Growing up, I had zero idea that the food I ate daily was "cultural."
It didn't occur to me until I was a kid when my mother had to gently explain to me that not everyone ate rice & beans.
She had to explain it because we were about to eat at a white friend's house for the first time.
I've always been weird about food tastes and textures and mom needed to warn me that the beans I could expect would be nothing like what I knew.
They would be sweet, have big chunks of chewy pork (which would also be sweet), and would NOT be served with rice.
"What do you mean there's no rice with the beans? Did they run out? Should we bring some?"
"No, they just don't eat rice and beans."
"So what do they eat with their chicharron de pollo?"
"They don't eat that. They do fried chicken a little different and they tend to eat things like rotisserie chicken instead."
Y'all should have seen my face.
It's been thirty years and I still struggle with the idea of not eating rice and beans all the time. I've come to understand that not everyone grew up in a Caribbean cultural household, though, and most Americans ate from a whole other menu.
Reddit user remyleboi00 asked:
"Non-Americans, what is the best 'American' food?"
Even as someone born in America, it took a while before I got familiar with American food.
So if it's just not your comfort zone - let Reddit guide you to the can't miss dishes.
"Cajun food. Definitely the most unique American food"
"As an American I 100% agree with you. Cajun food is heaven sent"
"That's because of it's native American roots, fun fact Cajun peppers are named after the south American tribe that influenced the Spanish/French who brought it to Louisiana. Maque Choux is also a very native American dish that can be found in Mexico as Calabasitas."
They Are Fundesperate housewives eating GIFGiphy
"Curly fries 👌"
"Recently came across Carl’s jr for the first time in Istanbul airport and the curly fries were just the best"
"the fun thing about curly fries is that they are basically the same everywhere. I'm pretty sure it's one company supplying all the different fast food places"
"I hate to sound like an ignorant foreigner but a made from scratch Mac & Cheese with at least 3 different cheeses plus a crispy breadcrumb crust on top is one of my favorite American dishes"
"Mac & Cheese is such a favorite of family get-togethers that if you volunteer to cook it, your Mac & Cheese needs references."
"It’s especially good with some pulled pork and caramelized onions mixed in. And some insulin."
"Solid choice. We Americans LOVE cheese."
"No need to apologize. One of our favorites too."
Thankful For Thanksgiving.I Love You Cooking GIF by Bob's BurgersGiphy
"I'm from Mexico and we get spoiled with our traditional cuisine but I found the thanksgiving dinner experience in the US incredible."
"Love everything, the turkey (dark meat :) ), cranberry sauce, the stuffing (oh the stuffing), mashed potatoes, salads and the delicious pays that follow for dessert. That whole combination plus the red wine and good company is an incredible experience hard to match."
"We also get spoiled with your traditional cuisine."
"I usually get a food coma on Thanksgiving"
"As an American who loves the Thanksgiving and other holiday classics this warms my heart to hear from someone whose cultural cuisine is considered a full on cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO."
"A nicely done, quality turkey with proper attention paid to all the sides, and good friends and/family is such a great experience."
"Same with the ham or prime rib dinner at Christmas. And all the pies. God I love pumpkin pie."
"Anything smoked: brisket, pork shoulder, chicken, turkey. I've even had smoked burgers. If seasoned well you don't even need BBQ sauce and it is so tender and juicy."
"I smoke meatloaf, can't go back to oven baked ever again."
"This tread has me wanting to smoke a brisket sooner rather than later."
"I love smoked brisket. I agree with you about the sauce. Taste the brisket before dunking in another flavor."
"Native Texan here. Agreed. The general rule here is that you never sauce beef. Let the flavor of the meat stand for itself. Hell, there are some places in Texas (particularly in Lockhart) that will ask you to leave their establishment if you ask for BBQ sauce."
"Now, pork and chicken, whatever else... Go nuts... Just leave beef alone."
"I had smoked mac and cheese once, it was heavenly."
Risk It Allhungry bart simpson GIFGiphy
"This is probably a recipe for disaster but I'm British and growing up visiting Florida I would love eating raw cookie dough from the refrigerator section"
"Cookie dough is so good that, given the option between not eating it, or getting food poisoning, nearly everyone will pick the cookie dough."
"It’s one of the few foods in the country where everyone knows the risk of food poisoning, and everyone makes the conscious, willing, and eager decision to not give a f*ck."
"All of us here in the U.S. know that eating the cookie dough is the best part of making homemade chocolate chip cookies. I have a recipe for brownies with a cookie dough topping. Cookie dough ice cream is also extremely common (it’s vanilla ice cream with cookie dough bits mixed in)."
The Holy Pudding
"I can’t find someone who’s listed it so"
"That shit is LIFE CHANGING"
"Gotta have the Nilla wafers or it isn't right."
"Ah, finally! A person of culture. Banana pudding is the closest food can come to a religious experience."
Cornbread!cornbread cooking GIF by emibobGiphy
"Oddly enough, no one seems to have mentioned it…but cornbread . Yeah , as a guy who moved here , Americans have got cornbread down to a T . Combined with some soul food ? Makes me smile on the inside . Gives me high blood pressure , but smile on the inside too"
"A nice warm cornbread muffin with some butter and a little drizzle of honey is amazing."
"Cornbread with a nice bowl of chili is such a nice comfort food."
"And the spicier the chili the nicer the sweet, buttery cornbread is with it."
"Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, at first i thought it was a disgusting combo, but when i tried i loved it"
"Interesting, most people in America are introduced to pb&j before we're even old enough to remember"
"Farmer’s market jam is the way."
"That was my most frequent meal in elementary school. I didn't realize it was an American thing until recently."
"It's easily top 3 greatest sandwich ever."
As American As It Getspulp fiction breakfast GIF by MIRAMAXGiphy
"I may be a simpleton, but an average diner with bottomless filter coffee, pancakes, bacon and syrup was my favourite part of the day. Although I did put on about 10-15kg after a month in Texas"
"I missed this sooooo much when I lived in the UK (grew up in New Jersey, land of diners). They simply do not do American diner breakfasts in Europe."
"My wife is German, I am American but we live in Germany. We took her parents to the states with us one summer on vacation and one of the things they insisted we do was go to a diner where they pour your coffee at the table, like in movies and tv shows."
"Took them to my favorite little spot, they loved the waitress filling up their cups unprompted."
Now that youve heard Reddit, it's my turn.
So remember how I said that I wasn't really exposed to American food until I was a bit older, even though I was born and raised in America?
I was 22 before I had meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
FAM. Fam. Faaaaaaaaaaam.
There is no greater meal for after a night of drinking than a good meatloaf and a nice herb and garlic mashed potato.
Keep your greasy pizza, amateurs. It's potato time over here.
Many people live by the mantra that ignorance is bliss.
It's true, how being left in the dark about influential pieces of information is preferable.
For example, being cognizant about a co-worker's questionable private life can adversely affect how others interact with this individual if they object to their tendencies outside of the workplace.
Not knowing certain things can be freeing, a notion that was explored when Redditor Distantmole asked:
"What’s something you really wish you didn’t know?"
These Redditor examples are based on an occupational hazard.
"How to fix a printer. Sometimes, I just play dumb when I'm asked..."
"I was the ONLY one who knew how to unjam the printer at my old job. And it was a lemon - it jammed at least once a day. I quit the job because I was overworked and unappreciated. My replacement left in less than a year. I hope they're suffering without their little resident unjammer. Thanks for letting me vent."
Parents are people too, and you wouldn't be here were it not for them.
So there's that.
The Origin Of You
"I know exactly where, when, and how I was made in grand detail. I have no idea why my parents felt the need to tell me this, but I now know and I wish i didn't."
"I was conceived in a waterbed in my parents’ old condo. My dad told me when I was 15…"
Pulling Back The Curtain
"My father photographed all the births, me and my siblings."
"Each of us had a photo album growing up."
"They started with the photos of our births."
"My father took photos of us coming out.... of the vagina."
"This is the first page of my childhood photo album."
Too Close For Comfort
"My parents told me they conceived my younger sibling in a tent with me and my older sibling while we were sleeping in the same tent. I did not need to know that."
You think you know everything about the members of your family.
However, some things about them are better left a mystery.
"Was on a vacation with my grandma in a shared room and she disappeared into the bathroom for 5 minutes, came out, I didn't think any of it and didn't care, and she came up to me and said."
"I have bad constipation right now so I shoved a bit of soap in my butt to help softening it up! Maybe I'll fart bubbles soon, he he!"
"That happened 6 years ago but it's burned into my brain."
The Family's An Open Book
"Didn't need to know the reason I'm mums least favourite child and I certainly didn't need her to tell me what colour my step dad's pubes are. Didn't need my Grandparents to tell me that they had sex the night before on the couch I was sitting on or my grans favourite position."
"Also didn't need to know my uncle only has one testicle or that my dad was in the room when my cousin was conceived. My family is far to open lol."
"If you find an unlabeled videotape laying around burn the f'king thing just in case."
The myth of mammals.
Scary Fish Tongue
"There is a parasitic isopod that gets inside a fish’s mouth, severs the tongue, and lives in the fish’s mouth acting as a replacement tongue."
I wish I didn't know about as Demodex or eyelash mites.
Oh, you didn't about them?
Prepare to have your mind blown.
There is a community of mites living in the pores of our faces.
Ever wondered why your face randomly itches when there's nothing visibly making contact with your face? That's because these little stubby boring worms–that are a distant relative of ticks and spiders–are having a party inside your fleshy dwelling, and they are grateful for its host to extend the welcome mat.
Americans often drop popular sayings in conversation that have some element of truth to them.
You've undoubtedly come across phrases like, "Kill two birds with one stone" or "it's raining cats and dogs."
While those are used to describe actions, like the state of the weather, there are other phrases that are dispensed as words of wisdom to help individuals through a challenging situation.
But the endeavor to console someone by using this tactic is not always effective.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor Braca5 asked:
"What popular sayings are bullsh*t?"
These sound familiar?
The Survivor Mentality
"whatever doesn't kill you just makes you stronger."
"Looks aren't important."
"It's true. They don't always or entirely matter, but they do. That's kind of how superficial humans are."
Not Every Pain Heals
"Time heals all wounds."
"There's another one that goes like this 'time heals nothing, it just replaces memories.'"
The stigma around this is so foul, the guilty will lie about their offensive crime.
"He who smelt it dealt it"
"Whoever said the rhyme did the crime."
Psychology Around The Guilt
"The irony is it's almost always the opposite that's true. Most people would rather just be quiet about a fart than try to put it on somebody else and as it is you usually become pretty accustomed to your own and probably don't even smell half of the ones that slip out so likely the person who dealt it is going to be one of the last to actually consciously smell it."
Playing by the rules doesn't always get you places.
"Cheaters never win."
"A better saying:"
'Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.' John Harington (1561 - 1612)
Comeuppance Never Comes
"What goes around, comes around."
"Bullsh*t. I've seen people be jerks my entire life (I'm 57 y/o) and they never got what should have come around to them."
Thing About Karma
"Worse, it's an excuse to not take responsibility. A few years back, I had discovered a nasty person who was fooling the public by buying dogs from Amish auctions of out of state, bringing them, unvaccinated, across state lines, and pawning them off on the public as 'rescues' but also taking loads of donations when she was not registered as a charity. She was not using the funds for medical care. The gal was a flashy blonde in designer clothes and knew how to fool people."
"The county authorities were investigating and needed more evidence. I approached the owner of a local pet supply store where she operated her scam and asked him to cooperate. He banned her from the store but completely refused to cooperate with the investigation. Excuse, 'Karma will get her.'"
"B*tch got off with just a fine when she would have faced animal cruelty charges."
"Karma? No, it's not a thing."
Those who adopt a passive way of thinking end up making up for lost time.
Turning A Blind Eye
"Out of sight, out of mind."
"Ever lost track of a spider?"
How Much Time Do You Have?
"Good things come to those who wait."
Lond Distance Relationships Aren't For Everyone
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
I think those who say "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," is debatable.
Depending on the situation, being forced to do something you once loved so you could earn a living can potentially breed resentment.
I'm a former dancer who absolutely lived off the adrenaline of performing on a stage. But when the cast I was performing with at a theme park was forced to do the same rigorous show five times a day–sometimes in intense heat–I was miserable.
Once, I severely twisted my ankle mid-performance simply because I was physically exhausted but continued giving it my 100% when my body was ready to give out. That's when most performance-based injuries occur.
That phrase certainly got a second hard look from me back then.
No two people share exactly the same likes and interests.
But on occasion, one might find themselves being among the few, if not the sole members of a certain fan club.
Indeed, while Cats earned a place on the list of the worst movies of all time, its 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes suggests that there are a handful of people who actually liked it.
Or while many people dread having to clean their homes, some simply can't wait to get started, and will look for any and every opportunity to do so.
Redditor StardustNova_ was curious to hear where members of the Reddit community found themselves in a distinct minority of appreciation, leading them to ask:
"What's something you like that the vast majority people hate?"
You've got me all tied up in knots!
"I love untangling things."
"Your Christmas lights end up in a ball and there’s no telling where it starts or ends?"
"Got a necklace that got rolled up into a total mess?"
"I’m your de-tangler."
"Headphones come out of your pocket looking like a Tangela? "
"Total zen for me."
"Wish I could make a few bucks with it tho."- Not_Jo_Mama
I'm all ears!
"People that talk a lot so I don’t need to."
"I like listening to them & I find their energy refreshing."- krasavetsa
"Everything about the airport."
"Idk why but it’s so fascinating."
"Honestly I like it more than the trip sometimes lol."- abigailgwhitneyairport GIFGiphy
"The cold never bothered me anyway"
"A Winnipeg winter day where there's not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind, but it's so f*cking cold out your nose hairs freeze together every time you breathe."- FakeLordFarquaad
When life gives you lemons...
"Apparently a lot of people don't like the lemon/yellow starburst candy, and that's the one I prefer."- mermaid_with_pants
Sudsy, soapy dreams...
"Doing the dishes."
"I find it so calming."- shakensunshineSeason 5 Episode 10 GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
The gift that keeps on giving.
"It's super therapeutic and relaxing to me."
"I'll wrap everyone's presents in the house, even the ones they have to give to other people!"- happygoose2022
Sweeet and sparkly!
"Fruit flavored sparkling water."- suitcaseinherhand
"It's raining, it's pouring..."
"Gloomy and rainy days."- eggtart_princerainy day GIFGiphy
Can't dive too deep!
"I got addicted to research when I was in college and something about putting everything together to present a coherent argument is just exciting for me."- ILoveFoodALotMore
It's always interesting to hear the thing which would make some people groan with misery that would make others cheer with glee.
Nor should always look down on someone for loving something you absolutely hate, as they could help you wrap those presents you've been putting off because you hate it so much.
And who knows, maybe Cats wasn't as bad as you remembered...
It's usually a good feeling to be "on top".
To be found at the top of the list of a notable or unique accomplishment.
Though having the distinction of being in the top 0.1 percent of something might not always be something to brag about, resulting in some keeping this distinction to themselves.
If only because some people might be unusually fascinated by their so-called "accomplishment", that they'll never stop being bombarded by questions.
Redditor ImLostInTheForrest was curious to hear if any members of the Reddit community believed they were in the 0.1 percent of anything, be it commendable, bizarre or unfortunate, leading them to ask:
"What’s something you believe you may be in the 0.1% of?"
A mighty heart indeed
"Scars on my heart."
"I have about 30, I think."
"On my 4th heart procedure, I had 24 cardiac ablations."
"They use radio waves to kill tissue to create scarring so that effectively signals can't travel through that way."
"During one procedure, epicardial, meaning both inside and outside the heart. by the top electrophysiologist on the east coast."
"He said only one other patient of his had more done in one procedure."
"Took 10 hours."
"I could hear the nurses gossiping about me in the hallway."
"This was 7 years ago, and now my heart is working great!"- pearlie_girl·
Extremely comfortable in my skin
"Half of my body is a birthmark of tan skin, and the other half is pale white."
"It's right down the middle of my stomach and same with my back."
"I've only ever seen 1 person online with it saying 'chimerism' but idk if that's same with me."
"Idk but it's uncommon." - User Deleted
"Still living with stage IV lung cancer for 13 yrs."- Flashy-Cattle-8086
Big shoes to fill indeed...
"I wear a size 18."- wearegoodthings
Love your job!
"Don't know if it's less cool because I do it for work, but I 'photograph' atoms and crystalline atomic structures most days."
"I get to see the world in a way few ever do which is kinda neat."- RayseBraizeAnimation Loop GIF by xponentialdesignGiphy
An exclusive club no one wants to be part of...
"I have this condition called Miyoshi Myopathy, which, thankfully, affects only my calves and hence my walking capabilities."
"My doctor told me it is rare, but tbh statistically rare does not really mean anything, everyone might have it but they either did not get out of their way to test it, via taking blood and had it examined in a lab, or they just never realized there was something wrong at all."
"If you are wondering why I said 'Thankfully it only affected the legs', it is because it is a muscle disorder, and some disorders affect Cardiac, heart, and Pulmonary, lungs, muscles that will obviously not be pretty."
"I have to get tested every year to make sure all my vital functions are normal and as of now nothing significant is noted and I should be living a long and healthy life."- 1123Icantthinkofname
It's harder than you think...
"Folks who know percentages."- mrg1957Giphy
"Apparently only 0.1% of people become mechanical engineers in the US and an even smaller percentage are women, so maybe that?"
"I was also less than 2 lbs when I was born, and I think the percentage is probably similar."
"I somehow have no lasting physical issues from that, though my sister has cerebral palsy."- s_p_o_c_k
Plenty to go around!
"I have 3 functional kidneys."
"No it doesn't mean I pee more."
"No it doesn't mean I can drink more alcohol, thats the liver."
"No I won't sell it for under $71,241." - User Deleted
While some wouldn't necessarily consider some of these things an accomplishment, all of them certainly make for fascinating conversation starters.
Seriously, where would the third kidney even go...?