Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5 things Americans don't eat, and They Have No Excuse For It

Disclaimer: Yeah, I know. #NotAllAmericans

This topic came up in a conversation with other Hungarian expats, and I thought it was fun enough to write about. Essentially, here are 5 food stuffs that we are used to consuming frequently in Hungary, but were distressed to find are not liked in the USA. Since I have spent a couple of years in various parts of the States by now, I think I can at least say with confidence that as far as I know, in my experience these things are rarely if ever are consumed by the Americans I have met.
And I have no idea why not.

Corn on Pizza
When you ask for a Hawaiian in Hungary, you get a pizza with cheese, ham, pineapple... and corn. That was the standard norm as far as I was concerned... until I ordered Hawaiian in the US, and it arrived sans corn. Upon asking my American friends why the pizza people forgot to put the corn on the pizza, I got looks that simultaneously read "WTF" and "Bless your little foreigner heart." I found out the hard way that most pizza places don't even offer corn as an optional topping.
Confusion: Americans literally put corn in everything. I mean, there was an entire Supernatural episode about it. Is it really so weird to ask why it's not on the pizza?!

Peach juice
I somehow managed to spend five years in the USA without realizing that Americans don't drink peach juice. Like, ever. There is apple, pineapple, orange and cranberry, even pomegranate and carrot... but no peach. Not in most stores, anyway. I would say it is probably one of the top 3 fruit juices consumed in Hungary, and I am baffled by the random neglect.
Confusion: I am fairly certain peaches exist in the USA. Has no one ever tried to squish 'em?


Marzipan
Marzipan is the stuff dreams are made of. According to me. For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a sweet made of sugar and almonds. It is not only delicious, but also great with chocolate (especially dark chocolate), and sometimes comes in fun Play-doh like format, which is used to make decorations for birthday cakes (or sometimes even statues). The only marzipan chocolate I have ever seen in the US is sold at Walgreens.
Confusion: Americans clearly like candy. Why not marzipan?

Frybread
Lángos, as we call it, is everyone's favorite beach and fair ground food. It is deep-fried dough in a flat format, usually topped with cheese, garlic, salt, and sour cream. It is a guilty pleasure, and as such, it is both filling, greasy, and delicious.
Confusion: Native Americans know what frybread is.



Poppy seeds
When I tell my American friends that my grandparents grow poppies in their garden, I can see them mentally filing me under "possible Hungarian drug contact." Poppy seeds are a staple for several pastries, and we even eat them on pasta sometimes.
Confusion: Poppy seeds don't actually get you high, unless you eat a LOT of them. At least I have never seen any of my family members stoned after Sunday lunch...

Bonus: There is such a thing in Hungary as poppy-marzipan ice cream. Your move, America.

21 comments:

  1. Peach juice is yummy!

    I just did a guest post about pizza toppings people probably never considered and I didn't consider corn. I love putting veggies on pizza, but never tried corn. Well, now I will! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know why we don't have peach juice over here. Peaches are tasty, so why not juice them. The only thing I know of that uses poppy seeds are lemon poppy seed muffins and those are tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where I live, the foodies and the students all flock to the Cheese Board Collective, where for 30 years the co-op bakers have been dishing out pizza made with whatever is fresh. You don't get a choice of toppings, every day it's a new style, based on whatever's fresh. This is the only place I have had corn on my pizza. Probably with summer squash and red onions.
    I note that one day this week they will serve a pizza with corn, pasilla pepper, onion, mozzarella and Valbreso feta cheese, garlic olive oil, lime, and cilantro. Foodie town. None of the other chain pizza or artisanal pizza restaurants in town use corn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. That does sound like a foodie thing XD Squash on pizza? Don't let my mom hear about that...

      Delete
  4. I love peach juice, and Princess Cake is all about the marzipan!! So are Mozart candies, though they're imported. Corn on pizza I thought was a uniquely Japanese thing... guess I was wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is peach juice here in the USA. I used to get it every week at the Dekalb Farmer's Market. Sometimes it's mixed with other juices sold at the supermarket. I remember some cute little international people that my sister and I got when we were pretty young. They were made of almonds covered with marzipan. Very delicious.

    Corn on pizza? I'm not attracted to that. They do sell "live pizza" at a local vegetarian restaurant.

    Have had poppy seed buns.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We drink peach juice at our house as well! White peach usually. It's delicious! I'm also a big fan of anything lemon poppyseed. I will admit that the thought of Hawaiian pizza with corn kind of makes me gag a little though. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love poppy seed roll. My grandfather would always bring it home from the Polish bakery near where he worked. I bought it one Easter for my family and I was the only one eating it. Oh, well. Corn on pizza? Not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think German Kinderchocolate must have Marzipan in it because that chocolate is the absolute best! It just melts in your mouth and then that sugar is released - yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Americans don't eat Kinder eggs either, but they do have an excuse for that one: It's illegal in the US :D

      Delete
    2. I think I've heard of it. Is it because there are little toys inside, and we're afraid of liability?

      Delete
    3. Yup, it's pegged as a choking hazard.

      Delete
  9. I know what marzipan is, but am not much of a fan. Maybe, if I have it with dark chocolate then I'd like it better. I may have to give it a try. Great fun reading about the things you grew up eating. BTW, I have seen peach blend juices in the natural food stores. I love different kinds of juices, but hate the high calories. lol Nice to meet you from the A2Z Road Trip!

    http://curiousasacathy.com/2015/05/im-no-blundering-idiot-says-me-atozroadtrip/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fascinating! Corn on pizza! Why not? I read that in the movie theaters decades ago, the food sold was not popcorn but hard boiled eggs! In Hawaii, spam musubi is a popular food and spam is weirdly, wildly popular here.
    Maui Jungalow

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love marzipan! I've been to a few events where the marzipan was made to look like other food (e.g., eggplant, pumpkin, orange slices, strawberries, pears). I'm also pretty sure I've had peach juice, though it was imported from Israel. There's some Israeli brand of juice that's sold at the kosher Price Chopper in my area, and it has some flavors not typically seen in America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a marzipan museum in Puchberg, Austria, and it's a lot like Madame Tussaud's :D

      Delete
  12. Clearly you Hungarians are more evolved in your gastronomy habits than we americans are. Why not peach juice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. Why not? :D Then again, we don't have cranberries.

      Delete
  13. My mom would make frybread sometimes, and we'd eat it topped with taco fillings. Also, at the fairgrounds where we lived, the Mormons had a "Doughboy" booth that was essentially frybread coated with cinnamon and sugar. So some of us non-Natives know what frybread is about (and it's glorious).

    But, yeah, I didn't discover marzipan until I moved to Sweden, and now I'm in love. I get a kick out the pizzas here in Sweden too. Especially the so-called American ones that come with toppings like bearnaise sauce and eggs. I mean, honestly, corn makes more sense than that craziness.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It all sounds good except - Marzipan. I think you either develop a taste for almond paste or don't. Like a lot of sugary sweets, that sweet taste doesn't make up for the underlying flavor which is almost nil with marzipan.

    I can hear you shaking your head. Yes, I meant hear.

    Anyway corn on pizza sounds great.

    ReplyDelete