Oct 24 2014
A great benefit to being a milfam is that we were able to live overseas and experience many different countries and cultures. For us, it was important to take advantage of being in a foreign country and to assimilate our kids into their cultures (Japan and Germany).
So, we put our kids in the local public schools (we lived in Bann, just outside of Landstuhl), signed them up to play sports for the village teams, and tried to visit as many festivals as we could. Little did I know that there was a term for how we were living – living those countries through the backdoor, as the travel author Rick Steves calls it (on an aside, he writes the best travel books by far: readable, affordable, and directs people to the non-touristy path).
One of the outcomes of our military life overseas was being able to eat a lot of local cuisine. We had a favorite izakaya we frequented in Okinawa (Toki’s) and a neighborhood gausthaus in Bann we went to on a weekly basis (Schneider’s). It was great to have friendly owners serving delicious, fresh, and reasonably priced food – which, I’m sorry to say, we don’t find in the U.S.
Here, if the food is fresh, the restaurant is expensive. If the restaurant is affordable, the food is frozen and reheated. One of the joys of our German gausthaus was listening to the pork cutlets being pounded in the kitchen while my beer was being poured at the prescribed time of 7 minutes for a proper beer (or so the owner’s wife told me).
Sometimes, we did pull an Anthony Bourdain and Parts Unknown, and experienced some odd foods. In Okinawa, we had fish eyes, sea urchin, horse sushi (with a slice of lard, of course – what’s horse sushi without a good slice of lard), and chicken – chicken liver, chicken hearts, chicken raw skin, and chicken “all over” (the only way our waitress could explain what we just put in our mouths). In Germany, we had fewer exotic foods, but blood sausage made up for the lack of choices. I shudder as I write that.
As we, as Americans, would look askew at some foreign foods, I would wonder what American foods foreigners would see as strange. It seems like American food is so non-exotic that who could complain. Well, my question has been answered. The website trove.com has listed 17 “All American’ foods that disgust foreigners“.
I have to say, I do agree with some of the choices. But others…well, compared to the offerings overseas, I don’t quite see how their choices can be seen as disgusting. For instance, grits. I don’t like them, but they’re pretty tame. And American bacon? Come on – I’ve had bacon overseas and nothing comes close to our bacon. Oh, and meatloaf! I don’t think people who eat blood sausage have a leg to stand on complaining about meatloaf.
Other items include cereal, sno-cones, Hershey’s chocolate (okay, after eating chocolate across Europe, I do see where foreigners are coming from with this choice), and bread (which, after eating bread in Europe, I will concede). But bacon?! I hate to bring it up again, and I’m not a bacon-is-good-in-anything type of guy, but how can anyone not like good ole U.S. of A bacon?
Anyway, go the link and see what you think? Do you agree with any of the foreigners’ disgusts? Or, have you had some disgusting food overseas?