Visit any country in the world and you’ll quickly find that each nation has its own quirky food preferences. The Scandinavians love salty licorice, the Chinese are gaga about gelatinous textures, the Brits love foam shrimps and bananas.
And the Americans? The Americans don’t have just one peculiarity, they are definitely fond of their unusual food preferences.
Only in America
America takes pride in its food: in having the biggest portion sizes, pursuing ultimate indulgences, and creating downright unusual comestibles.
Just check out these oddities for starters…
What is more American than Atomic Fireballs?
These spicy candies have been a continuous hit since their introduction in 1954, during the height of the Cold War. What better way to alleviate tensions between East and West than by inventing a nuclear-themed candy complete with a red hot flavor?
And come to think of it, who on earth thought: “I know what the public will love… spicy candy!” But wow, did they hit the nail on the head. Atomic Fireballs have proven their worth, standing the test of time and being just as popular today as they were back in the 1950s.
So what is it about this beloved American icon that makes it just so darned spicy? It’s not the cinnamon flavoring, that’s for sure. In fact, Ferrara, the manufacturers of Atomic Fireballs add pepper into the mix, to make the fireball candies truly atomic. Capsaicin to be exact. Because hot peppers and candies are one of those pairings that naturally come together… no, wait…
Capsaicin is what makes hot peppers hot, it’s what gives jalapeños their kick, and it’s what drives Atomic Fireball lovers wild with the spiciness. According to Ferrara, Atomic Fireballs rate 3500 on the Scoville scale – the Scoville scale being the measure of how spicy a pepper is. To put the 3500 ratings into perspective, your favorite Atomic Fireball candy has the same spicy kick as chowing down on a jalapeño.
Mac and Cheese
The Americans have not just adopted another nation’s beloved dish (in this case pasta), but they have taken it, turned it on its head and made it wholly their own. Mac and cheese couldn’t be more American if it tried. A meal in a box with a squeezy pouch of ‘orange’ cheese, and just in case you feel it isn’t truly American enough, simply add sliced hotdog on top.
Beer butt chicken
Yup, you read that right. Americans love their beer; they also love their BBQ chicken. So it should come as no surprise that they’ve combined their two loves – BBQ chicken cooked upended on a beer can – beer butt chicken!
Not only does the beer keep the chicken moist, but it also provides entertainment at mealtimes.
The highly caffeinated, neon yellow soft drink was originally intended not to instill thoughts of hydrated athletes and fresh mountain peaks, but as a whiskey chaser – the name Mountain Dew being slang for moonshine, just in case consumers weren’t clear on what its intended use was.