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Would you eat this?

Some words and phrases should never be in the same sentence together, like “popsicles” and “green bean.” (Oh, wait, technically that should be “jelly ice milk bar” and “green bean.”)

Whenever I see odd food like this from a different country, I wonder what items in my own grocery store make foreigners raise their eyebrows in disgust. Any guesses?

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36 Comments

Tammy • May 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

Wow, that is very, very weird. I would try it just for the heck of it though! LOL. Maybe green beans are better that way.

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on American cuisine too, if you’re from another country.

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l • May 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

EEEEW!!!! No thanks. :)

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Jen • May 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Yikes! That is terrifying! I think people would be terrified by gogurt. I know I am.

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KS • May 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Actually in other countries, like Guatemala and Chile, they sell their yogurt in bags. Peanut Butter and Jelly is one thing that foreigners find to be totally strange.

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Katy • May 5, 2010 at 1:14 pm

My sister’s in-laws are from China, and her MIL said when she first came to America, cheese really grossed her out. Cheese! Can you imagine? :)

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Rebecca • May 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I agree with gogurt comment. I would also pop-rocks, wheat grass juice, and otter-pops.

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Carol • May 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Those popsicles are actually pretty good. Personally, i like the red beans with jelly better. You should give it a try.

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wendy • May 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Cheese inn squeezy tubes. Utterly vile thought.

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Jessica • May 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

OK, this doesn’t really count as “American quisine,” more “state fair fare,” but deep-fried twinkies. I’m American and the idea just grosses me out!

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CannedAm • May 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Is that Japanese? They like some very odd frozen treats over there. Like viagara flavored ice cream. I don’t get it. Really I don’t.

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Ashley • May 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

At the sushi place I go to, they have red bean ice cream and I actually really like it.

I did my semester abroad in the UK, and I can second whoever above said peanut butter. Every British person I know is completely grossed out by the concept and smell of peanut butter and couldn’t fathom the fat that I would eat it so frequently and on so many foods.

In my current workplace, I work with two British guys, two other European guys, four Chinese guys, and four Indian guys, and they are all grossed out by Velveeta, or at least they were when I explained what it was and showed them a package of it. But when I actually made them some macaroni, they ate it and said it was really good.

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mm • May 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Um. Not TOTALLY turned off by it.

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Bethama • May 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

That looks delicious, which is proof that I have spent far too much of my life in Asian grocery stores. (In fairness – I lived in Japan. Mixing beans of all colors with sugar is not only acceptable, it’s probably MORE common than savory preparations.)

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Bethama • May 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

A bit more – by “green beans,” it refers to ?? (ryokuto in Japanese), or mung beans, not string beans. Just to clarify what’s in there. :)

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Kim • May 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I would try them. MAYBE they taste better than they sound! I’m still suspicious though. :)

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Michelle • May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Funny that you have that product up because I have the red bean version of that popsicle in my freezer right now. Ya gussed it, I AM indeed asian. THOSE popsicles are delicious, but because of the name/label that some non-english speaking asian person came up with, it sounds disgusting. What this bar tastes more like is a sweet milky bar studded with soft mung (green) beans with baby jelly bites. SOO yummy.

Um when i first came to America, I was SO grossed out by the fact that everything contained cheese, even SALAD. Now i’ve lived here for 6 years, I’m totally used to it. Totally normal. :)

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Kat • May 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I’ve never been to america but I’m Australian and when I’ve been travelling, everyone seems to have a universal dislike for our Vegemite. But this is because they USE it wrong! It’s not meant to be spread thick like peanut butter, just thin with some butter underneath on toast. Magic.

Vegemite toast and a banana. Best hangover cure EVER.

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blue • May 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

American cheese in particular.. about the only defense i’ve ever been able to come up with for it is “it melts well’.

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kazari • May 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I used to be completely grossed out by the red bean milkshakes they served at my local Vietnamese restaurant. I probably wouldn’t try the green bean ones, but I’ve tried similar red bean ones (and I think it’s an acquired taste I haven’t yet acquired).

As for what is gross in other countries? I have a friend from France who still cannot get his head around mint chocolate… any other combination he can cope with, but that just weirds him out.

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Samantha in Oz • May 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I’m Australian, and a few American foods I find unusual are:

American cheese – the orange, rubbery processed stuff. Gross.

Fluff – marshmallow spread in a jar? Bizarre!

Corn syrup – it seems to turn up in every American dessert recipe I’ve ever seen, but it’s an ingredient we just don’t use in Australia, and you can’t buy the stuff in a regular Aussie supermarket. (I guess this is because Australia is a large producer of sugar cane, and therefore cane sugar products).

Mashed pumpkin in a can – very weird. Why not buy a whole pumpkin, or better yet, grow your own?

Idaho potatoes – they’re the size of footballs!

Serving sizes of food in restaurants – huge!!!

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wyn • May 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Echoing that “green bean” is not what you initially think of, green string beans. “Green bean” refers to little round olive-green mung beans and I don’t quite know how to describe their taste when I don’t even particularly like it. All I know is that it wouldn’t taste remotely as sweet as American treats.

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psychsarah • May 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm

two words “spray cheese”

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Nancy • May 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Not necessarily found in a grocery store, but Australians find sweet potato with marshmallow or otherwise sweet topping a strange concept. Also those jello based salads

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Bottomless • May 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I think I’d try it, just to see what it was like. But then. living in Japan has desensitized me to things I would have previously have thought of as inedible.

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Lynn • May 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm

My in-laws are Vietnamese, and they all thought eating cheese was like munching on a stick of butter.They were naturally grossed out, but we’ve been trying to explain.

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Lydia • May 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

What country is that from? No way would I eat that.

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Beep • May 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I love those sweet bean desserts.

My stepfamily in Thailand all hate cheese.

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The Merry • May 6, 2010 at 12:36 am

Oddly enough, I spent part of my lunchtime walking around the Nike World Campus (capitals are essential when using that phrase) and describing to a colleague from India the idea that in some parts of America deep-fried twinkies are considered haute cuisine. I’m not sure I quite managed to convince him that people actually eat that stuff.

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Deena • May 6, 2010 at 3:11 am

Yes, I’d eat it.
I’ve had the same brand of red bean bars before and they were wonderful. The beans are cooked and mashed somewhat, then sweetened and suspended in the ice cream/ice milk.
Depending on the type of bean used, some varieties have a chocolaty taste without having any chocolate in them at all.
If the jelly is just like the kind I had before, it refers to Nata de coco, which is made from coconut water and carrageenan. It’s really high in fiber and low in fat.
Carrageenan is a gum made from seaweed and is in every sort of food from salad dressing to ice cream.
You can also find the various sweet bean fillings in Daifuku, which areJapanese glutenous rice cakes filled with sweet bean fillings. They are so, so good. My favorite has green melon flavored dough with red bean filling.

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Pauline • May 6, 2010 at 4:39 am

Sometimes I read “pumpkin icecream” in food blogs or books, and I just can’t imagine the taste of it. I’m a Dutch girl, by the way. I sure know how pumpkin tastes, but just can’t imagine it together with ice cream. I only know pumpkin in soup or other hot dishes.

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Natasha • May 6, 2010 at 7:18 am

@Kat – That’s the same with the UK’s Marmite!! It smells horrible but my mum always made us eat some with toast and butter and a very strong cup of tea to wash it down!!

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Katy • May 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

NEVER! Gross!

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kicking_k • May 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I can confirm that Jello salad sounds very strange to Brits.

We are generally less attuned to sweet and savoury in the same dish, hence finding peanut butter and jelly a strange combination. Many Brits do like peanut butter on its own, though I remember it was thought of as a bit foreign when I was little.

We don’t eat so many sweet foods at breakfast, so many of us wouldn’t find, say, pancakes palatable at that time (though we might like them later as a dessert).

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Amy • May 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I was just in Malaysia and they are nuts for corn – like street vendors everywhere sell cups of corn. So we probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see “sweet corn ice cream” at a hotel buffet. Tried it….very strange, to say the least…

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Mom Taxi Julie • May 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

That looks disgusting!

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Naomi • May 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I’m from the UK and am definitely grossed out by Cheese-Whiz, it’s a totally appalling concept. It’s one of those products people from the UK bring home to laugh at and dare their friends to eat, and then have a beer to wash away the taste ;-). And yes, in general, things called “American Cheese” or “Farmer Cheese” I found to be… not a taste I really recognised as cheese?

The sweet/savoury thing like maple syrup on bacon or pumpkin pie as a main course dish also grosses a lot of people out.

But much American cuisine is awesome! I used to live in Manhattan and I still miss strawberry shortcake, and bottled Starbucks frapuccinos…

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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