Category Archives: America’s Culinary Treats

Did you know that the average American woman weighs 163 pounds, while the average American man weighs 190? It’s true. What does that tell us? Clearly some of you are holding us back, you skinny bastards. That’s why we at AFFotD present you with this list of foods which are delicious, American, and amazingly unhealthy. If we all work together, we can bring the average weight of an American above the Mendoza line! Get to reading, get to eating.

Six Strangest Marketing Gimmicks Used By Hidden Valley Ranch

“Ranch Dressing.”

~One of Four Check Boxes on Medical Forms Under “Reason For Heart Attack.”

 ranch

Ranch dressing claims to be one of the, if not the only, truly American salad dressing. We do not dispute this. No, seriously, we’ve written to that effect and everything. Hidden Valley, a ranch in California, originally invented the creamy gluttonous delicacy in the 50s before selling the brand to Clorox for $8 million in 1972. You’d think that Ranch sells itself, but the folks behind Hidden Valley apparently disagree. Today, Hidden Valley Ranch sells about half a billion dollars’ worth of product a year, but in order to keep things fresh, they’ve been rolling out some, oh, let’s say “interesting” marketing gimmicks. You’ve probably heard about some of them. But not all. So we compiled the rest of them here for you. Because we don’t know about you, but when we think of Ranch dressing, we definitely think “gold, gem-encrusted bottle.” Or we do now, apparently.

Six Strangest Marketing Gimmicks Used By Hidden Valley Ranch

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More of America’s Weirdest, Strangest Burritos (That We’d Probably Eat)

“I don’t care what’s inside of it, just give me that burrito.”

~America

 burrito

Last week we scoured the nation to bring to your attention burritos filled with, oh, let’s say…non-conventional ingredients. We had octopus burritos, pho burritos, hell, even a doughnut burrito, and we came the a simple conclusion. No matter how strange the filling, the burrito still sounded delicious (with the possible exception of that doughnut one). Tortillas are pretty much the perfect vessel for anything delicious, and burritos utilize tortillas to the utmost extent.

But as it turns out, there are plenty of other weird, unusual, somehow-still-wonderous burritos in this fine nation. So we decided to order seconds to present to you…

More of America’s Weirdest, Strangest Burritos (That We’d Probably Eat)

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America’s Weirdest, Strangest Burritos (That We’d Probably Eat)

“A burrito is a lot like sex. Everyone insists it’s just like pizza, except they’re wrong, because they don’t realize that Americans do some REALLY weird shit when making burritos.”

~Also, even when it’s pretty bad, it’s still pretty good

burrito

Like the pizza, the hamburger, or pretty much all of our favorite foods, America did not invent the burrito, but we sure as shit put our stamp on it to make it uniquely ours. We don’t really know where burritos came from, apart from the fact that they were either developed in Mexico, or by the Mexican-American community in our fine nation. There are a lot stories about the invention of the burrito, one of which involves a Mexican street food vendor who used a donkey as transport and decided to wrap his food in tortillas to keep the contents warm. People like this story since it explains the name “burrito”, which is Spanish for “little donkey” which, by the way, just a lousy name for a food product. Just a crappy name. Though, the name probably proves that the burrito was in fact invented in Mexico, because if it had been invented in America we’d have called them like, well, not Hot Pockets, but… yeah probably Hot Pockets.

In retrospect, “little donkey” is fine.

Anyway, in Mexico, they’re traditional to Ciudad Juárez, just across the border from El Paso, though they’re pretty basic, containing only a few basic ingredients. And while burritos have only found popularity in the northern part of Mexico, once they got brought over to America, we went ham with that shit. Like, as in, literally putting ham in it sometimes. And that’s what we want to bring your attention to with today’s article.

The moment burritos began to make their way across America, starting in California in the mid-20th century, we Americans realized we could put anything we wanted in there, so long as the end result tasted good. Why limit yourself to pork, chicken, and beef when you can put whatever you want inside that tortilla? Well, usually because pork, chicken and beef are the best tasting options. But that hasn’t stopped our entrepreneurial spirit. And so, we have dozens of variations of burritos that range from “delicious” to “delicious but also really fucking weird, guys.”

We’re here to focus on the weird ones made by the chef with the crazy eyes. Because even though these burritos sound absolutely insane, they also sound absolutely delicious.

America’s Weirdest, Strangest Burritos (That We’d Probably Eat) 

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The (Complicated) American History of Mac and Cheese

“This is as delicious as it is problematic.”

~Historians Eating Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese

Mac and cheese. Macaroni and cheese. Mac dog and the cheeser. Two of these are socially recognized and accepted terms for the classic, theoretically simple dish that combines cooked macaroni with a cheese sauce to create an addictive meal. Mac and cheese has recently seen a surge in respectability, as the blue box dinners of our childhood have been replaced by high end ingredients such as truffles, lobster, or whatever the fuck this is. But before it was a fancy source of carbs, even before it was the only thing you’d eat as a kid, mac and cheese was a high end dish eaten elusively by the wealthy during the formative years of our nation. It’s history is complicated, as is just about everything from the 18th century, but it at least offers a glimpse into the lives of our founding fathers.

So we’re going to dumb it down as much as possible and toss in swears and bad jokes to kind of skirt around the whole “slavery” thing when we tell you about…

The (Complicated) American History of Mac and Cheese

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A Brief Foray into How Other Countries Are Ruining Pizza

“Oh God, no, not pizza. Ruin ANYTHING ELSE but spare the pizza!”

~Your Taste Buds

 hawaiin pizza

We talk a lot about pizza around these parts, but can you blame us? Pizza is just about the perfect, when done right. But, as you no doubt know, it’s…not always done right. Now we get a lot of flack from St. Louis and Ohio Valley residents because of our article that (correctly) points out what their regional pizzas are (garbage) but we can at least take solace in knowing that, as a nation, we generally have our shit together. Other countries, though? Not so much. Sure, we’ve previously talked about Pizza Hut’s crazy international menu items, and England’s hot dog crust pizza, but we’ve not really taken the moment to sit down and let you know how badly other countries are screwing up pizza.

And boy howdy, are they screwing up pizzas.

Granted, this article only lists isolated instances—a bad pizza idea from a country other than America does not mean that the country in question does not know how to make at least passable pizza otherwise. But still, when we see pizzas being ruined across the world, it’s our duty, as Americans, to point it out. You know, so we can feel superior, and also so we can say, “Well, sure, we have St. Louis-style pizza, but we’re not monsters.

Because these pizzas? Yar, there be monsters.

A Brief Foray into How Other Countries Are Ruining Pizza

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Discontinued McDonald’s Items We Desperately Want Back

“Ba-da-ba-ba-daaa, I’m missing it”

~McDonald’s Customers

mcdonalds

Back in August, we wrote about how while McDonald’s is a great American establishment, they’ve managed to commit some real crimes against food.   We even promised in that article that we would not write any articles about the best food items you can get at McDonald’s, partly because it’s less interesting than “discontinued awfulness” and also partly because our Editor-in-Chief’s favorite sandwich there is the Filet-o-Fish which automatically discredits any opinions he might have about the McDonald’s menu as it stands in 2017.

But while we were digging through the disgusting, horrible ideas of McDonald’s past (ugh, that pineapple hamburger haunts us) we also noticed that a lot of items that were briefly on the McDonald’s menu seemed actually pretty good.  Really good, even.  Like, “man, we wish that was still on the menu” good.  So we’re going to talk about those items, wistfully, and mourn their passing.  Because some of this stuff, man…

Discontinued McDonald’s Items We Desperately Want Back

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The Worst Crimes Against Food McDonald’s Has Ever Committed

♫Ba da ba da daaa, send it to hell♫”

~Rejected Mcdonald’s Slogan

mcdonalds

It’s easy to make fun of McDonald’s, and in fact many most people who get mad when we make fun of their country (so pretty much every non-American) points out McDonald’s and its fast food brethren as some sort of dark stain on our American legacy.  “Don’t tell us our terrifying eel pies are gross when you all get fat on your Big Macs,” angry British people say because they lack the proper brain function to realize that the British dish in question is what a fucking nightmare looks like.  And sure, McDonald’s is not exactly “healthy” or “something you want to eat every day if you want to live very long,” but it also just hits the fucking spot sometimes, and there’s a reason why McDonald’s is popular enough to thrive in over 100 countries.

So yes, McDonald’s is good, don’t @ us.  But McDonald’s also is constantly changing its menu, and change is not always good.  So instead of writing an article about the best food items you can get at McDonald’s, which would mostly be our editor-in-chief trying to defend his Actually Bad belief that the Filet-o-Fish is their best sandwich, we’re going to talk about the times where McDonald’s really fucked up.  Because we find those funny, and also because thank God we don’t have to eat them.  So here’s a list of food items that would totally justify every angry Latvian’s criticism of our culture.

The Worst Crimes Against Food McDonald’s Has Ever Committed

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Best Sriracha-Flavored Products

“Teaching Americans to stop being pansies about spicy food since 1980”

~Huy Fong Foods Slogan

 sriarcha

Sriracha hot sauce is basically an elixir.  It tastes good on just about anything, and the American culinary experience has improved vastly now that a bunch of restaurants have realized that it’s better to have a bottle of the stuff on their table than boring old ketchup.  Now, sriracha is considered a generic term, but let’s be honest, it’s the chili sauce that you get from Huy Fong Foods, which was founded in 1980 in America by David Tran, a Vietnamese-American immigrant who mastered his chili sauce recipe while living in Vietnam.  When the Vietnamese government began cracking down on ethnic Chinese living in south Vietnam (rude), he hopped on a freighter with three thousand refugees to make his way to America.  That freighter, Huey Fong, would end up inspiring the name of his ship when, two year, he began his hot sauce company.

The sauce was first only available at Asian restaurants in Chinatown, Los Angeles, but sales grew due to word of mouth, since it’s basically crack in a bottle.  By 2009, it had gone mainstream, and by 2012 they were selling over 20 million bottles a year.  In that time, it has come and gone as a food fad, but in its remains are the fact that, now, you can get almost anything in a Sriracha flavor.  And a lot of those things are good.  We’re going to tell you about some good things now.

Best Sriracha-Flavored Products

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The History of Fried Pickles

“What?  They fry PICKLES now?  What’ll they think of next!”

~Bar Patrons In, Like, 2001

 pickles

People from other countries like to make fun of America for frying all their food, but that’s like making fun of someone for having a hot wife.  Oh, what’s that, French tourists, all of our food is fried, making it taste a million times better?  Real sick burn there, froggy!  Yes, we fry everything, because yes, everything tastes better fried.  We’ve gone over this in pretty exhaustive detail, so there’s no need to rehash things here.

Now, if you’re anything like our staff, you’re drunk right now, maybe take a bit of a nap to sleep things off and get back to this article in a few hours.  But also, you eat lots of fried food, especially bar fried food.  You have probably ordered many a chicken strip, mozzarella stick, or even fried mushroom if you’re into that sort of thing while downing a high gravity pint.  But for our readers who don’t reside in the Southern area of our nation, the last fifteen years or so has brought a relatively novel fried item to many of your bar menus.

Fried pickles.  It’s that dish that (again, for you southerners, you all grew up with these) at first blush seems strange.  “Wait, so like…a dill pickle?  Fried?” many a Yankee has mumbled while looking over the menu at the Wood-n-Tap.  Yes, pickles, deep fried.  You’ll order them for the novelty, but be surprised to find they’re delicious.  Juicy and bursting, salty and greasy, it’s the best kind of bar appetizer because it’s truly awful for you, but you can technically say you’ve eaten your vegetables that day.  Gaming the system.

So with that in mind, we’re going to take a moment to tell you about the history of fried pickles, because now we get to list all of our bar tabs as tax write-offs.

The History of Fried Pickles

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The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Estonia

“Oh…oh no.  It’s another Russia-bordering country.  This is going to be so sad.”

~AFFotD’s Resident Food Critic

estonia

We know America does food better than any other country, primarily because when other countries make good things, we just steal it ourselves and make it bigger and better.  We didn’t invent pizza, but have you had pizza in Italy?  Our staff has.  It’s, like, fine.  America does it much better, with a few notable exceptions.  Now, there are other countries that have great food as well (Italy’s still got us beat in the pasta game , for example).  And there are countries that have bad food.  But we don’t care about any of those countries.  No, we take interest in countries whose food is not just generally bad, but wholeheartedly depressing in ways that cling to your soul.  We don’t know what caused our fascination with nations whose recipe books come pre-streaked with tears, but we’re not going to stop now.  Our latest nation with food that makes us so, so sad?  The small Russia-adjacent nation of Estonia.  Strap in, this is going to be a doozy.

The World’s Saddest Cuisines:  Estonia

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