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Old 02-17-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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Foods that we won't eat

In some parts of China, dogs are part of the food chain for people. Not so in the US. Other foods that we generally won't eat:
cats
spyders
insects in general
blowfish
fish guts
baloot

And there are probably many more.

So what do we eat in North America that other nations won't touch? I'm thinking;
Twinkies
Cheese Whiz
Some of the cheaper Easter chocolate candies.

What else can you think of that is eaten in North America that no one else will eat?

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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This isn't a gross one, but butter tarts, which are a much loved sweet in Britain and Canada, are not that popular in the states.

Suzanne Summers of Three's Company fame who married a Canadian, Alan Hamel, loved the tarts when she tasted them at Christmas and tried to market them in the US and failed. Ironically, she is now known as a fitness and health expert, who probably wouldn't touch the high calorie treat with a ten foot pole!

Yes, America as pecan pie, but it is not quite the same as our ooey gooey tarts.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Oddly, peanut butter seems to be something that's not widely available outside of the US. A friend of mine from London was vacationing in California a couple of years back. He loaded up his suitcase with several jars of Skippy (the creamy variety) to take back home with him. We also had an exchange student from France who did the same thing.

Dairy products are not universally loved, either. Much of Asia doesn't drink milk or eat cheese like we do here.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Dairy products are not universally loved, either. Much of Asia doesn't drink milk or eat cheese like we do here.
I remember reading after Americans started to return to China as tourists, one of things the Chinse noticed about us immediately, is that we smelled like cows.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
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Peanuts originated in Africa and came here with the slaves as food for them, and fodder for pigs. They are now considered an American crop and not high on the list of exported products.

Odd how the plantation owners wouldn't dream of eating certain foods but considered them good enough for the slaves. In turn a lot of the foods were high in protein and good for the slaves.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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Peanuts are often called "ground nuts" in Asia, where they are popular in dishes like Kung Pao, Massaman curry and Pad Thai, in addition to peanut sauce served with many dishes in India and Asia. I make my peanut sauce from peanut butter but I guess if they don't get peanut butter in that part of the world they probably start by grinding peanuts. It's interesting that generally the only ingredients in peanut butter are peanuts and salt.

Some of the Japanese products I've seen in US Asian markets don't look much more nutritionally redeeming than Twinkies.

Maybe not Cheese Whiz but I bet fish whiz or shrimp whiz might sell in Japan. Lots of their junk foods feature fish and shrimp tastes (and seaweed).

Cheaper Easter chocolate candies? I've seen tons of junky looking candy sold in Mexican and Latino stores. (Mexico is of course in NA but I presume some of these products are popular in SA.) And from recall notices it appears that Chinese like lead in their candies.

Of course cows (steak, etc.) are not popular in India, for reasons I presume everybody knows.

We seem rather restrained in NA compared to many parts of the world. I can't think of much that is consumed here that isn't consumed elsewhere in the world, although perhaps not as popular outside NA.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:13 PM   #7
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I can see your point GG. And except for Native American food (which has been exported all over the world, think potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, maple, beans, corn, etc. the foods we eat in NA are made from food stuffs brought to this area by immigrants from all over the world.

It used to be said that America was a salad, with many distinct parts all in the same place, but each with its own unique flavor. I think we are now becoming more of a bisque, with each flavor blending and adding richness to the whole.

I can't think of many things in NA cuisine that hasn't either come from, or been influenced from somewhere else.

Of course great eastern brookies, caught from the clear, running streams that empty into Lake Superior aren't eaten anywhere else, because no one else can get them. And IMHO, they are the best eating fish on the planet.

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Old 02-17-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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Chief, I take it is a fish. But what is a brookie and how did the name come about?
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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It's interesting to realize how many crops were native to only the Americas and were exported to the other parts of the world and profoundly affected their cuisines. To your list of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, maple, beans, corn we can also add avocados, peanuts, cocoa (chocolate), pineapples, squashes (sorry Abby, peanuts originated in the Americas), vanilla, common beans and lima beans. I believe chili peppers were discussed in a different DC topic. (And tobacco which is of course not a food. Also note that I did a bit of research, and my list wasn't just from memory.) It's interesting to think of what the world's various cuisines would be like without the contributions of New World crops.

Also, with the exception of Native American ("Indian") dishes, of which few have any worldwide impact (I can think of only fry bread at the moment) and some present day dishes influenced by ancient cultures such as the Mayans, Incans, Aztecs, most of present day American cuisine began with the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century. Many of the world's cuisines have had thousands of years to evolve. And yet at the same time many or most of present day cuisines would be nothing like they are now without the influence of the Americas and native American crops.

Now that I've written this longwinded post I've realized it has nothing to do with the question in the OP, "So what do we eat in North America that other nations won't touch?" I've been thinking more along the lines of what would the rest of the world be eating if it wasn't for the Americas. I don't know what but it would be a lot different than it is without foods from the Americas.

Perhaps Longwind you meant American commercial products? Or did you mean American cuisines? (As noted, many American cuisines were created by immigrants.)

AFAIK McDonald's has spread over most of the world. Is that a boon or a scourge?

I'm wondering if there's anything North American that isn't appreciated by at least part of the world, although not in every part of the world.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Chief, I take it is a fish. But what is a brookie and how did the name come about?
Brook trout. A beautiful and tasty fresh water fish, found in brooks and streams.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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We have brook trout here. Have gone fishing for it. Caught a few. Very delicious.

Succotash. Lima beans and corn came from Native Americans. I wonder if that is a dish that is served elsewhere? It was one of the dishes served at the Pilgrims big dinner. I love both of those veggies, but can't eat either one. Dang it!
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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For that matter, turkeys are native to North America. (It makes you wonder how they knew to name the country Turkey.)
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:19 AM   #13
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Chief, I take it is a fish. But what is a brookie and how did the name come about?
The species name is - the Eastern Brook Trout, or speckled trout. It is a freshwater fish that is found in streams East of the Mississippi. It ranges anywhere between 8 to 15 inches (15 inches long is huge for a brook trout). Average size is between 8 and twelve inches. Wild brook trout have an orange-pink flesh that is firm, but tender. The flavor is very similar to swordfish. I love this fish dredged in flour, and pan-fried in a couple inches of hot oil. Lightly salt when the fish is browned on both sides and removed from the pan. The fish is also used for a dish called blue trout, and is great when placed into a foil pack with sliced potatoes, onions, and carrots, with butter of course.

Many people prefer whitefish, or walleye (pickerel in Canada), or even small mouth bass and perch due to the extremely mild flavor. But me, I love brook trout. Oh, and rainbow trout, at the same size, and even brown trout taste identical to brook trout.

Brookies is short for brook trout.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:39 AM   #14
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What about Spam? To most it is a disgusting cheap meat product and yet in Hawaii it is a delicacy.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:49 AM   #15
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I have eaten Balut, and it was not something I would go back for. I have eaten a lot of insects, as a kid, and as an adult, and honestly, not all that bad. I have eaten horse, and honestly, it's pretty good.


As far as what we eat, that other cultures don't, I have been surprised by some of the reactions I have had from summer employees/work exchange kids. . .

The number 1 thing I was thrown off by: my Polish peeps wouldn't eat red skin new potatoes. They said that it was pig food, and what they fed farm animals. Also, they wouldn't eat a potato at all if it had skin on it.

Other than that, nothing really sticks out as a "Are you serious, you wont eat that" moment.

OH! Corn too, I have some Bolivian employees that only eat the big ole corn, corn that here, we feed to animals. Grrrrrrr, it's driving me crazy that I can't remember the name, bu tit is that really big kernel corn, and the rows are never straight. . . The maize de gringo, our nice sweet yellow corn, they refuse to eat. **EDIT** Mote( mo-tay)
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
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What about Spam? To most it is a disgusting cheap meat product and yet in Hawaii it is a delicacy.
In a LOT of the pacific, Spam is a staple. All throughout Indonesia, micro-nesia, it's a treat. Guam actually exceeds Hawaii in Spam consumption.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:44 AM   #17
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The only ones I can think of are peanut butter, corn on the cob and popcorn.

I guess I need to get out more!
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:21 AM   #18
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The Iberian Peninsula Doesn´t On A Large Scale

Having lived in Madrid for quite sometime; the culinary culture has changed quite significantly due to Chef Ferrán Adriá who has endorsed uncountable imported food items. None the less, here are some that are not that popular on a large scale:

1) Raw Fish Culture - Japanese Sashimi
2) Except for Galicia, Extremadura, Catalonia ( Barcelona), Andalusia, Madrid Capital and the Canary Islands; Chili Peppers
3) Peanut Butter
4) In general, Asian Cuisines and when they do, it is in a Restaurant and they order: Rice 3 Delicious which has some peas and carrots diced tiny in it ... Spring rolls or egg rolls and the Noodles with strips of meat and shrimp. They are not too experimental. Younger generations are experimenting more and travelling more.
5) Generally, Middle Eastern Cuisines except for Hummus.
6) Corn: until very recently, this vegetable was feed for the horses and donkies ... Due to the large number of South Americans who legally reside in Spain, corn, a staple in their salads, soups, flour, desserts and dishes has become more popular.
7) Piquant spices, ginger, curry, cayenne etcetra : this is relatively not employed in most of the provinces except the ones I indicated in Number 2 ( note: there are 38 plus Melilla and Ceuta which are next to Morocco in Northern Africa, however, are Spanish territories, autonomous provinces, yet under Spanish rule ).
8) Indian cuisine: relatively untried by the masses, there are 3 excellent Indian restaurants in Madrid and alot more in Barcelona, Catalonia. The unknown of the piquant, however now younger Spaniards are experimenting more.
9) Spaniards have a very traditional home routine of stews, soups and roasts ... Now due to the 2 parent household in the work place, youngsters are watched by grandparents, if they have them --- thus, the preference is to their Traditional bean stews and soups, " the spoon tradition " is still very strong here, especially outside of the main urban cities.
10) Soy bean products: there are Vegetarian and Pescatarian people in Spain; as well as Vegans. However, the number of Vegetarians who do not eat dairy, fish and by products of an animal, are comparatively quite small in number. Spain is steeped to this day in A Pork Culture, due to the Inquisition of the 1490s - mid 1500s ... thus, Spain likes their meat, pork and beef and lamb.

Margi.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:28 AM   #19
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Cranberries are one of the Oldest American Fruits

Cranberries were founded in Bay Colony by the 1st settlers in 1620, I believe it was.

To my knowledge; USA native foods:

1) cranberries
2) wild turkeys
3) salmon
4) lobsters ( Maine )

I am sure there are many other vegetables in the former Bay Colony ( New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island area in addition to the West --- only they were discovered later by the settlers )

M.C.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #20
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What about Spam? To most it is a disgusting cheap meat product and yet in Hawaii it is a delicacy.
Adding to what Tat said, I was astonished to see huge SPAM displays in my local Korean owned supermarket. All I can guess from that is that SPAM must be very popular with Koreans.
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