Friday, 22 June 2012

Fried Green Grits and other American "favourites"

Those journalistic geniuses at recently published an article titled 'Favourite foods in the US and why they havent taken off around the world'.  I saw it on a "friend's" Facebook page and refused to click on the basis that anytime anyone makes generalizations about things Americans like, they always get it wrong. Always.  Then another "friend" shared it, then another and I finally took a look.  Turns out, I can answer their question really easily - these "favourite" foods havent taken off outside America because they have hardly taken off IN America. Oh, and they are gross.

What are these American favourites?  

1. Grits. Seriously?!  Who outside a handful of  Southern states actually eats (and enjoys) grits?  I tried them once at an IHOP in Tunica, Mississippi and even after some coaching from a very nice waitress on how to best enjoy them, I couldn't manage it. Yuck!
Grit in Mississippi
2. Root Beer. Yeah, ok. Everyone should probably have a root beer float at least once in their lives, but do people really guzzle cans of root beer anywhere in America? I can't say I've ever known a real fan of root beer.  Maybe I've just been hanging out with the wrong crowd.

3. Scrapple.  Huh? 29 years of life in America, and I've never heard of it. A "favourite" it is not.

4.Cornbread. This is the one exception. Yahoo got something right.  Cornbread is delicious and people are indeed missing out if they haven't tried it.  Luckily for everyone in the UK, you can order it here.  And remember people, cornbread is not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

5. Fried Green Tomatoes. Again, unless you are a Southerner (or a major fan of Jessica Tandy) most Americans have probably never tried this "favourite" dish. I ate some in New Orleans once and they were alright, but nothing to write across the pond about. I think the fried Mars Bar has a better chance of making its way out of Scotand and around the world than the fried green tomato.


  1. The first time I ate grits and the first time I drank root beer, I thought I was going to be violently ill. Needless to say, there have been no second attempts at either. But lots of my friends in the UK make their own cornbread - I think it has successfully crossed over to the UK, though it's certainly not consumed on the same scale it is in the US. I've never tried scrapple or fried green tomatoes, but I wouldn't be averse to tasting the latter. You can keep your damned scrapple.

  2. Agreed! Grits are disgusting and I've never heard of scrapple!

  3. Aww you guys are having the wrong kinda grits! I love 'em - but I love butter, and sugar and most things that aren't good for your heart :) Although I have to agree, this is quite a Southern-leaning list.

    Also, cornbread, I got this covered. :) You can buy the cornmeal from any corner shop or giant sainsbury's and the recipe is simple as pie if you want to try for yourself: I make them my side on a sunday roast when I don't make yorkshire puds!

  4. I think scrapple is disgusting, but I know people (mainly my parents) who love it. However, it's no more disgusting than haggis or black pudding. In fact, it's probably less! It's just the off cuts of a pig (I don't think there's organ meat in it) with spices and corn meal or some other binding agent. It's formed into a small loaf, you cut it into thin pieces and pan fry it until it's a little crispy. My parents put syrup on it. I think other countries have enough of their own disgusting meat products, that they don't need to import them from the US. And you're right, it's definitely regional and not one of America's favorites!

  5. Just say no to scrapple...actually I don't even know what it is, but it sounds terrifying. Cornbread on the other hand, is divine. My first visit here from the expat network - greetings :)

  6. This is funny so there's a complement for ya. I came here for reviews on Xmas pudding. I found a microwave one (shudders) but don't really know what it should taste like. Yes, I love grits but probably not like how Southerns like them. I add butter and maple syrup (shudders again from my friend in Charlottesville). As a Native American, we love all things corn. We have a lot of things that most folks would call bland but hey, all we had was salt and some honey back then. Your comment on Root Beer made me laugh! A French friend said, "This is disgusting!" I even got him another brand saying it probably was the wrong brand. Nope, disgusting it remained. Said it tasted like toothpaste. Hmm.

    Thanks for your blog. I'll check in more. Love London and want to come back. Cheers and is said. Agoone, as we say in Navajo land.