20 American Foods That the Rest of The World Just Can’t Stomach

They say you are what you eat, but for these treats, you might want to wish otherwise. Read on for the top 20 foods that Americans may love but the rest of the world just absolutely can’t stand.

Canned Cheese

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The very idea of cheese in a can may seem bewildering, but it’s remained a convenient (and nostalgic) snack for some Americans. Meanwhile, others are left questioning how this processed cheese product ever gained popularity.


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Grits, a Southern staple, often leaves foreigners scratching their heads. This cornmeal-based dish can be quite polarizing, as its texture and blandness can be off-putting to newcomers.

Root Beer

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Although root beer is a beloved soda in the United States, its unique flavor profile can be perplexing to international taste buds. Some find the taste similar to cough medicine, making it a hard sell outside of the states.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

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The iconic PB&J sandwich is a childhood favorite in America, but many visitors find the combination strange. Steeped in a strange mix of sweet and salty flavors, it’s safe to say this classic comfort food is an acquired taste.


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These golden sponge cakes filled with creamy goodness have been a state-side favorite for decades. However, the rest of the world remains (logically) skeptical of these preservative-laden snacks, as their unnatural shelf life raises eyebrows.

Corn Dogs

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The ‘corn dog’ is a hot dog on a stick that’s been coated in cornmeal batter and deep-fried. It’s a staple at American fairs and carnivals, but for those outside the U.S., the concept of deep-fried, battered hot dogs may seem a bit excessive.

Biscuits and Gravy

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A quintessential southern breakfast, biscuits and gravy can be quite puzzling to foreigners. The idea of smothering fluffy biscuits in a thick, meaty gravy often doesn’t strike one as the most appealing way to start the day.


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These toaster pastries, filled with various sweet fillings, are a popular breakfast choice in the states. That said, their ultra-sugary contents and artificial flavors are enough to dissuade international visitors.

American “Chocolate”

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American chocolate has a reputation for being overly sweet and waxy compared to its European counterparts. Many people outside the United States find it lacks the rich, smooth flavor they expect from chocolate.


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Meatloaf, a dish made of ground meat mixed with various seasonings and baked, has become a nostalgic comfort food in the United States. To the rest of the world, however, the concept of ‘a loaf of meat’ can be somewhat unappetizing.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

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While sweet potatoes are enjoyed worldwide, the Thanksgiving tradition of topping them with marshmallows for a sweet and savory casserole can seem quite perplexing. It’s safe to say this combination of flavors and textures may not be universally appealing.

Ambrosia Salad

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This fruit salad, made with canned fruit, whipped cream, and marshmallows, is a classic American dessert. However, the rest of the world often finds this concoction overly sweet and questions its classification as a “salad.”

Candy Corn

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Candy corn is a polarizing Halloween treat even within the United States. Its sugary, slightly waxy texture can leave many wondering what the fuss is all about.

Jell-O Salad

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Jell-O salad, a retro dish made with flavored gelatin and various mix-ins, is a puzzling concept for many outside the U.S. The combination of sweet gelatin with savory ingredients like vegetables and mayonnaise can be quite jarring.


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This sugary, artificially flavored drink mix is a suburban childhood staple. However, its neon colors and intense sweetness can be off-putting to those who didn’t grow up with it.

Pimento Cheese

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Pimento cheese, a Southern spread made from cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and diced pimentos, is a beloved comfort food. However, its unique combination of flavors and textures can leave foreigners feeling less than enthusiastic.

Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken fried steak, a breaded and deep-fried piece of beef, is a popular dish in the South. The concept of breading and frying a steak can be perplexing and even unappealing to those from other countries.

Sloppy Joes

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These messy sandwiches, made with ground beef and a tangy tomato sauce, are a favorite in American households. For people outside the United States, the combination of a loose meat filling and a soft bun feels unusual and unappetizing.

Cool Whip

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Cool Whip, a whipped topping made from hydrogenated oils, is commonly used as a dessert topping in the states. Its artificial ingredients and overly sweet flavor can be off-putting to those who are used to more natural whipped cream alternatives.


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Spam, a canned meat product made from pork, is enjoyed in various dishes across the United States. However, the idea of canned meat with a long shelf life can be unappetizing and even alarming to people from other countries.