“We wish you a merry…oh God what are you putting in front of us? You want us to EAT that?”
~Greenland residents during Christmas
We’re just a few short days away from Christmas, a time for reflection, forced familial-interaction in the guise of gift giving and, above all else, feasting, American-style. Every family has their own different tradition for Christmas, ranging from “it’s pretty much like a second Thanksgiving” to “my family died in a fire and the holidays are a cold reminder of how I’m alone in the world, oh God now I’m crying in public again, thanks a lot assholes” but generally, an American Christmas feast falls well within the definition of “normal.” Ham? Sounds delicious. Turkey? Sure! Egg nog? Booze it up and we’ll talk.
But we were recently informed, much to our surprise, that countries other than America also celebrate Christmas, which is insane to think about because America is the only country that actually makes good Christmas movies. But it’s true, we’re not alone in celebrating Christmas. However, less surprisingly, most other countries get real weird about it. So we decided to cast our xenophobia aside (reluctantly) in the spirit of Christmas, and look at some traditional Christmas dishes around the world. And since it’s the holidays, we’re not going to say that all of these are gross and must be set on fire, and instead are just focusing on Christmas meals that are…weird.
The Weirdest Christmas Dishes From Around the World
Posted in America Fun Fact of the Day, Insulting Foreigners, Strange Foods
Tagged America, Christmas, Christmas dishes, Greenland, Janssons Frestelse, KFC, Kiviak, Lampreia de Ovos, Muktuk, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Weird Food, Zakuski
“Give me a break!”
~Um, That’s Not The Theme Song To Captain Crunch…
When Captain Cap’n Crunch first hit the shelves in 1963, we didn’t worry ourselves with the fact that he’s not an actual Captain, and instead went wild over the corn-based cereal that was the first to be coated in a thin layer of oil to give it an additional boost of flavor. The cereal itself was developed by Pamela Low, a flavorist (shut up, it’s a thing) (no it actually is) at Arthur D. Little who tried to make a cereal that tasted like her grandmother’s recipe of brown sugar and butter melted over rice. Now, as far as “tasting like sugar butter over rice” goes, Captain Cap’n Crunch was an abject failure. But if we look at the product through a “holy shit, this is really good, let’s put some crunch berries in it” lens, it was a roaring success.
Now, Cap’n Crunch is everywhere, and you’ll hear no one complain about that fact because Cap’n Crunch is goddamn magical. That is, when they’re not trying to showboat.
Yes, much like Marshmallow Peeps, Oreos, or, God help us, M&Ms, Cap’n Crunch has tried many times to fly to the sun, only to see their waxen wings melt away. That was a very elegant metaphor about how you shouldn’t sell Cap’n Crunch that comes with fucking pop rocks in it.
Cap’N Crunch’s Grossest Flavors of All Time
~Your Taste Buds
The potato chip—America’s most effective salt delivery system since 1853. We as a nation eat 1.5 billion pounds of the stuff a year, which pares down to about 4 pounds of greasy, delicious shame for every American. It is an actual American invention, coming into existence because of a douchebag customer who kept sending back his fried potatoes for not being thinly cut enough, and the chef who said, “fuck you, I’ll give you fried potato peelings then and oh holy shit he actually likes it?” Since its inception, potato chips have spread all over the world, which is a good thing for people who work at liposuction clinics, and bad news for people who are trapped in countries that have decided a potato chip can be flavored as anything, no matter how batshit insane it is.
Surprisingly enough, we’re not talking about Japan, despite the atrocities they have committed against the humble Dorito. No, we’re talking about Lay’s, the parent company of Doritos, and a brand of potato chip that, for whatever reason has been hijacked by pure insanity in countries across the world. And before you say “Hey, I tried a bag of Borsch potato chips one time, it actually tasted pretty good!” we just want to remind you that you’re wrong and we don’t care what you have to say.
On to the distressing potato chips!
The Strangest Flavors of Lay’s Potato Chips in the World
“This Change.org petition is really gonna make a difference!”
~No, no it’s not
Change.org was founded in 2007 as a tool for people to advocate social causes. It’s used by over 100 million people who either have signed petitions or created their own, and it serves as an interesting launching point for issues that might otherwise get drowned out. It occasionally has caused a difference, most notably for its involvement in drawing national attention to the Trayvon Martin case, but mostly it’s used for what most things on the internet are used for. Okay, well, not porn, though we probably just Rule 34ed some of that into existence just now. No, it’s basically used for people to bitch and complain about something that annoys them. That ranges from sensible, social concerns to petty, stupid issues. But somewhere in between, something wonderful happens. Craziness.
So we did some digging to find some of our favorite wtf Change.org petitions for your please. All of these are 100% real and unedited.
The Most Absurd Change.org Petitions in America
“Why can’t you just come up with some unique hot dog toppings and call it your own like a NORMAL regional culinary trend?”
~Overworked AFFotD Taste-Testers
We have spent our last two articles discussing America’s dark, sordid food mistakes. We can’t be great at everything 100% of the time, so it’s understandable that, in the course of perfecting hot dogs and Philly cheesesteaks that we’ve had a few instances of bull testicles becoming popular in some region for some reason. All we can do is acknowledge our mistakes and move on.
So onward we will move, as we go into our final installment of…
America’s Worst Regional Culinary Dishes (Part 3)
“Just because you like something doesn’t mean the rest of you should like it too. Quentin Tarantino likes licking feet, that doesn’t mean that it is something that the rest of society accepts and embraces.”
~AFFotD Food Critics Dressing Down St. Louis-Style Pizza Fans
Okay so at some point we should stop ragging on St. Louis-style pizza so much. We’ll admit that. When we started listing the worst of America’s Regional Culinary dishes, we were thinking about St. Louis’ cracker-thin travesty of a pie, but really, in digging through the worst foods that America has to offer, we’ve come to appreciate it, and maybe even begrudgingly respect it. No, you’re still wrong if you like it, and no, we’re not going to take you up on your offer to get some fucking Imo’s, get that shit out of our faces, but at least it tries to be something delicious and normal. It fails on both fronts, but it tries dammit. There’s no offal or rolled balls of fat and meat powder in play. No bad ideas, just really, really, really bad execution.
With that semi-apology out of the way, we’re going to delve into more of America’s worst regional dishes. And we’re sorry. We’re so, so sorry.
America’s Worst Regional Culinary Dishes (Part 2)
Posted in America Fun Fact of the Day, Strange Foods
Tagged America, Crispy Snoots, Kool-aid, koolickle, livermush, Pickled pigs' feet, Rocky Mountain Oyster, St. Louis, St. Louis-style pizza, St. Paul Sandwich, Worst Regional Culinary Dishes
“I don’t care if it’s just how your mama used to make it, your mama used to make it WRONG.”
~AFFotD Taste Testers
When it comes to the culinary arts, America, and by extension the staff of America Fun Fact of the Day, is a lot like a caterpillar, in that caterpillars don’t know how analogies work. Wait, no, we can salvage this. American cuisine spent years languishing as underdeveloped and, frankly, sad attempts at inventing dishes that lagged far behind Europe’s more significant and time-tested methods. Only 85 years ago, Julia Child wrote a book that basically told the country, “Um, so France uses a lot of butter in their food, maybe if we tried that it would taste pretty good too” and people lost their shit so much that they still buy that book to this very day. But eventually our tastes matured, and we burst out of our cocoons to make hundreds of dishes that are insanely unhealthy, undoubtedly American, and still delicious enough that other countries try (and often fail) to replicate on their own.
Part of the beauty of American cooking is how diverse it can be, considering how every single area of this great sprawling nation has its own approach to filling us up. Hell, asking for a simple clam chowder can get you eight different soups, depending on where you are when you ask for it. Just looking at all the things we can do with the humble hot dog gives you an idea of how inventive and varied we can be when trying to find the most effective ways to give you a quick coronary. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate to successful dishes, and even more unfortunately, some of these failures randomly get embraced as “part of the culture” of various regions in America. This isn’t surprising—with so much good food, America was bound to have some swings and misses. But when we miss, ho boy, do we miss.
But you can’t appreciate the good without being made aware of the bad, so as much as it pains us, we’re here to present to you an unflinching look at…
America’s Worst Regional Culinary Dishes (Part 1)
“I just can’t get over the fact that Cincinnati eats their sausages with grape jelly.”
~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt, after part 4 of this series
We’ve been talking a lot about sausages the past few weeks. Like, a lot. There are dozens of types of sausage out there, even when you include the hundred or so varieties that haven’t made their way to America yet. In fact, we managed to find 25 different types of sausages that were either created in America, or were brought over from Germany (or other countries, but let’s be honest here, mostly Germany) and adopted by America as something that’s worth stuffing into your sin hole (that’s what we’ve been trying to call mouths this year. In retrospect it probably wasn’t our best idea).
Twenty sausage varieties have already been discussed, leaving us going into the homestretch to take all of the leftover sausages we had and “stuff” their “meat” into the “casing” of our final entry in this article series. (Did you see what we did there, or were we too subtle? Subtle about the “this category is like the sausage of sausage varieties” thing?)
American Sausage Series Part 5: Miscellaneous Sausages