

Root Beer

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This distinctly American beverage has a sweet, sassafras-infused flavor, an acquired taste many people outside the U.S. are unfamiliar with. Typically non-alcoholic and caffeine-free, the beverage does, nevertheless, contain a lot of sugar, and many visitors liken its flavor to carbonated cough syrup or medicine, making it a drink they’d rather avoid.


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This meaty yet mushy breakfast patty is made from leftover pork trimmings, cornmeal, and spices and then pan-fried. While many Americans love the savory flavor and unusual texture, the greasy ‘mystery meat’ is frequently avoided by international guests, who may come from cultures that typically use whole meat cuts and tend not to deep-fry everything!

Spray Cheese

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This unnaturally bright cheese in a can was developed in WWI to supply cheese to troops fighting in Europe, but like many wartime foods, its popularity beyond that has been limited. Yahoo! News says the artificial color, unnatural texture, and fake-tasting cheesiness are often reviled by cheese connoisseurs, especially in places like France and Switzerland. 

Bologna Sandwiches

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This popular American white-bread sandwich features slices of cold-cut bologna sausage with condiments like mustard and mayonnaise and is a lunchbox staple for many American children. Visitors often find the highly processed, meatloaf-like bologna unappetizing, especially if they are used to higher quality ingredients like whole hams and prosciutto.

Chicken Fried Steak

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The well-loved southern comfort food is made with a tenderized cube chicken steak breaded and deep-fried, then smothered in white gravy. Although fried chicken is enjoyed worldwide, the use of a less desirable cut of meat and the ultra-heavy breaded batter can be a turn-off for international diners—plus, pale gravy isn’t a ‘thing’ in most other countries.

Candy Corn

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Many Americans know and love these brightly colored, triangular candies, which are especially popular at Halloween. Flavored with vanilla, strawberry, and a mystery taste (supposedly butterscotch), the artificial flavors, excessive sweetness, and chalky texture aren’t for everyone, especially those from other countries used to more natural sweet treats.


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What’s Cooking America writes that this ‘soul food’ of pig intestines isn’t popular anywhere except in the southern states. The dish is prepared by boiling, cleaning, seasoning, and then cooking the intestines. Despite offal featuring in other international cuisines, many visitors dislike the idea of chitterlings and don’t enjoy their strong flavor and unique texture.

Philly Cheesesteak

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This iconic Philadelphia sandwich is made from thinly sliced ribeye steak, melted cheese, and onions served on a long white roll. Many Americans (particularly Philadelphians) adore the hearty combination of bread, cheese, and meat, but foreigners with more delicate tastes can find the vegetable-less combination unappealing, especially if prepared with low-quality cheese.


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Although many international breakfasts feature sweet options (jam, pastries, cereal, fruit, etc.), these convenient toaster pastries aren’t a hit anywhere except in the U.S. Although they come in various flavors, the high sugar content, sweet frosting, and highly processed nature deter foreign diners who are used to more wholesome and nutritious breakfasts.

Corn Dogs

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Beloved and iconic in the U.S., these are a popular street food or carnival treat. Hotdog sausages on a stick are dipped in a thick cornbread batter and deep-fried before being served. The unique combination of textures (soft hot dog, crunchy batter) and the heavy breading can be a turn-off for anyone used to lighter, less greasy, higher-quality skewered meats.

Iced Sugar Cookies

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These brightly colored cookies are typically served at American birthday parties and celebrations and decorated with elaborately colored icing. Although other cultures enjoy sugared cookies, the sheer amount of frosting used can be excessive for international visitors, particularly those without a sweet tooth.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

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Despite the name, these are not oysters from the Rocky Mountains. They are bull testicles, breaded and fried, which may explain why anyone who is unused to such cuisine may decline to try them! Organ meats and other body parts are served in several cultures around the world, yet the idea of consuming testicles is something many find a step too far!


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A traditional Christmas-time dessert in the U.S., this dense cake packed with dried fruit, nuts, and candied peels isn’t popular in most other countries. Although British people may indulge in a similar holiday treat, most other European countries enjoy lighter, less complex festive bakes, like gingerbread in Germany or panettone in Italy.

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