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Let’s face it. Those of us in the US are into some strange things. However, it’s hard to have an accurate perspective on our own food culture when we’re surrounded by it day in and day out. For example, Americans would probably scoff at a banana curry pizza, but it’s a popular topping in Switzerland. Likewise, we have some very American foods that other countries think are weird. Let’s take a look at some classic American staples your international friends might not understand!

Cheese in a Can


I remember putting this stuff on crackers, bread, and pretty much any vegetable my mom tried to feed me. After all, cheese makes everything better, right? This pressurized cheese-like product is something only Americans will understand. Objectively, we probably know it’s not high quality or even “cheese.” However, that won’t stop us from consuming it!

Red Vines


To be fair, I don’t even understand Red Vines or licorice of any kind in general. It is not my favorite snack, and I really, really tried to like it. However, there’s no denying Americans love their Red Vines! The company itself has been around for over a hundred years, and it shows no signs of shutting down any time soon!

Root Beer


Now here is a classic American beverage I can get behind. I love root beer. It reminds me of summers growing up in the midwest. There’s just something about a cold root beer float on those scorching days that makes everything better!

Peanut Butter


This one is strange, but people in other countries not only don’t understand the American concept of peanut butter, they think it’s gross. It’s hard to even find peanut butter in other countries, according to Mashed. People in other countries reportedly dislike peanut butter because it’s too sweet and rich. Funny, that’s exactly why I love peanut butter!



Other countries have applesauce or something similar, but according to Reddit, it’s mainly used as a condiment. This particular Reddit user from the UK says he dunks pork chops in applesauce, but the thought of eating a bowl full of the stuff is disgusting. Well, to each their own! I’ll take a bowl of applesauce any day of the week!


Open Food Facts

Now this one I can understand. Velveeta isn’t cheese, it’s a cheese product, according to its packaging. That means it can’t legally be called cheese. Oh, and you don’t have to refrigerate it, so there’s that. Even with these red flags, I’ll admit that I still cook with it sometimes or use it as part of a chip dip recipe.

Sweet Potato Casserole

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This classic Thanksgiving dish is looked at with disdain in other countries. Sweet potatoes are already sweet, especially when baked, so why add more sugar on top? See, it’s that kind of attitude that we don’t understand here in America. We see it as, “This is sweet? What if we add more sugar?” It totally worked out in the case of sweet potato casserole, in my opinion.

Hershey’s Chocolate


This makes a little more sense to me, since Hershey’s is an American company. However, the international hatred of Hershey’s brand chocolate goes beyond the brand name. Once again, the chief complaint is that Hershey’s chocolate is far too sweet, especially for something that’s already designed to be a sweet treat.

Corn Dogs


This staple fair food is nostalgic to many Americans but abhorrent to many outside the US. What’s wrong with a fried hot dog wrapped in fried corn bread and dipped in ketchup? Nothing, in my opinion. Though, I could see why others might be cautious.



Finally, we have Pop-Tarts. So many of us grew up on these breakfast pastries, myself included. Though, I can admit I was stunned when I had a “real” breakfast pastry. You know, the kind that doesn’t come wrapped in cellophane and isn’t as flat as a cracker. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love Pop-Tarts. But I have to agree that they aren’t pastries in the traditional sense of the word. I could see why people outside of the US would be disappointed and even disgusted at this American breakfast staple!

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