“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)