The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:29 PM
Bill H. Bill H. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
what (if anything) do other cultures think is gross in American diets?

Somehow I ended up talking with my 7 year old son about how some cultures eat dogs and eyes and snails and other nasty things. Strange how the conversations always turn in such directions with him. He asked why they eat such gross things, and I told him that it was cultural; that there are likely things we eat that other cultures would find offensive. And he asked, "like what?" And I really couldn't think of anything that we Americans eat that others would find offensive. Meat was the only one that came to mind, but I don't think that really counts.

What American foods are found to be disgusting by other cultures and why?

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:30 PM
CBCD CBCD is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Peanut butter
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:38 PM
duffer duffer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Who in hell doesn't like peanut butter?

Bill, this is a great question. American food is such a mish-mash of world cultures I honestly can't think of anything other than beef to Indians. Though I've heard rumors that one is pretty big over there.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:39 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,547
Cheese is pretty disgusting if you think about it.

Take milk from a cow, curdle it using stomach juices, then let it sit around until it gets moldy and smelly. Mmmmmmmm ... .
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:42 PM
Garfield226 Garfield226 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Cheese is hardly American.

Well, except American cheese. But cheese didn't originate here, as far as I'm aware.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:44 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield226
Cheese is hardly American.

Well, except American cheese. But cheese didn't originate here, as far as I'm aware.
The OP says nothing about foods that originated in America, only ones that are part of an regular american diet.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:45 PM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
I would imagine beef is pretty damn offensive to those of the Hindu persuasion.

Yogurt is also pretty inherently foul but I don't know if anyone considers it offensive.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-08-2004, 04:57 PM
Crandolph Crandolph is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
I haven't been to India, but I've been to Nepal, which is also (basically, mixed with an idiosyncratic Buddhism) Hindu. You can easily order a nice, juicy, yummy water buffalo steak, which is nearly identical to (cow) beef on the plate but by the letter of the law isn't cow.

This leads me to believe that beef isn't so much "disgusting" to the Hindu as it is ethically/morally/legally (in a religious sense) undesirable. Come to think of it, you're not making a sacrifice for your religion unless something is banned that you might want.

I don't think people in South Asia have the "ewww" reaction to beef eaters we might have to eyeballs or insects, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:00 PM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Here is a list of things I can think of straight off the top of my head. Foreigners are likely to find disgusting, or find the idea of eating it disgusting.
That spray cheese stuff, Peanut Butter and Jelly combined, Root Beer, Rocky Mountain Oysters, pumpkin pie, grits...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:02 PM
Crandolph Crandolph is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Loaves of Wonder-type white bread! Although the Bimbo brand is spreading this to parts of Latin America...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:03 PM
Excalibre Excalibre is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield226
Cheese is hardly American.

Well, except American cheese. But cheese didn't originate here, as far as I'm aware.
Yeah, but we eat it. And it's gross, if you think about it. I try not to. I've heard, anyway, that Asians generally find our heavy consumption of dairy products somewhat icky . . . and if you think about drinking a big glass of something that came out of a cow's tits, well, I can't blame 'em.

I drink soy milk.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:26 PM
ComeToTheDarkSideWeHaveCookies ComeToTheDarkSideWeHaveCookies is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
[shameless hijack/] Well, you can't really tell geographically where this particular family tradition is supposed to be taking place, but it does illustrate that...well...we're a resourcefull species.[/hijack]

I personally don't have any conceptual heebie-jeebies about food products made from the milk of other animals, or even cross-species wetnursing. I think there are quite a few folks who would be disgusted by that picture while with the next breath they would "awwww!" over the image of a cat nursing a baby squirrel, which boggles my mind. o_O

I also think that quite a few other cultures would probably be more upset by the things that your average US citizen would refuse to eat, as opposed to what we do eat. We're pretty comparatively fickle, and often wastefully have eyes for only choice cuts of meat (or plants for that matter).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:46 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 11,532
I've known Muslims who have the "eeww, gross!" reaction to pork. Pork in its many forms is certainly a major part of the American diet, or it was until recent years, especially down South.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-08-2004, 05:58 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Crandolph: This leads me to believe that beef isn't so much "disgusting" to the Hindu as it is ethically/morally/legally (in a religious sense) undesirable.

Don't be misled by the many varieties of Hindu dietary practices. Not only are there buffalo-eating Hindus in Nepal, there are beef-eating Hindus (Brahmins, some of them!) in West Bengal and Kerala.

That doesn't mean that many, many other Hindus aren't totally grossed out by the thought of eating beef or buffalo. A Hindu lady I stayed with once in India had an anecdote about her visit to a German hospital when she was living in Europe during a difficult pregnancy, and the hospital staff accidentally gave her beef broth and as soon as she found out what she'd eaten, she threw up. Lots of Hindus feel that way about meat.

It may be a religious prohibition in origin but it definitely expresses itself in terms of the visceral "ewwww" factor for many Hindus.

And yeah, I've known Chinese people who found cheese pretty disgusting.

Does being grossed out by American beer count?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:10 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
re: what (if anything) do other cultures think is gross in American diets?

Quantity.

European and Asian visitors to Canada always comment on the disgusting portion-sizes here-- --and from the Canadian point of view, American portions, which are even bigger, are pretty repulsive.

I've heard it said that it's a bit of a shock the first time you see Americans drinking Coca-Cola out of a dustbin, while grabbing crisps out of something the size of a bin-liner.

Well, yeah. (We're catching up, of course.)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:11 PM
Voodoochile Voodoochile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
According to my Swede wife, things she thought were gross/strange when she first came here are peanut butter (still doesnt like it), root beer (she cant stand it, tastes like toothpaste...and since she said that, thats all I can taste when I drink root beer now), Ranch and Blue Cheese salad dressing, artichokes and a few other things I cant think of now. Most of these things they have in Sweden, they just prepare them a different way, like artichokes. They have blue cheese of course, but on salads youll get cheese crumbles rather than a creamy dressing. And she ~still~ eats pizza with a knife and fork, though shes used to americans using their hands now. It was fun going to the Pizza Hut in Stockholm and being the only one eating it with my hands.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:13 PM
yabob yabob is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,230
Corn on the cob. From the viewpoint of much of Europe, this is "animal food". Supposedly because they aren't very familiar with sweet corn, as opposed to field corn. BTW, can one find corn-based processed foods in Europe, such as corn chips? If so, are they primarily imported products?

And, yeah, the rest of the world just doesn't seem to understand peanut butter. Or pumpkin pie (though sweet potato pie is better, IMO).
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:14 PM
Hooleehootoo Hooleehootoo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Find a German that likes Root Beer and..

I'll be very surprised. I had a friend that said it smelled like cough syrup to him.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:16 PM
PoorYorick PoorYorick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Someone from France mentioned to me that he thought the American habit of eating overly sweet, overly cinnammony food for breakfast was pretty gross. (But I don't imagine "gross" like mountain oysters).

On the other hand, I live in a part of the country where we eat bait as a delicacy.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:23 PM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Beyond the Pale
Posts: 3,925
A Chinese friend at work told me about the time when she was in school (in China) when the students were going to get a treat of American soda -- Coke. They were really looking forward to it, but when they tasted it they wondered how anyone could drink the stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:39 PM
kellner kellner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by yabob
BTW, can one find corn-based processed foods in Europe, such as corn chips? If so, are they primarily imported products?
Yes, there are corn chips, but they only became common in recent years and usually they are marketed as somehow "American". As far as I can tell there is much less corn-based food in general. However people eat corn in salads or corn cobs and it's not that unusual. Complaining about the "animal food" is certainly not so common, but OTOH it sounds exactly like something my grandmother could have said.
Another problem with corn cobs is that eating them with knife and fork is difficult. That disqualifies them for all even remotely formal occasions.
Yes, we really eat pizza with knife and fork, at least in public.
I know many people who hate peanut butter. I like it, but I hate corn.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:42 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
Posts: 8,042
You guys put KETCHUP on french fries!
The whole world knows that the only possible sauce with french fries is mayonaise, you Huns.

And Larry Mudd nailed it: the sheer size of a portion. Everything comes in four sizes: Dietpetite, Extra Large, Whaddareyounutsputthreequartersofthatback, and Nauseating.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:46 PM
Voodoochile Voodoochile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
And kind of on the corn chip thing, one idea I may eventually act on is opening a good Mexican food place in Sweden. Every member of my wifes family and every friend of hers from Sweden that has visited us goes nuts for burritos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, etc. They have mex food in Sweden obviously, but all of it is like Taco Bell crap.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:08 PM
Ephemera Ephemera is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bippy the Beardless
..Foreigners are likely to find disgusting, or find the idea of eating it disgusting.

..grits..
Huh? It's a tasteless porridge or gruel. How is it disgusting?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:19 PM
chaoticbear chaoticbear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Jews probably find cheeseburgers disgusting.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:22 PM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesiron
Huh? It's a tasteless porridge or gruel. How is it disgusting?
Gruel is what peasants ate in the middle ages, and what was given to prisoners until quite recently (I believe). It is not really considered suitable food for people other than in the dierest extremes of poverty. The idea of eating something that is so tasteless when you don't have too is quite gross really. Porrige is fine, since oats have quite a lot of taste, but wheat and hot water is not much more than wallpaper paste.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:24 PM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticdonkey
Jews probably find cheeseburgers disgusting.
Wouldn't it be more 'illegal' (religiously) than disgusting. Unless the cheese actually was made from the burger-calf's mother's milk, in which case it seems kind of gross even to me.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:28 PM
Bob55 Bob55 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
The non-Americans in my lab say we put sugar in EVERYTHING. They can't stand American bread because of it.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:37 PM
Odinoneeye Odinoneeye is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Quote:
The whole world knows that the only possible sauce with french fries is mayonaise, you Huns.
Mayonaise on french fries is even more disgusting than having it on a sandwhich, or anywhere else for that matter.

Eating mayo is just marginally better than starving to death.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:48 PM
Voodoochile Voodoochile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob55
The non-Americans in my lab say we put sugar in EVERYTHING. They can't stand American bread because of it.
My wife cant stand most american bread (basically anything like Wonder bread) because of the amount of yeast they put in it to make it so poofy and moist.

Oh yeah, one other thing she finds revolting, which I love; sourdough. Ive been told they have it a little in Sweden, but Ive never seen it there. I dont remember seeing it in Britain either, but they certainly might have it. Clam chowder is another thing they dont have in Sweden, suprisingly.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 10-08-2004, 07:54 PM
yabob yabob is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,230
French fries - I'll grant that the UK has the right idea on that one - you put malt vinegar on fries. You don't have to call them chips, though.

Mayo doesn't belong on anything. It's acceptable as a base to make potato or macaroni salad. Ketchup doesn't even serve that much purpose. Hot dog or hamburger condiments include mustard, onion and pickle relish.

Re corn: it occurs to me that corn meal mush came back over here from Italy putting on airs and calling itself "polenta". And grits is a regional thing in the US - a lot of non-southerners find it just as foreign as foreigners.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10-08-2004, 09:47 PM
TeaElle TeaElle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibre
I've heard, anyway, that Asians generally find our heavy consumption of dairy products somewhat icky
As mentioned in the similar IMHO thread about this, many Asians (eastern Asians moreso than those from the subcontinent or the west) are lactose intolerant. Our heavy consumption of dairy products is "icky" mostly because of what would happen to them if they did likewise. Consumption of dairy by someone with lactose intolerance can lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea and then severe dehydration, so it's no wonder that someone with it would be skeeved out by the volume of dairy consumption that goes on in the States, and our (somewhat baffling) stance that milk is a health food.

(I'm lactose intolerant -- like a large number of other African-Americans, btw -- and I understand this completely. I see those ads for the low carb milk replacer where the people are going nuts to try to drink some milk and my stomach literally flip-flops.)

In Japan, where very sweet things aren't part of the cultural norm, Nabisco sells Oreos without the filling. A Japanese friend chose not to even try a sample of my wedding cake, covered in buttercream frosting with roses and leaves and whatnot, When she saw it, her eyes bugged out of her head.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10-08-2004, 10:08 PM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesiron
Huh? It's a tasteless porridge or gruel. How is it disgusting?
You are dead to me.

Do not disparage the good name of grits. Unbeknownest to most, grits are an ancient food, known in antiquity as "ambrosia". They are reputed to bestow good luck, excellent health, and an incredible sex drive. I like mine with just a dab of butter and salt & pepper.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10-08-2004, 10:18 PM
China Guy China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratatoskK
A Chinese friend at work told me about the time when she was in school (in China) when the students were going to get a treat of American soda -- Coke. They were really looking forward to it, but when they tasted it they wondered how anyone could drink the stuff.
Coke (and Pepsi) is extremely popular in China. Amazed your friend would say that.

Chinese generally think that cheese is pretty disgusting, but that attitude has changed a lot over the past 20 years. Nothing like McD's and PizzaHut to make cultural inroads.

Lot of cultures think putting ice cubes in a drink is disgusting.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 10-08-2004, 10:35 PM
C3 C3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob55
The non-Americans in my lab say we put sugar in EVERYTHING. They can't stand American bread because of it.
Where are they from?

I ask because the food in Australia tastes incredibly sweet to my palate. Savory stuff (spaghetti sauce, other sauces, meat dishes in restaurants & at friends' houses) tastes like sugar has been added. Stuff that's supposed to be sweet (cookies, cakes) tastes like it's been made out of pure sugar...enough to make my teeth ache. I hardly ever eat out and make almost everything from scratch instead of buying prepared stuff, because it just doesn't taste right to me.

My in-laws had the opposite problem when they visited us in the U.S. They said they couldn't eat the food because of all the "spices" we added. My MIL actually said, "You know, that spice you use there." I have no idea what she means, but apparently they felt that everything in the U.S. was spicy and inedible. They were also pissed off that the hotel rooms didn't have electric kettles and tried to convince one poor hotel manager to go buy one for their room.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 10-08-2004, 11:16 PM
Ephemera Ephemera is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bippy the Beardless
Gruel is what peasants ate in the middle ages, and what was given to prisoners until quite recently (I believe). It is not really considered suitable food for people other than in the dierest extremes of poverty. The idea of eating something that is so tasteless when you don't have too is quite gross really. Porrige is fine, since oats have quite a lot of taste, but wheat and hot water is not much more than wallpaper paste.
Grits aren't made made from wheat.. they're made from hominy, which is dried corn that's been soaked in lye. Of course, considering the European aversion to corn, that might be one reason to dislike them but I doubt anyone outside the South is aware of what they really are.

Also, you don't eat them plain. You add butter, salt, bacon, sugar, syrup, jam.. whatever it is you want to them. Grits are a hundred times more versatile than oatmeal is.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippienne
You are dead to me.

Do not disparage the good name of grits. Unbeknownest to most, grits are an ancient food, known in antiquity as "ambrosia". They are reputed to bestow good luck, excellent health, and an incredible sex drive. I like mine with just a dab of butter and salt & pepper.
While they are delicious, they're also tasteless without butter and either salt or sugar, whichever you prefer. I prefer the latter, myself, as does any Southerner that has not managed to avoid the senseless brainwashing they are subjected to at such young and impressionable ages.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 10-08-2004, 11:54 PM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaElle
As mentioned in the similar IMHO thread about this, many Asians (eastern Asians moreso than those from the subcontinent or the west) are lactose intolerant. Our heavy consumption of dairy products is "icky" mostly because of what would happen to them if they did likewise. Consumption of dairy by someone with lactose intolerance can lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea and then severe dehydration, so it's no wonder that someone with it would be skeeved out by the volume of dairy consumption that goes on in the States, and our (somewhat baffling) stance that milk is a health food.
I've also heard that dairy-consuming people tend to have a, well, "distinctive odor." Noticibly different from people who don't consume dairy products. I'll try to dig up a cite...
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 10-09-2004, 01:14 AM
mhendo mhendo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield226
Cheese is hardly American.

Well, except American cheese. But cheese didn't originate here, as far as I'm aware.
Yeah, but American cheese is particularly gross.

I'm a big fan of good cheese, and in Australia and the UK even the generic branded cheddars often have decent flavour. But here in the US the supermarket shelves are piled with that disgusting yellow/orange crap that looks nothing like chyeese and has no flavour at all.

There is some excellent cheese made in the US, but you have to make an effort to get it. Regular supermarket cheese here is orders of magnitude worse than anywhere else i've ever lived.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-09-2004, 01:17 AM
mhendo mhendo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mudd
Quantity.
Gotta agree with this. In fact, it was my first thought on reading the OP. I'm a pretty good eater, but the size of portions here in the US totally freaked me out when i first moved here.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-09-2004, 01:27 AM
astro astro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Things that frighten and disgust foreign folk

peanut butter
ice in drinks
mayonnaise as a condiment
huge portion quantiies
awful lightweight bread
"off" taste (to them) of some pasturized diary items
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 10-09-2004, 01:52 AM
Bob55 Bob55 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by C3
Where are they from?

I ask because the food in Australia tastes incredibly sweet to my palate. Savory stuff (spaghetti sauce, other sauces, meat dishes in restaurants & at friends' houses) tastes like sugar has been added. Stuff that's supposed to be sweet (cookies, cakes) tastes like it's been made out of pure sugar...enough to make my teeth ache. I hardly ever eat out and make almost everything from scratch instead of buying prepared stuff, because it just doesn't taste right to me.

My in-laws had the opposite problem when they visited us in the U.S. They said they couldn't eat the food because of all the "spices" we added. My MIL actually said, "You know, that spice you use there." I have no idea what she means, but apparently they felt that everything in the U.S. was spicy and inedible. They were also pissed off that the hotel rooms didn't have electric kettles and tried to convince one poor hotel manager to go buy one for their room.

They are from Ireland and France. I can't taste any sugar in our food though, nor the spices you mentioned. Maybe it's garlic or onion powder, that seems to be in a lot of processed foods.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 10-09-2004, 01:58 AM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
I just came back from Germany and I was surprised how often they add corn to things, and it's not just when they're making something "American Style." They stick it in salads, on pizza, in tomato sauces. Yuck. I mostly like corn the good old fashioned American on the cob way. If German chefs think they're being hip & American by adding corn to stuff, I really wish they'd quit it.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 10-09-2004, 02:01 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 10,197
When I was in the US in February, the points that I particularly noted were:
- the huge serving sizes;
- the incredible amount of sugar in everything;
- the difficulty of finding anything that didn't appear to have been processed to within an inch of its life.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 10-09-2004, 02:14 AM
Grim Jaa Grim Jaa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
I want to clear up a number of misconceptions in this thread about food tastes of East Asians. Well, specifically, Koreans since I've been living here in Seoul for awhile.


Quote:
I've heard, anyway, that Asians generally find our heavy consumption of dairy products somewhat icky . . .
Not true of Koreans. The 2nd highest selling product in Korean 7-11's nationwide is Banana flavoured milk (quite tasty). First place is Soju (korean liquor/moonshine) and 3rd is Triangle Kimbap (triangle shaped rice roll stuffed with meat or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed).

Koreans also eat an insane amount of processed cheese (american cheese) much to the dismay of most ex-pats who have to go out of the way or pay high prices for real cheese. For instance, at the closest "foreign food" supermarket to me, a small brick of colby-jack cheese is $17.

Quote:
I've also heard that dairy-consuming people tend to have a, well, "distinctive odor." Noticibly different from people who don't consume dairy products. I'll try to dig up a cite...
Anecdotal but... many Koreans comment that foreigners (westerners) smell like milk.

Quote:
The non-Americans in my lab say we put sugar in EVERYTHING. They can't stand American bread because of it.
Koreans don't eat a huge amount of bread, but when they do they seemed to have taken the American "wonder-bread" style to the extreme. If you can possibly imagine Korean white bread is even SWEETER than wonder bread.. its nasty. However, adults rarely eat it, its for kids and teenagers. You can occasionally find whole-wheat, rye or other types of bread but you have to go out of your way to find it and its often pricey.

Quote:
Peanut butter
You can find western peanut butter in Korea pretty much anywhere (Skippy etc) and it tastes fine. But I've never met a Korean adult who eats it, but there must be a market somewhere. There is also Korean-style peanut butter which you can find on quickie ready made sandwiches in the convenience stores. Its gross. It barely tastes like peanut butter, its an off-white brownish colour and tastes more like sugar paste than peanut butter.

Quote:
mayonnaise as a condiment
When you go to a bar/restaurant here called a Hoe-Peu (Korean transliteration of the german Hof) koreans always order side-dishes to go with their drinks called Anjou. These range from Korean dishes of stewed octopus and noodles to western stuff like french-fries. At nearly everyone of these places you can order a fruit-salad. This will come in one of two-ways.. the chopped fruit will be covered in yogurt. Or covered in mayo.

Mayo is also mixed with ketchup and put on salad as a dressing.

Of course, Koreans also eat Spam like its going out of style, so... but they refer to it as "Ham" or "Sausage".
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 10-09-2004, 02:32 AM
gum gum is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
It's not so much the peanut-butter, but the combination of peanut-butter and jelly, that makes me go " eeew". Peanuts [and their butter] ought to be salty, imho, and not some sweet spread on a sandwich.

Oh, and Jell-O.

I mean: What is that? Colored, sweet, bone-marrow and water.

*This from a country that eats raw herring..... [and mayonaise on French fries]
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 10-09-2004, 02:46 AM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maastricht
The whole world knows that the only possible sauce with french fries is mayonaise, you Huns.
Hey! We're supposed to be talking about American things that people from other countries think are gross. You're not supposed to be grossing us out with such a disgusting idea as this! Mayonaise on french fries?...Yuck times ten!

Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 10-09-2004, 05:38 AM
amarone amarone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,520
As a Brit living in the US my feeling had been that Americans have a very conservative set of food in that there is nothing that I find "gross", yet Americans get grossed out by food I am used to, e.g. kidneys. There is certainly plenty that I find strange or dislike, such as some of the examples already given: American cheese, grits, pbj, apple always coming with cinnamon, sweet bread. But these are harldy gross in the manner of the OP's reaction to some foreign foods.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 10-09-2004, 06:25 AM
fortytwo fortytwo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
I agree with amarone I can’t believe that anyone from the UK would be in a position to criticise American food tastes. We have some pretty “exotic” food here too. Some of the more unusual food eaten here would be seen as gross by many other countries.
A few examples:
Black Pudding (curdled and boiled pigs blood, pork fat and spices)
Lamb’s Hearts
Liver and Kidneys
Tripe (a cow’s stomach lining)
Faggots and Peas (Pig’s Caul, liver heart and lights, pork belly etc.)
I’m going to stop now, I’m not feeling too well…

Oh yes, don't forget Mars Bars fried in cooking oil.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 10-09-2004, 07:06 AM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator
When I was in the US in February, the points that I particularly noted were:
- the huge serving sizes;
- the incredible amount of sugar in everything;
- the difficulty of finding anything that didn't appear to have been processed to within an inch of its life.
I agree with all that, unfortunately, but it's not just America anymore. I just came back from Germany (already said that, I know) and their portions have grown since I was there 10 or 15 years ago. I order soup/salad, a plate of pasta (Germany has the best Italian food in the world, sorry Italy) and one or two German beers and it's way more than one person can eat. I always end up taking home leftovers, or just ordering one meal and sharing it.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 10-09-2004, 07:18 AM
t-keela t-keela is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
If you don't like grits then you've never had them properly prepared. It's just corn for gods sake.
Americans eat just about anything you can think of. We're here from all over the world and brought the rest of y'alls disgusting crap with us.
But does anybody here like chitlins? The hand slung variety of course.
And anyone who eats bologna, hot dogs, vienna sausages, etc
What about boudain, crawdads, oysters, frogs?
Chicken, (nasty ass creatures) head cheese, pigs feet, (hell the whole pig for that matter)
ANY fast food IMHO
cabbage (taste good but smells like shit) calf brains, mountain oysters, etc
I've had snakes and eels, turtles and alligator...

damn near anything you can think of AND all in the US.

One of the grossest things I can think of is a damned chicken egg. Think about it for a minute. Where it comes from, what it looks like and what is really is. But I do love 'em
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.