It’s a common misconception that America’s food is mainly composed of hamburgers, French fries, pizza, and all the stuff you can easily find on a fast-food menu. Fast food is just part of the whole package together with home-cooked and microwaveable meals.
However, let’s not forget the weird edible stuff lurking in supermarket shelves. The products created by imaginative minds that remain as American favorites while continuing to play tricks on a foreigner’s mind and tongue. Check out some of America’s weird munchies.
1. Red Velvet Cake
If you’re not familiar with what a red velvet cake, cupcake, pancake, or everything red velvet is, you should be curious about its taste once you see it. The bright red color will truly catch your sight and make you ask, “What makes it red?”.
Well, the taste is honestly similar to a cake made of flour, eggs, buttermilk, and cocoa powder but with an oomph – thanks to cream cheese. That red color, however, comes from the mighty red food coloring. Don’t worry, it’s still deliciously sweet.
2. Miracle Whip
Mayonnaise, although it should be on the list, isn’t that weird when you compare it to Miracle Whip. People may think they’re just the same, but Nah-ah.
This American top-seller is a sweeter alternative that’s more of a dressing than mayo because of some extra ingredients like sugar, paprika, and garlic powder. You can either throw a slab of Miracle Whip on salads and sandwiches.
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Two slices of toast with peanut butter in between? No problem. Two slices of toast with jelly or jam in between? Not a problem either.
How about spreading peanut butter on one toast and spreading jelly on the other? Smack both smothered sides on each other and you get America’s favorite comfort food: the PB&J sandwich.
Share them with your non-American friends to get genuinely odd stares.
After offering your friends with some PB&J goodness, bring out a box of s’mores to show how ‘weird’ your taste is.
A s’more was a favorite nighttime campfire and now an anywhere-anytime favorite treat which is composed of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers. It doesn’t sound that weird right?
5. Marshmallow Creme
Can you imagine marshmallows in spreadable form? It exists. One of the most popular marshmallow crème brands you can find in the market is Marshmallow Fluff.
Its ingredients include corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavor, and egg whites. With marshmallow crème and peanut butter, you can make a snack known as the fluffernutter sandwich.
A popular breakfast and dinner staple in the Southern United States, grits are coarsely ground white or yellow corn that is simply prepared by boiling it into a soft porridge-like side combined with milk, cream, butter, salt, and white pepper.
Grits are often paired with sausages, shrimps, and prawns.
7. Biscuits and Gravy
The combination of soft dough biscuits and gravy is absolutely unimaginable and foreign to the tastebuds of those who didn’t grow up eating the combo.
Biscuits and gravy aren’t complex at all and what you see is what you get. That’s gravy made by some leftover grease from cooked sausages mixed with flour and milk, poured over buttermilk biscuits, and your meal is served.
What’s up with these rectangular crackers with colorful frosting on it? Born in 1964 by Kellogs, Pop-Tarts are America’s favorite toaster pastry with the frosted strawberry and frosted brown sugar cinnamon running as best-sellers.
These frosted pastries are packed in pairs inside foil packages designed to be warmed inside a toaster or microwave oven. They’re often eaten as breakfast or snack.
9. Root Beer
It’s not beer, but it is (or was) made from plant roots. Root beer, also known as sarsaparilla, is a unique drink created from the roots of Sassafras plant but nowadays, the flavor is more of an artificial flavoring.
Other ingredients that make root beer weird enough include vanilla, cherry tree bark, wintergreen, molasses, anise, licorice root, cinnamon, and honey. If you’re feeling special, you can throw in a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a mug of root beer to have a drink called root beer float.
10. Easy Cheese
It’s a sin to turn cheese into something overly unnatural and Easy Cheese can already go to hell for being the processed cheese you just won’t find in shelves shaped as blocks or slices but in a pressurized can.
What makes Easy Cheese easy and perfectly squeezable? The answer is found in its ingredients such as milk, water, whey (as a filler), canola oil, sodium citrate (as emulsifier), sodium phosphate (another emulsifier) lactic acid, calcium phosphate (to prove the cheese is an excellent source of calcium), and apocarotenal (for the color).
Pre-cooked meat in a can already sounds convenient yet fake. Spam is America’s famous meat in a canned product since 1937, but what is that mysterious “meat” in that can?.
It’s not really a shocker if you read the label indicating its basic ingredients include pork shoulder and ham. This tasty sin also contains salt, water, potato starch (to keep the meat moist), sugar, and preservative sodium nitrite which makes it not really healthy if consumed often.
Ethan started traveling with his family at the age of 10 and has since visited dozens of countries on six continents. He loves discovering new destinations, predicting trends, and turning amazing travel experiences into inspiring stories.