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15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us

Or you could, you know, just eat some actual fruit.
Or you could, you know, just eat some actual fruit.

"Boiled animal bones and hide, colored with garish chemicals, served with fruit," wrote food blogger Dr. Ricky on Twitter yesterday. "Oh, you like your Jell-O don't you?"

When deconstructed in this way, a simple childhood dessert like Jell-O suddenly sounds rather vulgar and disgusting. And that was the point.

Or, rather, it was Dr. Ricky's counterpoint to yesterday's post from EOW blogger Sam Brown on foods to avoid, which included foreign treats such as fugu (a.k.a. poisonous pufferfish liver -- which, to be fair, can kill you) beondegi.

"Imagine the counter post about disgusting things that 1st worlders take for granted -- like hotdogs," Dr. Ricky suggested.

Instead of imagining it, I went out and asked my foreign-born friends which American and/or Western foods seemed the strangest to them either from afar or once they arrived in the U.S. Their answers were predictably awesome -- and some of them even surprising.

Biscuits and Gravy

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by jeffreyw

"I do think biscuits and gravy are gross and strange." -- Hala, Canada via Lebanon

Peanut Butter

"Peanut butter, it's still weird to me." -- Natacha, Chile

Bacon and Eggs

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Grace

"Bacon and eggs in the morning seemed weird to me. And then I realized that I could wake up really, really early to find myself a nice baguette or croissants for my breakfast!!!!!!" -- Genevieve, France

Pasta and Broccoli

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Sarah

"So when I just came to America when I was eight, we were invited to this nice host family's house for dinner. I didn't understand why they only served noodles (pasta) & green cauliflower (broccoli) for dinner. I thought they didn't like us since they only served two items for the entire dinner! Why was there not five or six dishes, like a Chinese meal? I was such an uninformed kid!" -- Miya, China

Black Pepper

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Dottie Mae

"I was born here but I always thought it was an "American" thing to have black pepper at every table - my mother (Cuban/Spanish meals at home) never used any type of pepper. I had to get used to spicy foods and explain to people that not all Hispanics liked spicy foods." -- Elaine, Cuban/Spanish

 

Three Warm Meals a Day

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Jeremy Brooks

"Three warm meals a day was odd to me. What threw me off more was lunch. To me, people were eating a dinner at 11 and then again a dinner later." -- Iris, Germany

Soft Bread

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Nicole Cho

"Also, the general squishy bread." -- Iris, Germany

Red Velvet Cake

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by vnysia

"Red velvet cake with all that dye." -- Dragana, Serbia via South Africa

Mayonnaise

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by A. Lau

"Mayonnaise! People put that on everything, some even dip their french fries on it!! Yuck!!" -- Pat, Mexico

Grits

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by danuv

"One word: grits." -- Arthur, The Netherlands

 

Huge Portion Sizes

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Rick Panganiban

"I thought the portion sizes were obscene. Still do." -- Doug, England

Salad Dressing

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by alsis35

"For me, it was salad dressing, any kind." -- Joselyne, Mexico

Frito Pie

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Troy Fields

"I still can't stomach the sight, taste, or thought of Frito pie." -- Dragana, Serbia via South Africa

Cheese

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us

"I always (and still think) cheese is weird." -- Miya, China

Free Refills

15 American Foods That Are as Weird to Foreigners as Poisonous Blowfish Is to Us
Photo by Staci Myers

"Iris was also really surprised the first time she saw one of those giant Iced teas in the red cups (like at Pizza Hut or something). She thought it was the biggest thing she ever saw. When we drank them, and they refilled it for free, her head exploded." -- Ryan, husband of Iris, Germany



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