Stories & anecdotes about “American food” in other countries
Saw this on Reddit and was wildly entertained by what the rest of the world thinks about our food. These stories are compiled by both foreigners, or Americans sharing stories from other countries:
1. I’m Aussie, when I think “American food” I think
- Burgers & Fries
- Large chain takeaway like McDonalds / KFC / Pizza hut / Taco Bell
- Deep fried miscellany
- Outback Steakhouse
The reason I put the last one there, is a group of friends took me out there (in America) for dinner while I was overseas saying “You’ll feel at home!” . The menu had nothing that I had ever heard of on it, it was pretty funny :D
2. When I was living in Thailand, I had some friends mail me a huge box of girl scout cookies (Samoas and Thin Mints). All of the Europeans went fucking NUTS for them and had no idea that the art of the cookie was so complex. And delicious.
3. When I was in Italy, I saw a sign on the street advertising “Pizza Americano”. I thought I’d check out the Italian take on American style pizza.
Well, what I got was a thin crust pizza topped with cut up hot dogs, French fries and ketchup. ಠ_ಠ
4. My uncle had a Japanese business partner visit him in Michigan once. He brought his family, we had a camp fire, and we started making s’mores. The Japanese family was BLOWN AWAY. They had no idea what to make of them! They were very enthusiastic about making their own, though they kept burning the marshmallows. The youngest child kept throwing marshmallows into the pit just to watch them grow and catch fire.
5. I used to work at a lodge in Yosemite and a large part of my job was teaching foreigners to make s’mores. Technically I was just supposed to set out s’mores every night for guests but NONE of the foreign guests had any idea what to do. Always accidentally setting them aflame.
6. Tootsie Rolls are fucking amazing. About 5 years ago, I moved to London. There was an imported and rare sweet store in Covent Garden. I bought a Tootsie Roll log because I remembered hearing it on some yank TV show. It was fabulous. I couldn’t get enough. Problem is, only specialist stores sell them, as well as because they are imported they are like £2-3 a pop. Sometimes I feel a small pride feeling like I am the only Brit who knows of such a delight.
7. When I was in Singapore, (I’m American) they found it very strange that I prefer ice water. Especially in the morning. They asked how it didn’t give me a stomach ache.
8. I was in Paris, and a group of friends and I decided to go to a Mexican restaurant behind where we were staying, you know, for shits and giggles. I ordered a chicken taco. What I got was boiled, unseasoned chicken in a flour tortilla. No cheese, no salsa, no vegetables. With steamed rice on the side. I found a Mexican restaurant in a small city in eastern France. They had “Indian curry” on the menu. I don’t even.
9. Fun fact: Ranch Doritos are called “Cool American” here in Denmark. Possibly also elsewhere in Europe.
10. Germans consider hot dog buns, hamburger buns, donuts and bagels as all American… also “American style” packaged sliced cheese. Coca Cola/Pepsi (of course). Also, white sandwich bread is American. :) And, cupcakes and muffins!
11. I live in Germany. Germans sell “American” style pizza at the store. It’s pizza with hot dogs on it. They also sell bottles of McDonald’s ketchup at the grocery store. I was amused when I first saw that.
12. Last time I was in Scotland, my friend there thought it would be funny to go to an “American” restaurant. Place had Route 66 signs on the walls, pictures of The Fonz, etc. He ordered haggis pizza.
13. I had some friends from Norway over to visit me in the U.S. once. We were at a bowling alley and I picked up a bunch of junk food to bring to the lane. After taking 1 bite of a cheesestick, one of them looked at me and said “I think the fish sticks have gone bad.” I said “those are actually cheese sticks.” His face took on a disgusted expression and he put the rest of the cheesestick down, saying “you guys deep fry CHEESE?!” He seemed pretty shocked by the whole thing.
14. As a food lover and a frequent traveler let me tell you what Europeans and non Americans consider American food: Burgers (obviously), donuts, pizza (although it was originally Italian, no doubt American, specifically the NY version of the Pizza is what spread throughout the world). I was surprised that Australians and many Europeans do not consider BBQ an American thing. However, American BBQ is way way different (imo better) than the Australian counterpart. Texas BBQ? YES PLEASE.
15. In Japan they occasionally serve french fries and spaghetti for their “American” breakfasts in hotels.
16. From France: Skippy shows up in the foreign aisle, as does Maple syrup, and Mac and Cheese - nobody has any idea what these things are.
17. I was in Tokyo Disneyland a couple years back. There was a section of it based off of New York, and they had a Pizzeria that advertised “American Pizza”. Having been in Japan for half a year, this sounded exactly like what I needed. I go in and order the “American pie”. They serve me a pie with mayonnaise drizzled on top, and a fried egg dead in the center.
18. As a Canadian traveling in Europe I was surprised, and a bit disgusted, by the typical greasy spoon’s idea of an “American sandwich/sub” which was three burger patties on a baguette with french fries (in the sandwich) and heaps of ketchup/mayonnaise. Not even the Americans are that disgusting.
19. I live in small town Korea. They think we eat hamburgers & fries or pizza every day. Also, they think fried chicken is Mexican food.
20. I have two very dear friends, one in Australia and the other in Ireland and I have had this convo before. They both would say hot dogs and apple pie. Actually, they are right. Just NEVER, EVER get into a conversation about biscuits. I would say, “Oh, I’m making chicken fried steak, sausage gravy and biscuits.” Both would be disgusted. So, they understand that biscuit is not the cookie they are used to. If I try to tell them, it’s not a dinner roll, not a muffin or a scone or anything, else, they still don’t get it. I try to tell them that it should be flaky and then they both go into pastries. Fluffy? popover? No..I surely think the biscuit defines America. It’s simple, but needs to be flaky, fluffy and sturdy too…it should be able to handle gravy, or sugar or be able to sop up the juices from a roast. It should be able to handle an egg, cheese and accompanying meat or a delicate smothering of honey butter. They never get it. Therefore I nominate the biscuit as the true American food.
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