18 American Foods People Think Are Way Too Strange

America has been a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities throughout its history, and perhaps the best way it demonstrates this is through its food. Every region has its own unique dishes, but some are a lot weirder than others! Let’s go through 18 American foods that people think are way too strange.

Goober Burger

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Originating from a small drive-in burger joint, this meal consists of a beef patty topped with peanut butter. The unique combination of savory beef with sweet peanut butter is bound to put off quite a few people, especially those from outside the USA.

Chicken Fried Steak

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Surprise! Confusingly, chicken fried steak is actually beef steak, which has been breaded and deep-fried. This southern dish, with German and Austrian influences, is often served with cream gravy, making the name even more misleading. Non-Americans tend to find deep-fried beef pretty odd!


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Yep, this is a combination of pickles and Kool-Aid! A colorful and unusual southern snack, koolickles are made by brining pickles in Kool-Aid. The resulting mixture has both the tang of pickles and the sweetness of Kool-Aid, but will likely gross out anyone who isn’t familiar with this treat.

Poop on a Shingle (SOS)

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The name alone is enough to put off potential eaters. Poop on a shingle is an open-faced sandwich topped with creamed meat, usually ground meat from a bison or lamb. It’s a regional dish in Philadelphia, often made with chipped beef, though it is typically off-putting to others.

Eskimo Ice Cream (Akutaq)

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According to Culture Trip, this traditional Alaskan food is a mixture of reindeer fat, seal oil, snow, and berries. It may sound unappetizing, but don’t knock it until you try it! It’s usually served to celebrate hunting accomplishments and at other celebrations, such as weddings.

Garbage Plate

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Another unappetizing choice of name, Garbage Plate originated in Rochester, New York, and is a combination of macaroni salad, potatoes, and various meats, with a topping of onions, mustard, and spicy meat sauce. You may find that it has quite a misleading name if you try it yourself, as it’s pretty delicious.

Fried Chicken and Waffles

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This unique blend of contrasting flavors—a combination of sweet waffles with salty fried chicken—is a classic southern meal. Of course, the contrast, which is part of its appeal to many, will also put off a lot of people who don’t like the idea of mixing sweet and savory food.

Biscuits and Gravy

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As shared by the Washington Post, this classic southern breakfast dish consists of buttermilk biscuits topped with savory white gravy. The confusion with this dish mostly stems from the difference between American and British biscuits. The UK calls most cookies ‘biscuits,’ making the idea of mixing them with gravy gross! 

Sweet Potato Casserole

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This traditional American holiday dish is a blend of sweet and savory flavors. The twist with this meal comes from the casserole being topped with marshmallows. An interesting choice, and one that is bound to befuddle non-Americans.

Frito Pie

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A curious combination of flavors and textures, this pie is made using Fritos and chili and is certain to confuse those hearing about it for the first time. Known for its simplicity and uniqueness, this meal is a staple in many people’s homes. To those who haven’t eaten it, however, it can be considered strange!

Fried Chicken Gizzards

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Common in the Southeast of the United States, according to Table Agent, fried chicken gizzards are considered a delicacy in the region. Gizzards from the chicken’s digestive tract are fried and then enjoyed—an acquired taste for those not familiar with eating the internal organs of animals.

Fried Squirrel

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Many non-Americans (and some Americans alike) are not used to the idea of eating squirrels, making this food item a strange one to them. Popular in Kentucky and Upper Michigan, this meal involves marinating and frying squirrel meat. It’s known to taste like a cross between chicken and rabbit—an interesting option for curious eaters!

Slug Burger

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Fortunately, the recipe for this dish doesn’t involve actual slugs. Slug burgers originated during the Depression in order to stretch meat supplies. It’s essentially a small burger extended with soybean grits and served with mustard, pickles, and onions. Both the name and the meal itself are considered strange, however.


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USA Today states that burgoo is traditional in Kentucky, where it’s often cooked for large community gatherings. This spicy stew is made with various meats (including squirrel), corn, cabbage, carrots, and the mysterious burgoo seasoning that gives it its iconic kick.

Buffalo Ribs

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Popular in Arkansas, buffalo ribs are actually from the buffalo fish, not the mammal. Deep-fried and served as a regional specialty, buffalo ribs are a treat to any interested foodie willing to try out something different.

Clam Pie

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Originating from Connecticut, clam pie is a pizza topped with clams and often made with a white sauce. Of course, many people are put off by the idea of this unusual seafood being used as a topping for pizza, but it may be worth a try, as this recipe has been around for decades.


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Geoduck, a large deep-water clam from the Pacific Northwest known for its intimidating size and appearance, is eaten in various forms, including sashimi. For non-natives who don’t eat a lot of seafood, geoduck could be considered off-putting.

Pickled Pigs’ Feet

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Eaten straight from the jar and often with hot sauce, pickled pigs’ feet are, as you likely guessed, pigs’ feet cured in vinegar and spices. This southern dish is not widely known outside the region, and the idea of eating the feet of any animal is incredibly strange to many people.

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