10 American Foods That Should Be BANNED (Part 4)
American food is sone of the best comfort food out there… In theory. We like to think that the food in America can put a smile on everybody’s face when they most need it. Again, in theory. However, some of the dishes served could be considered questionable and should probably never be spoken of. So, feast your eyes on these 10 American Foods That Should Be BANNED (Part 4).
When you think about foods that look a bit controversial to eat, what do you think about? Perhaps, frogs legs? Or maybe chicken hearts? Well, forget everything you know about ambiguous eating because Nutria takes the cake every time. Think about it – how would you feel about eating what’s best described as a “large, semi-aquatic river rat” boiled in a Crock-Pot for four hours? Yea, probably not high on your list of must haves, but in Lousiana, it’s a delicacy – a Bayou classic, even. It might be a little off-putting to think about eating a large rodent like that, but apparently, it tastes just like chicken – or almost. Apparently, it’s a rougher, tougher version of chicken. If you’ve ever had rabbit before – which is already over the line for some people – you’ll be able to notice a resemblance. The nutria, or the giant river rat, is an animal native to South America, introduced to the U.S. in the early 1900’s, whose population growth is kind of hard to control. The solution? Why not eat them! Well, here’s why not; it’s an enormous, terrifying, orange-toothed water beast that not everyone can stomach. Obviously, back when it was first cooked, people simply used what they had to get by, but today, there are about a hundred other options that come to mind before eating Nutria. No amount of Cajun spice in the world will ever be enough to erase those nightmare fuelling teeth from our minds.
Here’s another American food that has – for some unknown reason – become a part of the culture in some states. Chitterlings, also known as chitlins, are – how to put this delicately – a culinary dish usually made from the large intestines of a hog. In a way, it shouldn’t bother us too much; after all, we eat intestines all the time in our hot dogs, right? The only difference is, with a hot dog, you don’t see the parts you’re eating – you can pretend like it’s just regular, mystery meat and keep on eating carefree. But, with Chitterlings, the intestines are right there, in your face, boiled or fried, without any disguise. It’s not only hog intestines though, sometimes, the intestines of cattle and other animals are also used, you know, for a bit of diversity. This dish is quite popular in the South, but especially in South Carolina. They have an annual Chitlin Strut, which is dedicated to promoting the “goodness” of chitterlings. They want people to love these so badly; they put on a whole festival in their honor, complete with a beauty pageant. Chitterlings are said to be more tender than bacon, and the taste is supposed to be “comparable to nothing else.” Maybe that’s a good thing – or maybe it’s not. It’s not everyone who wakes up in the morning, wondering what animal intestines taste like.
8. Avocado Pie
In recent years, there’s been this whole wave of sudden appreciation for avocado in all forms. Avocado toast, in particular, has seen some new heights of popularity and has become the ultimate Instagram-able meal. However, it looks like there might be a new kid in town that’s trying to dethrone the popular avocado toast. Hopefully, social media will make sure that doesn’t happen. In case you didn’t know, there is such a thing as an Avocado Pie, and it’s a Californian creation through and through. We know Californians love their avocados, but they might be pushing their luck with the mighty fruit just a little bit. At first sight, the avocado pie looks like a classic key-lime pie with its bright neon green and fluffy texture, but as soon as you take your first bite, all the similarities disappear. Oh, except that it also usually comes on a graham crust. Many people have their very own recipe for avocado pie, which is a little odd, because how many ways are there to make mashed avocado and pie crust taste good? The most frequently used ingredients, however, include avocados – obviously, whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. Okay, when you say it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad. You might even think you’d like to try it out, just to see what a whipped avocado-guacamole style pie would taste like. If that’s the case, you must have a tremendous love of avocados. If you do whip up one of these pies, don’t feel obliged to bring this one to the next pot-luck.
This one is such an American thing. Only in America would you find a massive – and slightly impressive – creation like this one. Turducken is the perfect Thanksgiving dinner to impress – or scare off your guests. And it’s quite simple to prepare, too. All you need is a deboned chicken. Oh, and a deboned duck – and a deboned turkey. Then, you just have to stuff the entire chicken into the duck and later stuff it into the turkey, add some stuffing between each layer, and voila! You have got yourself three layers of bird, all into one convenient bite. Not sure if this is genius or concerning, but the point is, it’s scary as heck. It’s supposed to be unusual, wonderful, and have great taste. We can certainly agree on the unusual part. It also turns out that the origins of the turducken are nearly as complicated as the dish itself. No one seems to agree on who came up with it first. Maybe whoever did doesn’t want to take the blame for this giant Franken-bird. Some say that it was chef Paul Prudhomme who invented the dish. Others claim it’s Dr. Gerald R. LaNasa, a surgeon from New Orleans, who should be credited. Well, whoever’s brilliant idea it was to combine, not one, not two, but three birds together? It’s okay; we don’t really need to know.
6. Clam Pizza
Ah, pizza. It’s such a hard thing to mess up – no matter how you prepare it; it seems to always be delicious. Well, to a certain degree. Remember when you thought anchovies were the worst possible thing you could ever put on your pizza? Then everybody started hating on pineapple? Now, clams are the new victim of pizza shaming. Some people believe pizza should be minimalist, and others – especially those living in New Haven, Connecticut, think putting loads of clams on a pizza is the best way to go. That’s right, these naked, slippery, slug-like mollusks that kind of look like aliens are part of the classic dish over there, and it has been praised pretty heavily. Okay, clams by themselves are pretty good. Pizza obviously does pretty well in the tasty department, but when they’re joined together on a warm, white-sauced pie, something just seems a little off. It’s more likely you’ll end up with a white-hot mess than a presentable meal. Let’s just say the chances of this becoming your new go-to pizza favorite are pretty slim. Sometimes, you’ve just got to stick to the good old classic toppings and leave the seafood where it belongs – in the ocean. But, as weird and unappetizing as clam pizza sounds, people still go crazy for the stuff. Why? No clue, but we don’t intend to find out.
5. Gator Tails
When most people think about alligators, their first instinct is to be scared – or at least to feel some type of fear – basically, anything except hunger. Unless you’re from Florida. Then you eat these things as appetizers like they’re mozzarella sticks. If there’s one thing about in Florida, it’s that the gators run around like they own the place. In backyards, golf courses, they’re found practically everywhere. This occurrence could offer up some explanation for the resident’s predilection for gator tails. The Sunshine State abounds with hot food destinations, and gator tails have their very own spot on many local restaurants’ menus. In fact, many Southerners actually fry up the tails and eat them as casual snacks. So, you know, if you ever go on a picnic, it’s the perfect way to warn the live gators in the area to stay away from your basket. Floridians stick these in stews, mash them into burgers, eat them with gator ribs, and the list goes on. Much like any “exotic” meat, it supposedly tastes just like chicken. Yes, this cold-blooded killing machine tastes like rubbery, succulent chicken. Also, the lean, white colored meat is so high in protein and low in fat content that it’s regarded as a healthy food. Who would’ve thought?
4. Brain Sandwiches
Ever heard of the expression “brain food?’ Well, unfortunately, no, eating this very peculiar meal will not make you smarter. Brain sandwiches – not a euphemism, by the way – are surprisingly very popular in the United States – specifically in the Hoosier State, Indiana. They used to be made with cow brain, but thanks to Mad Cow Disease, it was switched to pig brain – which, to be fair, doesn’t sound any more appealing. The pig brains are breaded then fried before usually being served with some mustard in between two bun – because we all know that mustard can make just about anything at least palatable. Brain sandwiches are mostly popular down around the southern tip of the sate in and around Evansville, where the Hilltop Inn is one of the most celebrated curators of this delicacy. Despite the very bizarre nature of this dish, it’s still somehow very popular and has its fair share of dedicated fans. Believe it or not, there’s actually a proper way to cook the brain to ensure it’s at its best. For example, you need to make sure you have really cold hands when you handle it to ensure that it doesn’t end up, um, melting away. The more you know, right?
3. Spray Cheese
Alright, this one, in comparison to everything we’ve listed so far, doesn’t seem as bad, but that’s exactly where you’re wrong. If anything, it’s one of the grossest things being consumed. We all know that the cheese capital of the United States is Wisconsin. They claim to be true cheese connoisseurs, so how is it that spray cheese was produced in Wisconsin early on, since it is probably the furthest thing from cheese there is. Not only does it contain no real cheese, but it’s also really harmful to your body. Wired once called spray cheese “one of the world’s most unnatural foods,” and it rightfully owns up to the name. Spray cheese contains twice the amount of salt that normal cheese does, but this one comes with a little bonus; a bunch of chemicals that should never ever be consumed by any living person. Yet, here we are, spraying that stuff on crackers and making leaning towers of Cheeza. Basically, anything delivered from a pressurized can should not be on your grocery list ever. Maybe it’s time the FDA takes a new look at this fake-cheese wannabe and puts a stop to the madness. Spray cheese just feels wrong in so many ways. In conclusion, stay away from fake cheese. It won’t bring anything good to your life.
To be fair, this meal can actually be quite tasty and politically correct – it just depends on what you decide to make it with. Burgoo is a stew usually prepared communally at social gatherings in the Midwest and South, especially in Kentucky. It’s the basis for civic fund-raisers and the go-to dish when you have tons of leftovers. There are a lot of different ways to prepare burgoo, but the traditional one is made using venison or mutton. However, it’s not always this straightforward. Burgoo also has a pretty cynical nickname that it also goes by, and it’s entirely accurate. It’s often referred to as “roadkill soup” because, more often than not, you have no idea what’s actually in your stew. It could contain anything from squirrel, raccoon, and even possum, basically any kind of animals available mixed in with your vegetables. Sure, eating those types of small animals makes sense in a case of emergency, but why use them when you have so many other options not found on the side of the road? Despite its previous rather booming reputation, Burgoo is slowly declining in popularity, most likely due to health warnings. Kentucky’s traditional roadkill dish is now being made more and more often with chicken and pork – saying goodbye to the critters.
1. St. Paul Sandwich
To get on this list of foods that should be banned, the food doesn’t need to have kooky ingredients. All it needs is bizarre combinations that stem from a seemingly regular recipe. The St.Paul Sandwich looks pretty harmless at first, but when you take a closer look; it’s all kinds of weird. Available in American Chinese restaurants in the St. Louis area of Missouri, the St.Paul Sandwich has all of the basics of a sandwich; pickles, onions, mayo, lettuce, and tomato, all in between two slices of white bread. The part we’re not so sure about is the big piece of egg foo young among all of this. For those who don’t know, egg foo young is an omelet dish found in Chinese cuisine. Legend has it that the St.Paul Sandwich was invented by a Chinese-American chef in the city who wanted to please Midwestern palates in the 1940s and named it after his hometown. While it may not sound like the most appetizing dish out there, most critiques have been surprisingly positive. For the people of St.Louis, this sandwich is one of their signature dishes, and they take great pride in it. Not so sure this one will become the next big thing any where else, mind you. But you never really know, do you?
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