Most American food can put a smile on the face of anyone … usually. From hamburgers, fried chicken and apple pie, American food can be considered soul food and it has reached far and wide around the globe, being considered favorable overall. But what of those items that are so repelling, we want them to be banned no matter how great most American food is? We’ve found some more for you to feast your unbelieving eyes on.
10. Olive Loaf
Now we’re not talking about the bread here. Olive loaf bread is probably one of the most sought after breads available at your local bakery, and for very good reason. The baking of fresh bread with a few choice olives thrown into the dough can only take your taste buds to higher levels of enjoyment. If it isn’t the salt content added, as many feel you can never have too much salt, then it’s the rich and earthy taste of the olives themselves. You simply have not lived until you’ve tried olive studded focaccia bread. It is absolutely divine no matter how else you dress it. But, putting olives in luncheon meat is a tad different, wouldn’t you say? We sure would and the sight of it alone is enough to send most people running in the other direction. It doesn’t look all that appealing, really, and at the same time, it isn’t just the olives present ion the luncheon meat at all. The meat itself looks rather questionable, pockets of fat and other undecipherable items stare up at you as you put this atrocious offering to your lips and have at it. If you’re courageous enough, or have enjoyed this in the past, hey … all the power to you, but we’ll pass and if the vote came up, we’d vote for this thing to go the way of Fergie’s career. In popular culture, Friends character Joey actually pulls out a sandwich containing “pimento loaf,“ much to Rachael’s chagrin, so good old Joey would probably appreciate an olive loaf sandwich, as most olive loaf luncheon meats contain pimento-stuffed olives. On the higher end of things, pimento loaf can be costly, especially if the meat is beef or pork based, but it is available in cheaper varieties, which consist of chicken or turkey meat, or simulated equivalents. All in all, it sounds pretty gross to us, so why not go for a few slices of capocollo (a dry, cured pork cold cut, common in Italian cuisine) on a freshly baked olive studded focaccia? Now you’re talking!
9. Jello Salad
Hey … we appreciate Jello as much as the next person. Cherry and Lime, you name it, we’ll be there to lap up all the gooey, jiggly, fruity goodness, to the last morsel, even. But for the love of all that is decent and good in this world, can America please stop producing Jello salad. It’s quite terrible to taste and just to behold. We don’t want to see it anymore, but the more we wish it gone, there it appears again at that party we din’t feel like going to anyways. It’s right next to the hickory smoked ham and Ambrosia salad. Can someone tell these people that it isn’t 1965 anymore? We feel the need to rid the world of such disastrous culinary ideas, if they can be called that at all. And recipes for this stuff differ from simply weird to the absolutely absurd. We can more than understand some preserved fruit added to the mix … we won’t argue that addition, as at least it’s still sweet. But some add radishes, olives, and whatever veggies they can find at the back of the fridge. And to that we say: Really!? Have you no shame? Couldn’t you just have whipped up some pudding; even the instant sort that you whip up from a box would have been better than this green jello salad with carrot shards and pickled radishes!
8. Deep-Fried Butter
So no … you didn’t read that incorrectly. We’re talking about fried butter. Now we know how weird that sounds, as it’s usually butter that we do most of our frying in, but the people that brought us some of the richest dishes known to the world have thought of yet another heart-stopping dish that can clog arteries and get you stuffed and complacent in the blink of an eye. We wonder only if the butter is fried, well … in butter? The recipe for this is actually simpler than you’d think, though. Essentially, think mozzarella sticks only way higher in fat content … way higher. A cold piece of butter is battered and then deep-fried, and depending on the kitchen or chef, the battered piece of butter can be fried in oil, fat, or yes, even butter. Now try working these puppies off in the gym, particularly after having downed quite a few of these bite-sized golden nuggets of fatty goodness. But the flavor of them is and can be way too rich for probably even the biggest fan of fatty foods. Now, adding garlic butter to the mix, and you may have a few more fans, but as they stand, they are way to unhealthy, and we know that sometimes it’s good to be bad when it comes to food, but perhaps this may be taking it a tad too far. The item is very popular at State fairs, specifically Iowa.
From a safe distance, this particular dish can probably be confused with chicken noodle soup. Remember, we said from a safe distance, meaning, from afar. Because once you step close enough to this stuff, if the sight of it won’t turn you away, then the smell will. It sure doesn’t smell like chicken soup. And furthermore, those things that looked like noodles and pieces of pulled chicken breast aren’t what you thought they were. They’re actually pig’s intestines, and as rubbery as ever, no matter how long you boil them for. Offal has been gaining steam in American cuisine, which is a branch of said cuisine that specializes in using the innards of most animals; from the brain to even the heart and intestines. It may not sound very appetizing but intestines and stomach lining have been a popular choice of ingredients for generations in cuisines around the world. This was often because it was wasteful to leave or throw any part of the animal away, so they learnt to cook it. As a result of this practice, an entire catalogue of recipes devoted to the Offal was created and many cultures still take pride in these dishes and the heritage they come with, and the US is no different. Chitterlings, which is one of the few American dishes to use offal, has it’s roots in the southern ‘Soul food’ traditions and can even be battered and deep fried after stewing. Unfortunately most recipes for this dish don’t require you to sear the meat first, which can make it all the more rubbery and all the more off putting! This recipe actually has its etymology set in England and the rest of Europe and dates back to the 1700s, or thereabouts. Other countries such as New Zealand and Jamaica also have versions of this.
6. American Cheese Slices
As tasty as it is, it really isn’t cheese now is it? It was first produced in the early portion of the 20th Century (although variations were around quite a bit before), and has been with us ever since, being the main cheese used on Cheeseburgers and of course the ever-popular grilled cheese sandwich. They are supposed to be cheaper than most fresh and natural cheeses but very seldom are, unless on special or discount prices and offers at your local grocery store, and if tasted–really tasted–they can have an artificial taste to them. Now, you may be asking … how does something artificial taste? Well, to that we’d have to suggest you go ahead and put a piece of cardboard into your mouth. Eventually, if you leave it there, allowing the digestive juices in your mouth to do their work, breaking down the paper, at some point, the chemicals used to fabricate the cardboard will start leaking into the rest of your mouth and for hours afterwards, you won’t be able to rid your mouth and taste buds of those chemicals. The same can happen with this cheese, as it is the furthest thing from being natural and actually good for you, the actual process of fabrication, which leads to the term “processed cheese,“ breaks down the cheese far to much for it to still bear the name of cheese on it’s own. Which is why it is actually a regulated standard of identity that they call this cheese “Processed American Cheese.“ It is an actual federal code of regulations established for quite some time now. And we more than understand, as the companies producing this cheese wouldn’t want to misrepresent themselves or their product in any way. Although it is cheese overall, a medley of cheeses at that, they still want to distinguish that it’s different from your run of the mill old cheddar and there are obvious reasons for this. Also, it is often mistaken as being cheddar cheese. This is positively false, and although American cheese does contain some real cheeses like colby cheese, some cheddar and even curd cheese (among others), the overall recipe calls for many other ingredients that further extend this product to the realms of fake products made to taste like the real thing. Now nest time you have your heart set on a ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich, try using three types or real cheddar instead. Trust us, the end result will be a million times better.
5. Chicken-Fried Steak
It’s all in the name really. For the most part, this recipe is quite simple and if you know how fried chicken is prepared, then this preparation is a no-brainer that anyone can prepare. You take your fresh cut of steak, any cut will do for this, but usually a nice rib-eye will do, boneless if at all possible. Then you batter it, deep fry it and perhaps finish it in the oven. This bad boy is topped with a white gravy, which is essentially a base of bechemel with added mushrooms, sauteed with onions, and voila! Now as interesting as it sounds, it is preposterously bad for you, loaded in saturated fat and after you down one of these babies, try moving an inch off of that couch or comfortable chair. reaching for the remote will be an utter impossibility, so you’ll be stuck watching the figure skating championships for hours to come. Sorry, friends!
4. Fry Sauce
We’re sure we can all remember that scene from Step Brothers where Will Ferrell’s character doesn’t want to share what he called his chicken nugget dipping sauce with the John C. Reilly character, who was now his step brother. The hilarity of that scene and the film is what came flooding back to us when we saw this particular item during our research, and we had a thought that landed this product smack dab in the middle of our article … a deserving spot, you’ll soon agree. For years, people have been mixing ketchup and mayo for their fries or nuggets, and that’s part of the whole fun, isn’t it? There are many people that are on opposite sides of what the best accompaniment for a french fry is. There are those that think nothing beats the tangy taste of ketchup when it comes to a salty golden fry, fresh from the fryer, but there are those, especially in Europe and parts of Canada that believe that nothing should touch a fry apart from mayonnaise. Well, for those that spend their lives on the middle ground, a combination of the two is where it’s at and we feel that a product that already does the work for you, takes all the fun away. Let us combine mayo, ketchup and whatever other condiment we so choose to combine on our own. Besides, we don’t need an answer for everything, do we? We can still make an emulsion as simple as this one here? Or is it just us? But as it turns out, this combo has been around for quite some time, contrary to what Ferrell’s character believed in that hilarious film, he didn’t invent it. In Italian cuisine, there is a form of this sauce and it,s known as Aurora sauce, typically used for Shrimp Cocktail, and a wee bit of Brandy is added to the mix for that extra bit of kick.
3. Sweet Potatoes & Marshmallows
An American classic indeed, but as we see it passed from person to person at the Thanksgiving table, those of us that are quite fed up with this item wonder when it will go the way of other tiresome recipes from days gone by? haven’t we had enough of this one? is it time to say goodbye? The tragedy here isn’t necessarily the marshmallows, but really the fact that they aren’t needed at all, as sweet potatoes themselves, are already quite sweet (hence the name) and they don’t need a partner in crime to get the eater to that level of enjoyment. There are so many recipes out there that can accentuate the sweet potato’s natural sweetness and we don’t have to result to cheap parlor tricks like adding a form of confection to the mix.
2. The Infamous Doughnut Burger
And like so many other items on this list, perhaps this one here showcases what’s wrong with all of them in the simplest and best of ways, and it leads us to ask the inevitable question: Isn’t it just a little too much? And maybe this question can be asked for so many of the American cuisine items we’ve seen and the ones we haven’t yet shown you. A standard policy in the beautiful and powerful culture of American cuisine and the way in which they live is the old adage: Go Big of Go Home, and we most certainly agree with it for the most part, as it’s led to the American greatness we all love and cherish. But perhaps sometimes, these ideas can be a tad overzealous in scope. This particular recipe here is an example of that … bacon, a fried doughnut, and the hamburger itself … we’d hope that some of the chefs that come up with these crazy concoctions think about the health risks of inventing something so huge, it just so happens to be way too big for even the biggest of foodies.
1. Peanut Butter Pizza
This one here is definitely over the top, so to speak, as we can see the melted peanut butter acting as the sauce here and the cooked pepperoni and peppers resting there among the peanut ooze, very few words come to mind. Maybe the only appropriate one and one that delivers our sentiments exactly is quite simply: Ew! So to the creators of this dish … wherever you may be, we say: Please stop producing this vile concoction immediately!