“The horror. The fermented horror.”
~Tourists looking at a list of Icelandic dishes
Iceland is a country so far north that you basically never see the sunlight during their winters, which are only made somewhat tolerable, temperature wise, because when God made that island as somewhere no one would try to live he forgot about the volcanoes he accidentally put there. When “well, the cold’s not so bad, thanks to the volcanoes” is something an entire nation can say, it’s probably not surprising that their culinary culture embraces “bad, depressing foods” that existed solely to make sure 300,000 or so crazy Norse people could muster up just enough energy not to starve or freeze.
Now, Iceland is a perfectly lovely country, and apparently is very beautiful to visit in the summer. That being said, here’s what Icelandic people have to say about Icelandic winters. Anyway, rich culture notwithstanding, we took a look at the kind of meals you can expect from traditional Icelandic cooking and discovered, well, that it’s going to be our next installment in our ongoing series, The World’s Saddest Cuisines. So let’s dive in.
The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Iceland
Posted in America Fun Fact of the Day, Insulting Foreigners, The Rest of Them, The World’s Saddest Cuisines
Tagged America, Blood Pudding, Cod, Cod Liver Oil, Cod Tongues, fermented shark, Fjallagrasamjólk, Gellur, Hvalspik, iceland, Iceland Moss, Icelandic cuisine, Kæstur Hákarl, lysi, Puffin Heart, Súrir hrútspungar, Sheep, Slatur, Svið, The World’s Saddest Cuisines, Whale Blubber
“I mean, it’s not as bad as the Balkans, but that’s not saying much.”
~AFFotD’s World Food Critic
We’ve talked a few times in the past about the culinary practices of other countries that we find to be, in a word, depressing as shit. Okay, we used three words there, but two of them are superfluous because we dream of someday being paid to write by the word. But the point stands—as great as America is at cramming delicious foods into our stomachs at alarming rates, or finding cheap ways to maintain our impressive obesity goals, there are maybe even dozens of other countries that exist outside of here. We know, it’s shocking. There might even be like, 30 other countries in the world for all we know. And not all of them come blessed with a local cuisine that is worth being Americanized and turned into an award winning fusion restaurant in the States. So for every Italy, we have an Armenia. And we decided to start a series where we’d occasionally take the time to look at one of these lesser known national food styles and list off the dishes that are so sad they make us feel like holding a puppy until the world starts to make sense again.
Speaking of puppies…oh, no, thank God, this country doesn’t come anywhere close to eating puppies. But they still have some food options that are extreme bummers. Come with us on a boat or whatever to…
The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Djibouti
“Oh, sweet mother of…”
~The average American looking at an Armenian restaurant menu
We recently began a new article series where we described to you some of the most terrifying and, well, depressing national cuisines around the world. We started things off with Latvia, because we felt like you hadn’t had a good cry in a long time. This time around, we’re going to take our xenophobic discussion of gross food that is weird and wrong compared to American food all the way to Armenia, where everything is soup, and everything is awful. We’ll also be going pretty hard out of our way to avoid making jokes about that whole “Armenian genocide” thing because, as a general rule of thumb, genocide jokes are not funny and they never will be funny until douchebags who aggressively hit on their bartenders become their own ethnic group.
The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Armenia
Posted in America Fun Fact of the Day, Insulting Foreigners, The Rest of Them, The World’s Saddest Cuisines
Tagged America, Armenia, Blghourapour, khash, Poch, Sad Food, soups, spa, T'ghit, The World’s Saddest Cuisines, yogurt, yogurt soup
“I’m not as officer as you drunk I am *starts mauling police officer*”
~A Drunk Monkey
Humans separate themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom through their advanced culture, their intellectual pursuits, and their appreciation of Shark Week. Sure, there might be more to the difference between man and beast, but at the end of the day, many creatures on this planet are a lot like us, only much tastier. It’s this disconnect between our similarities and differences with the animal world that finds us constantly striving to anthropomorphize pets and wild creatures—you put a sweater on your severely overheated poodle and it’s cute, because he thinks he’s people. We like seeing animals “act human” but it’s typically pretty forced. Yes, that is a cute YouTube video of a dog walking on its hind legs, but that’s just because he was incessantly trained to do that. But there is one area where, with minimal human interference, animals are just like us.
They like to get drunk.
So, we will take a momentary break from our established credo of “Fuck Nature” to give our furry animal friends a break, and talk about how they like to get shitcanned drunk, just like us. Granted, if some of you take that to the logical conclusion that the alcohol probably makes these cute little critters taste even better, we won’t stop you.
A Brief History of Animals Getting Drunk
Posted in Fuck Nature, Strange America, The Rest of Them
Tagged Alcohol, Alcoholic Bears, America, Animals, chimpanzees, Drunk Animals, drunk elephants, drunk elk, elephants, elk, monkeys, Russia, Sweden, tree shrews
“This is what you guys eat for dinner? Great, now I’m hungry AND sad.”
~Tourists in Latvia
America, in case you didn’t get the memo, is better than all the rest of you wannabe country motherfuckers out there. That’s just a basic truth, and if you disagree with it you’re either French or one of those jerkwads that writes those magazine articles about “happiness indexes.” Why is America great? Our education and health care system? Okay, don’t be a sarcastic asshole, we’re asking a serious question here. Well, many of you shouted all sorts of great things, like freedom, whiskey, and we’re pretty sure we heard someone shout “the world’s largest charcoal grill in Magnolia, Arkansas” which, um, that’s definitely unique but hey we’ll give it to you.
But if you ask us, of the many, many aspects of America we truly love, there’s one that tends to take a special place in our heart. Well, yes, booze, but we’re talking about something that has a special place in our heart because it’s physically lodged there. That’s right, America’s tradition of culinary excellence. We make amazing food! Horrifically unhealthy, sure, but amazing nonetheless.
Which is what brings us to our latest series here at AFFotD. While America is clearly the pinnacle of the food world (sit down and shut up, France) there are other countries whose national cuisines, the food they grew up eating out of a sense of identity and history, are…well, pretty depressing. So we’re going to take some time to tell you about countries who don’t just do food worse than us, they do food worse in us in a way that we don’t even want to make fun of them for it, we just feel kind of bad for the poor guys. Plus, we’re totally going to make fun of them.
The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Latvia
Posted in Insulting Foreigners, Strange Foods, The Rest of Them, The World’s Saddest Cuisines
Tagged "milk products", America, beetroot soup, biešu zupa, bread soup, buckwheat, Cheese, grey peas (?), Griķi, Latvia, Latvian food, maizes zupa, Milk, peasants, potatoes, Russia, serfs, Sklandrausis, skābais krējums, The World’s Saddest Cuisines
“The shit is this?”
~AFFotD’s Sports Ambassadors
We all know there are only four sports that really count—football, basketball, baseball when you’re drunk, and hockey when your team is in the playoffs. Many try to convince America otherwise, but they’re misguided people who get excited about sitting down for two hours to watch 22 people run around without scoring a single goal, so you can cram your “soccer is the most popular sport in the world” shit right where the sun don’t shine.
Now, sure, every once and a while we pretend we like soccer, usually when our team is doing good, or when we randomly decide to expose FIFA corruption for reasons totally unrelated to them not giving us a World Cup since 1996, so we can at least sympathize with the people who have been brainwashed since birth into thinking that people kicking a ball to each other repeatedly on a giant field is entertaining, but we can’t say the same for what is apparently the second most popular sport in the world—cricket.
Cricket is bullshit. But we don’t know anything about it. So we’ve decided to try something new—we will comb through the Wikipedia page for the sport, and try to explain to you the rules, as far as we can understand, so you can learn how truly stupid the sport is.
AFFotd Presents: America’s Attempt to Understand Cricket
“Wait, who’s our president? What?”
~Residents of Nicaragua in the 1850s
Not all Americans were heroes, and not all Americans who did things that initially come off as badass were actually badass. What we’re trying to say is, there’s a lot of Manifest Destiny stuff that went down in the 1800s that doesn’t exactly sit well with history that many of us might not be aware of, but it is possible to at least talk about the impressive brazenness behind certain actions without condoning them.
For example—did you know that an American was briefly president of Nicaragua for about a year in the 1850s? That’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? Oh, what’s that? Uh, why did that happen? Oh, well….heeeeeee sort of wanted to take over most of Central America and turn it into a slave state affiliated with the American South. So. Yeah. Not the greatest reason. But still, interesting! Let’s talk about it!
William Walker: Not THAT Kind of Filibuster
Posted in The Best of the Rest, The Rest of Them
Tagged America, Central America, Costa Rica, Filibuster, jingoism, Manifest Destiny, Mexico, Neutrality Act of 1794, Nicaragua, Sonora, William Walker
“I will get a Hard Rock Café shirt from EVERY location!”
~The Saddest World Traveler in the World
Hard Rock Café is a music theme restaurant chain founded in London by two Americans, which was then purchased by the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2007 and is currently headquartered in Orlando, Florida. It’s a relatively friendly and tourist-dominated place that you’ve very probably visited at some point in your life, though if you said you could remember what kind of food they had there you’d be lying. It’s known for having a shitload of music memorabilia (all together, they’re responsible for the largest collection of that in the world) and for the fact that old people seem to love to buy shirts to show what cities with a Hard Rock they’ve been to.
We think that Hard Rock Café is fascinating, but not for the reasons you’d suspect. Tricking people into overpaying for decent generic food through gimmicks is, while extremely American, not something that we find particularly novel or new. We’ve all eaten at a TGI Fridays, after all. No, the fascinating part of Hard Rock is that, though it was founded in England, it’s really an American export that’s happened to establish locations in a frankly surprising number of countries. No, seriously, there are 191 Hard Rock locations (if you include hotels and casinos) in over 59 countries. That’s insane! So, we figured we should go through the list of locations and tell you about some of the weirdest one, because we know that when you go to exotic and strange locations, you really want to sit down and eat a whatever the fuck Hard Rock sells while looking at a guitar Elvis played for a few weeks during some practice session in 1962.
The Most Surprising Hard Rock Café Locations in the World
Posted in Insulting Foreigners, The Rest of Them
Tagged America, Bahrain, Cambodia, France, Hard Rock, Hard Rock Cafe, Hard Rock Hotel, Northern Marina Islands, Paris, Sweden, Vietnam
“Nope nope nope nope nope nope.”
~AFFotD Food Critic, John Goodman
Depending on what non-affotd corners of the internet you choose to spend your free time perusing, you might have heard recently about Burger King ramping up the gross factor on their food by offering a black bun, black cheese burger called the Kuro, or Black burger. This burger re-issue (yes, they tried it before, more on that later) used squid ink and bamboo charcoal to create an all-black burger. Black cheese, black ketchup, black soul are combined for fast food connoisseurs in Japan (because of course this is happening in Japan), leading to a whole slew of internet chatter of “lol, Japan is crazy” (which, duh) and “ew, this looks gross so I tried it oh by the way I’m also a white 24-year-old living in Japan currently while maintaining a blog about my travels.”
What we find most surprising about this burger has nothing to do with its mere existence. When talking about Japan, nothing surprises us anymore. No, upon doing some digging, we discovered that Japan’s Burger King does not have a monopoly on this particular brand of culinary insanity. So, get ready to see a lot of unappetizing pictures of a type of food you once loved, because we’re going to delve into…
The (Terrifying) Black-Bun Burgers of the World
Posted in China, Japan, Strange Foods, The Rest of Them
Tagged America, black and white, black bun, black buns, Burger, Burger King, burgers, dark vador burger, Fast Food, frog burger, Goddamn It Japan You're Doing it Wrong, hakooka burger, Hamburger, humbah, Ikasumi Burger, Japan, Kuro Burger, Kuro Ninja Burger, Kuro Premium Burger, kuwait, McDonalds, orbi yokohama, quick, The Dark Knight