While America and Great Britain have a lot in common — the English language, a love of Ian McKellen, enjoyment of sports that involve swinging a bat at a ball with varying rules following contact — their cuisines have some notable differences.
That's the subject of a recent Quora thread that has British citizens weighing in on what American foods they find to be utterly incomprehensible. Here are a few excerpts on the foodstuffs they just can't figure out.
"Then there's baloney. I mean we all know how processed meat is made, but baloney almost brags about it.
Zero fat milk. That's not milk - that's water with some white in it.
Salad dressings that contain more sugar than a typical British dessert. Why would you put sugar in salad dressing? Doesn't that kind of ruin the whole point of salad?
Lite beer. If a company can't spell light, they sure as hell aren't going to know how to make good beer. Turns out they don't.
Orange 'cheese' squares and/or cheese whizz. Just no." — Adam Steiner
That's basically all fair.
"The most common one has to be root beer, which some British people buy without realizing that it's not beer. Few of them can stand it. However, they have nothing to complain about, given that the UK has Irn-Bru, which is pretty appalling itself." — Ernest W. Adams
Irn-Bru is a sugary carbonated drink made in Scotland, which is sometimes called "Scotland's other national drink," according to Wikipedia, the unassailable bastion of facts and occasional alternative facts.
"I like pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. I like peanut butter - yes, even with jam if you really must, although it's better with honey. I have eaten snails, and they were quite nice (not an American food, but something many people would turn their noses up at.)
But what in the name of heaven are grits?? They look utterly unappetising, and the descriptions I've read have me imagining a sort of salty porridge.
One day I will go to the States and I will try grits, just to understand WTAF they are.
I'm much more looking forward to trying biscuits and gravy. (Both words we Brits use, but in a completely different way.) That looks much more interesting." — Clare Celea
"Hershey’s horrible powdery chocolate springs to mind. There are many things that we find far too sweet, like Lucky Charms (not easy to find here anyway), and the idea of mixing sweet and savoury things is a bit odd to us.
I’m not sure I can add anything else that isn’t here already, however, I can add a few things that I regular see on TV, that I have no idea what they are. These are personal of course, I may be the only one not to know these: Grits, Twinkies, Half and half, Buttermilk, Yams, Biscuits and gravy (I don’t imagine that this is what you’d get if you asked for this in the UK), Corn dogs, Chilli dogs." — Alan Murray
"The obvious candidate for this is the PB&J, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These are pretty common in the US, and to many British people the very idea is repulsive." — Paul Murphy
"Wintergreen flavoured sweets. Why would anyone eat something that smells like a topical antiseptic (Germolene) for pleasure?" — Charlie Taylor
For the most part, those are totally fair criticisms of American food. But don't come after PB&Js. You'll find no one sympathetic to your cause west of the Atlantic.
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