Germans Love David Hasselhoff / Food


Individual foods
  • Before we go anywhere else with this, we might as well say that a good alternate title for this article would be Everybody Loves Pizza. Seriously. Despite its humble origins in Italy, pizza these days is an incredibly international dish, and has spread to the proverbial four corners of the Earth (its invention itself was the result of The Colombian Exchange as tomatoes were initially from The New World). And it's been popular in pretty much every country that it arrived in; the United States was really just the start. It seems that the combination of cheese, bread, tomato sauce, and toppings is just appealing to human beings, even if none of these things are traditional in their culture (observe Japan). The sheer range of perception is also interesting: in the US it is a beloved, common,note  comfort food (and a major source of Misplaced Regionalism); in aforementioned Japan, it is considered more of a luxurious exotic item (a bit like how Americans saw getting sushi after people got over being squicked out by the "raw fish" thing and before it started appearing in convenience stores). Seriously, if we ever meet aliens and they ask to have a sample of "human food", pizza is probably our best candidate. The key to its success is the sheer variety it can come in: what constitutes as a "bread", "cheese" and especially "toppings" is really up to local tastes. The ease of preparing one also helps, as you only need an enclosed space and a heat source (a.k.a. "an oven", which are quite widely available anywhere with the relatively minimal level of modernity needed to have developed a taste for pizza).
  • Kit-Kats are so popular in Japan that they've spawned a variety of Japan-exclusive flavors because of the similarity to the Japanese phrase "kitto katsu", which translates to "surely win". Naturally, sales skyrocket during exams.
  • Foie gras was originally an Ashkenazi Jewish delicacy, produced as a by-product of fattening ducks and geese for producing schmaltz. The rules of kashrut meant the Jews couldn't do very much with the livernote  (not that it kept them from trying), but their Gentile neighbors—especially the French—went crazy for it. After that, foie gras became a worldwide delicacy, due to the international reputation of French cuisine.
  • Potatoes. Indigenous to Peru, they're in almost every meal in most of Europe today, and at one point, Ireland (we all know how great that turned out). This is mostly because potatoes thrive almost anywhere, so they're basically a noxious weed. A delicious, noxious weed. Not to mention, Jewish people traditionally eat Potato pancakes fried in oil around Hanukkah.
    • While in Liège (Belgium) they came up with frying strips of potato in oil (according to tradition originally as a cheap substitute for fried fish, or a way to cool down dangerously hot oil), a method that soon became very popular in France, other parts of Europe and of course America...and from these bases, "French fried potatoes" went on to conquer the world (or at least Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia).
    • Slavs in general are BIG on potato note , but the Belorussians give the Irish a run for their money. They are so fond of potatoes that an entirely common and accepted nickname for a Belorussian is "Bulbash", that is, "Potatoman". This can even be seen among the WoT and WoWP fandom, where Wargaming.Net (a Belorussian company) is frequently referred to as "Kartoshka" ("Potato" in Russian).
    • In keeping with Germans and Poles being Not So Different without realizing it (both are also huge on sausage and bread), Germans love potatoes. This goes so far that "Kartoffel" (the German word for potato - though there are more than a dozen terms in several dialects) is actually a more common term to describe a German (and in some contexts a mild slur) than the "Kraut" Americans like to associate Germans with. German knows varieties to prepare potatoes that some other languages don't even have words for, and even the traditional Christmas or Sunday meal would not be complete without potato dumplings, boiled potatoes or some other variant of the delicious tubers.
  • Related to fried potatoes: Fried fish, in the sense of that great British icon, fish and chips. While the combination is impeccably British (although where in Britain someone put two and two togethernote  is a bit contentious), the idea of frying battered fish in oil is generally agreed not to be native to Britain but rather an import from Spain, brought to Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries by Jews fleeing the Inquisition.note  The chips are, as noted, an import from Belgium (probably). However, Brits can take comfort that the typical additional side dish, mushy peas, is something no one else in the world is willing to take responsibility for.
  • Tomatoes were introduced to Europe from South America in the 16th century (about 500 years ago) but are such an important part of so many cultures' cuisines you'd think they'd been there for thousands of years. A particularly extreme example is the Eastern Mediterranean, which only got tomatoes in the late 18th-early 19th century (highly delayed, and via Europe—the first confirmed report of a tomato in the Middle East was when the British consul in Aleppo in what is now Syria brought one sometime between 1799 and 1825). Ask a Turk or Lebanese or Egyptian or Iraqi (and particularly an Egyptian, whose cuisine today stereotypically consists of drowning vegetables and meat in tomato sauce)note  to imagine their cuisine without tomatoes...they will have a very hard time indeed.
    • Speaking of tomatoes, as a matter of fact, tomatoes weren't actually a popular foodstuff for nearly two hundred years after they came to Europe, as they were believed to be poisonous note .
  • Speaking of Egyptians, the country has developed a peculiar taste for ketchup, even putting it on things that Americans won't (pizza?) as well as many things Americans have never even heard of (like fitir, a traditional Egyptian filled pastry, somewhat similar to pizza in that its savory forms include cheese and various other ingredients).note  Ketchup-flavored potato chips (sometimes under the moniker "tomato") are also very popular.
  • Oy! Chilis! Most any hot and spicy item in the world uses chilis these days—a relatively recent import from the Americas (the Caribbean). Imagine all you hotheads without your spice fix via chilis?
  • Sushi seems to be specially prone to this. Mexicans love it, for instance, and it's seen as a elegant-ish food there. The fun part comes when the new culture localizes the food. Guacamole California rolls and chipotle dressing for your onigiri hmm-hmmm.
    • Venezuelans also love their sushi, to the point that fast food-esque sushi restaurants are in every mall in the country, and some chef created a plantain roll. The neighborhood of Los Palos Grandes in Caracas is so infamous for its high number of sushi restaurants, satirical blog El Chigüire Bipolar went to parody it
    • In any sizable Russian city you can't walk more than a couple of blocks without encountering a sushi joint. Most of them leave much to be desired, though, but it's the intent that counts.
    • Any supermarket in the U.S. will carry sushi in the deli section, albeit in rolls made with imitation crab meat rather than nigiri.
  • Almonds have recently become quite popular in Asia particularly China and are seen as a healthy snack. This has led to an increase in almond production which couldn't come at a worse time as 80% of the worlds supply of almonds are grown in California an area hit extremely hard by a multiyear drought.
  • Roast Beef. While beef is certainly not unknown to Asians (for instance, Korea is noted for its barbecued-beef culture, and of course Japan has its famous Kobe beef), roast beef is mostly a western idea, and Asians appear to love this idea - especially at ordering a roast beef sandwich at a Subway.
  • Historical example: Peppercorns. It used to be an exotic spice and a sign of wealth, and Europeans loved it. While it's nowhere near as popular today, it's more or less part of western cuisine, although not quite as much as salt.
    • It was once so rare and so popular that peppercorns could be used in exchange. As they declined in value, some contracts measured in value of pepper became a legal byword.
  • Lutefisk seems to be more popular in the United States (particularly Minnesota) and Canada than the Nordic nations it originated in, where it is eaten mainly for special occasions during the holidays.
  • Spam (lovely Spam, wonderful Spam!) is quite popular in the Pacific. This dates back to World War II and the immediate postwar period, when the US Armed Forces, issued large quantities of Spam, often sold surplus to locals or simply provided it outright in the form of aid (or, in the case of Hawaii, made it relatively easy to obtain under wartime rationing).
    • Filipinos love Spam. There are restaurants that serve nothing but different recipes heavily featuring Spam. (Spamgetti, Spamsteak, Spam soup, etc.)
    • Spam also has a major following in Hawaii, compared to the rest of the US. Spam "sushi" (actually Spam musubinote , as the rice isn't sushi rice), in particular, is a popular state food (even Barack Obama, a Hawaii native, is a known connoisseur of the dish).
    • While not the brand Spam per se, Korea and China really really like the canned ham (so much that cans of Spam are sometimes given as a luxury gift in South Korea). Its virtues are a strong salty flavour (excellent with rice) and fries easily with all that oil in it, for instance in Hong Kong it's used as a condiment for breakfast macaroni in broth.
  • Cashews. The seed of this Northeast Brazilian tree is of course famous and popular everywhere as a delicious nut,note  but the places it is most widely grown and most creatively used are far, far away from the Amazon. The major ones are tropical Africa and South and Southeast Asia, which have an even better climate for growing cashews than Brazil—of the top ten producers of cashews today, Brazil comes in a rather distant tenth. Beyond that, the Indians and Southeast Asians have been particularly creative with the crop: adding it to curries, using it to thicken desserts, eating the sprouts of germinated nuts, putting interesting mixes of spices on roasted nuts, and—most peculiarly—even making liquor out of the "cashew apple" (the sweet, fragrant, but delicate accessory fruit out of which the cashew "nut" grows).
  • Kebab is quite popular in Austria and Germany (known there as Döner Kebap or simply Döner), and you can buy it pretty much on every street corner. Kebab as it is sold there (mainly in a sandwich, with veggies, salad and sauce) was even invented in Germany, in order to adapt to the more hectic German culture.
    • A special variety of Kebab is very popular in Mexico and served in tacos, known as "Taco al Pastor"; main difference being that the kebab is made with pork meat. Its invention is mainly due to Lebanese immigrants who brought shawarma recipes back in the 60's and then adapted them to local cuisine, giving birth to the "Al Pastor".
    • While kebab and pizza are universally popular, the combination (pizza with kebab) is popular in Sweden, though largely unknown elsewhere (some local pizza-and-fitir joints in the Arab world are known to put shawarma on pizza as a topping, but it's not quite the same).
    • Kebab is VERY popular in Finland, and there are many variations of kebab dishes, from being served with fries, rice, sort-of "bread crumbs" as iskender kebab. Or together with some salad ingredients as "rolled kebab" (known as rullakebab or kebabrulla in Finland). Sufficed to say, it's extremely popular here.
  • Heinz Baked Beans are very popular in the United Kingdom, where they're considered an essential part of the "full English breakfast". This is in direct contrast to the product's home country, the United States, where they haven't been sold since 1928 outside of stores specializing in British food and the occasional supermarket with a "British food" aisle catering to expatriates and the occasional anglophile (and even then, it's imported from Britain).note  The product's popularity has been immortalized in pop culture, most notably by The Who. We should also note that the British mania for tinned baked beans in general also represents this trope: baked beans originated in 17th-century colonial New England as a way of using the beans—a crop indigenous to the Americas—that the Natives had taught the immigrant Europeans to grow, in a manner that the immigrants found tasty and used ingredients New Englanders found plentiful (hence the use of molasses and salt pork; salt pork was relatively inexpensive, owing to good pig-raising land and the industry in salt pork for the shipping trade, and New England was also a major depot for molasses coming from the Caribbean).note  The dish was (and remains) a traditional New England meal,note  but preserved in cans it first made its way to Old England in the 1880s as a foreign delicacy.
  • Ever since the early 1990s, Shaworma (midway between a true Arab Shawarma and a Turkish Döner Kebab) has been wildly popular in Romania, found on practically every street corner, sometimes in 3-4 shops clumped together door to door and all of them crowded at the same time, so popular that it became the butt of jokes as "the food which lowest classes can afford".
  • Due to the fact that more than half the Jewish population of Israel comes from Arab countries, in addition to a sizable Palestinian minority, falafel and hummus have become de facto national dishes in Israel. Of course, there are a lot of Arabs outside of Israel who aren't happy about this.
  • Falafel and hummus are both quite popular in America. Falafel is a little more popular around New York (especially New York City, where the falafel cart is basically the second coming of the traditional New York "dirty water" hot dog cart) and hummus is especially popular for its health benefits. Pretty much every grocery store you visit in the states will carry hummus in the deli.
  • Kosher food is popular with non-Jews, simply due to its perceived quality and wholesomeness.
    • One particular example: the stereotypical Irish dish in the United States is corned beef and cabbage; Irish immigrants to the U.S. modified bacon, cabbage, and potato dishes to use kosher corned beef because "bacon" is a very different thing in the U.S. as opposed to Europe (American cuts are fatty pork belly (which will pretty much disintegrate in boiled dishes), Irish bacon is meatier back bacon). The key thing to understand here is that (in very broad terms), the relative prices of pork and beef depend on the relative availability of grazing land for cattle: where there's lots of room for cows to roam, beef becomes cheaper, but when there's less grazing land available (or more to the point, when the grazing land is converted for growing crops), beef gets more expensive and pork becomes the meat of choice.note  When the first large Irish wave started to arrive in America in the 1840s-50s, America's western lands had recently been opened up, with vast open spaces that could not be effectively used for raising crops on a large scale but could hold a lot of cattle, and so the cheapest cuts of beef were cheaper than bacon. At the same time, large numbers of Ashkenazi Jews from Central Europe (particularly Germany and Austria-Hungary) were arriving at the same time and busily turning briskets (a cheap cut) into corned beef, which was similar enough to Irish bacon that the Jews' new Irish neighbors started using it.
  • Baumkuchen may have Central European origins, but since it was brought into Japan by a German baker Karl Juchheim (whose political views were unfortunately quite suspect; he was Driven to Suicide when Japan surrendered in August 1945), it became something more loved in Japan than in Germany.
  • Fettuccine Alfredo is much more popular in America than in Italy, where it was invented in early 20th century Rome by restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio. Also, the original dish contained butter but not cream.
  • Although Cincinnati-style chili (which usually includes cinnamon, allspice, etc., and is often served over hot dogs or spaghetti) is usually limited to, well, Cincinnati, the dish also has a small following in Kentucky and Indiana (which is no surprise, since Cincinnati is across the river from Kentucky and not far from Indiana) … and Florida, of all places.
  • Pasta, while originally Italian, is popular everywhere in the world, but especially in the U.S., primarily in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, where a large amount of Italian immigrants flocked there and made it one of the nation's most popular dishes.
  • Maggi cubes, which are originally from Switzerland, are a staple ingredient of most West African dishes, to the extend where there are lots of different flavor cubes for the African market.
  • Burritos, and tortillas made from wheat flour in general, are not a popular or particularly traditional food item in many parts of Mexico (generally, wheat is only grown in the northern parts of the country such as Chihuahua). In los Estados Unidos, they're the most popular "Mexican" foodstuff, with "breakfast" or "Mission-style" burritos being offered by many "mainstream" American restaurants. (The fact that the wheat-growing northern regions of Mexico are the ones closest to the US may have something to do with the popularity of burritos north of the border; for a long time, the Mexicans an American was likely to interact with were northerners.) Ironically, the popularity of the burrito in the US has increased its popularity in Mexico, as migrants returning home seem to miss them.
  • The McDonald's McRib is, of course, the product of an American company (and may have been the result of US military research), and is also a popular sandwich with a cult following in many countries, but in most countries that serve it, it is only served periodically. In Germany, meanwhile, the McRib is so popular (and cheap, considering Germany's rate of pork production), it's the only country to serve the sandwich year round.
  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, while fairly popular and well-known in its native US, has been elevated to an iconic, nearly "national dish" status in Canada, where it is known as "Kraft Dinner" or "KD"—the legacy of World War II-era rationing, when the product gained incredible popularity in Canada for reasons that nobody's ever been able to fully explain to everyone's satisfaction. In fact, Canadians make up nearly a quarter of Kraft's weekly global sales despite being only about 0.5% of the world's population. This phenomenon has been reflected in pop culture, such as with the Canadian characters Terrance and Phillip in South Park and Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had $1000000".
  • Maize: Earth's Multipurpose Monocultured Crop:
    • The plant is native to North America, and it remains quite important in the North American diet—particularly in Mexico, where it was originally domesticated. However, the crop is today grown all over the world, mostly as animal feed.
    • More to the point of this trope, maize has completely taken over in Southern Africa as the primary grain, which is kind of a big deal; in Southern Africa, meals traditionally revolve around a grain mush, of which you take a ball, flatten in your hand, and fill with other dishes. Historically, the all-important mush was made from millet or sorghum; today, it's all maize.
    • Additionally, virtually every culture in the world has taken a liking to grilled corn on the cob.
  • Hot dogs were invented in Germany, being derived from the Frankfurter Würstchen (literally, "little sausage from Frankfurt") traditionally made in Frankfurtnote  (hence the term "frankfurter" for the sausage), with some influence from the similar Wiener Würstchen (literally, "little sausage from Vienna") (hence the alternate term "wiener"). They are more popular in America than they ever were back in Europe, where it became synonymous as the food consumed at ballparks everywhere.
  • The croissant and its close relative, pain au chocolat are originally Austrian, brought to France in the 1830s by a former officer in the Austrian Army named August Zang, who set up a Viennese-style bakery in Paris after his retirement from military life. Both croissants and pain au chocolat (and other things) are called viennoiserie ("things from Vienna") in French, but both are (1) stereotypically French to outsiders and (2) Comfort Food to many actual French (especially pain au chocolat, a common childhood after-school snack). Zang is also indirectly responsible for another French bakery tradition, the baguette: although the French have been making long loaves of bread for centuries (long, wide loaves date from at least the reign of Louis XIV, long, thin ones from the reign of Louis XV, and these loaves could get up to two meters by the 1860s), the specific form of the baguette is the result of the adoption of the steam oven or deck oven, introduced to France by Zang.note 
  • Israeli Arabs love matzah, the cracker-like unleavened bread Jews eat on Passover, where most Israeli Jews only eat it during Passover.
  • Though ice cream's exact origins remains a mystery , either Iran or China, ice cream is surprisingly popular in many countries, especially Japan, resulting in flavors found exclusively in that country, similar to Kit-Kats. The whole world screams for ice cream.
  • Hong Kong as an export/import hub between Asian and European countries ends up developing fondness for certain European products such as Ribena blackcurrent drink and Kjeldsen's butter cookies (this spread to Chinatown shops in North America from immigrants out of Hong Kong). To put this into context, the reason Campbell Soup acquired its owner Kelsen was "its strong brand awareness in China and Hong Kong," without much discussion on how they're doing in Europe.
    • Russians cannot get enough of Danish butter cookies as well, and they've became a stereotypical New Year and Christmas treat, with brightly painted tins overloading supermarkets every winter, but they prefer Royal Dansk brand, even if they're made by the same manufacturer as Kjeldsen.
    • Put it this way, as a meme shows, Danish cookies are popular in anywhere as long as it's not Western Europe.
    • Swanson's broth, another brand owned by Campbell Soup, has the same fate in Hong Kong as well. Hong Kongers just like using their chicken broth as a substitute for homemade stock, and to wit: Swanson's broth paste is sold as little packets that can make a cup of broth; over there the same thing is sold by the bottle as people use it to brine meat and enhance their stir-fried bok choi.
  • Pringles potato chips are very popular in their native U.S., but are huge in Japan, with a whole line of Japan-exclusive flavors, just like Kit-Kats.
    • Pringles also has a sizable following in Israel thanks to Procter and Gamble's expansion, to the point that every can distributed in the West has descriptions written in Hebrew.
  • Chicken Maryland, the form of fried chicken native to Maryland (particularly the Eastern Shore), distinguished from the standard Southern version by being oven-fried and having a cream gravy made in the pan at the end. After its inclusion in Auguste Escoffier's 1934 cookbook Ma Cuisine, it became quite popular in continental Europe, Britain, Australia, and Latin America, but within the United States its popularity is more or less limited to Maryland.
    • Southern fried chicken is quite popular in places quite far from its home of origin: the dish was originally invented by the Scots, and then brought to the Southern U.S when some immigrated there (some directly, others via Ireland), and then evolved further (particularly taking on some African influences). Since then, the dish has acquired substantial followings pretty much everywhere. It helps that chicken isn't restricted by religious dietary laws (other than ones that mandate some form of vegetarianism).
  • Moon Pies, snacks consisting of marshmallow cream sandwiched between two cookies (traditionally Graham crackers) and covered in chocolate, are originally from the American South (Chattanooga, Tennessee, to be exact). In The '70s, an R&D man from a South Korean confectionery company visiting Atlanta on business became fascinated with the Moon Pies at the hotel and brought the idea back to Korea, where the company soon came out with the Choco Pie—a fairly successful offering, and an example of this trope on its own. However, where it really gets strange is that the treats became majorly popular in the DPRKnote . Since 2004 South Korean companies can open factories in a industrial park in DPRK, but DPRK has the say on the salary of the workers, like any Stalinist state. However, the factories are at liberty to give out as much bonus as they feel like as long as they're not cash, and many employers give out Choco Pies, as much as 20 a day. Knowing the rest of DPRK has no such thing even close to it and nobody can even eat this much, some of the workers started smuggling them back to their home for their loved ones, and they became incredibly popular and became a valuable bartering item not unlike historical salt and silk. The government then limited the factories' Moon Pies giveouts (to a maximum of 5 a day) as they were becoming disruptive to its own economy (and because it demonstrated the North Koreans' terrible living conditions on a wide scale). Trolls from South Korea have since taken to floating packages of Moon Pies via balloons over the border because the government hates them but the people love them. Even the North Korean soldiers guarding the borders love Choco Pies; thanks in part to that, the government's hold on the populace via these guards have been weakening in recent years.
  • Instant noodles was invented by a Japanese of Chinese origin in Japan, but was so ingrained into the Korean food culture that (1) they feel the need to defend for instant noodles in the same way they defend for kimchi, and (2) instant noodles was included in a series of video that the Korean embassy in China produced to promote Korean delicacy and their making, prompting the Chinese to wonder whether the Koreans were living in Perpetual Poverty.
  • Saffron. Native to the Middle East, it is more or less required for traditional dishes of western countries, such as Italian risotto, French bouillabaisse, Spanish paella or Swedish saffron buns.
  • Japanese people seem to love junk food even more than Americans do. Doritos, Cheetos and Oreos are more popular in Japan than their native US. Oreos are also very popular in China.
  • Fried eggs and other egg meals are more popular in Japan and China. Bacon and eggs are a popular "Western" breakfast during the work week in Japan, as it's easier to prepare than a traditional Japanese breakfast. In the meantime, a Westerner marvels at the idea of eating bacon and eggs during the work week, generally preferring the quicker "continental" breakfast of cereal (cold or hot—but only the latter if you have a microwave and quick-cooking hot cereal, or a ready source of hot water and instant hot cereal) or bread with some coffee or tea; if bacon and eggs are going to be eaten outside the weekend, it will be in the form of a breakfast sandwich at a fast-food place and hardly deserve the title. This is because married women are still largely expected to become housewives in Japan. A large breakfast every day is a lot easier to pull off during the work week when only one half of a couple works. Tamagoyaki (omelettes) are also a bento box staple. Omurice is a popular "Japanized" Western dish which is an omelette filled with fried rice, chicken and ketchup.
  • The standard Friday dinner in Sweden is tacos. Nobody knows why; Sweden has hardly any Mexican diaspora (Chileans are the only significant Latin American minority), and Mexican cuisine or culture has had no major impact otherwise.
  • Swedish people tend to have béarnaise sauce with everything; including pizza.
  • Tamari, a kind of Japanese soy sauce that is made solely of soy beans, is considered only as a local style in Japan; the rest of the country use soy sauce brewed with a mixture of soy and wheat. However, the influence of the Macrobiotic dietnote  in the West during 1960s-1970s makes it as important as traditional soy sauce in the Western world, with San-J's tamari as well-known as Kikkoman's soy sauce in American supermarkets.
  • Lucky Charms cereal is quite a big deal in the United Kingdom. General Mills does not manufacture or sell the cereal to people in the UK, so they have to be imported by third-party companies or bought from the United States and shipped across the Atlantic. In addition, no domestic cereal producer makes cereal with marshmallows in the style of Lucky Charms. As a result, people in the UK will pay high prices for the stuff, usually at least three times the price that they'd be sold in the US. A few British supermarkets now have an American foods section that will invariably contain Lucky Charms, and they will always be the most expensive item in that section.
  • Quick, which country consumes the most turkey meat? America? Nope, Israel. Almost all meat has to be imported there, and fresh meat is very difficult to export, so there's reliance on cured meats. Beef is expensive, chicken is too delicate, and obviously the Jewish and Muslim populace won't be interested in pork, so turkey is the main meat of choice in Israel.
  • Sriracha hot sauce has this on two levels. It's a hot sauce originating in Thailand that became popular in Vietnam. It was introduced to the U.S. by a refugee from The Vietnam War in the early 1980s. The version produced by Huy Fong Foods, with the eye-catching design with the green top, optional rooster (and tongue-burning flavor) became very popular on the West Coast and the rest of the U.S. The term "sriracha" itself was never trademarked, and restaurants have introduced their own sriracha-flavored dishes.
  • Curry began in India, referring to a dish cooked with a complex mix of spices, usually (but not necessarily) including some kind of protein (be it meat, seafood, legumes, or cheese) and usually (but not necessarily) involving a rich sauce, served with rice or bread. The dish did not spread beyond the Subcontinent and environs (e.g. Thailand) until the British got a hold of it, but when they did, they went crazy for it (like all other Indian dishes) and spread it around the world.
    • The Japanese famously invented their karē in imitation of British curry, suitably modified to satisfy Japanese tastes. Because it is modeled on British curry, it is considered yōshoku ("Easternized" Western cuisine) and eaten off plates with forks and spoons.
    • The Koreans got curry from the Japanese occupation, and so Korean curry is similar to the Japanese.
    • China got curry from the British-mediated trade with India; Chinese curries are thus similar to British ones.
    • The British took actual Indians to both the Pacific and West Indies to work on their plantations as indentured labourers; they brought their Indian cooking to these islands, where it mixed with the natives' cuisines (in the Pacific) and the cuisines of the African-descended former slaves (in the West Indies) to create new forms of curry (and other dishes).
    • In the late 20th century, the growing diaspora of Indians and others from the Subcontinent brought Indian curries to new countries, including the US and Canada (where they are very popular). Since many of these immigrants came first through Britain, the curries sold at Indian restaurants in these countries often have a British flavour.
  • While avocados are VERY well loved in their native Mexico, they're also incredibly popular in Chile. "Pan con palta" (crust bread with mashed avocado - "palta" being the local name fo avocados) is a staple part of Chilean breakfast, the local version of Caesar Salad adds avocado slices to the recipe, and many foreign fast food chains add avocado sauce when they settle in Chile. Avocados are also a quintessential part of California cuisine, but then again California was a part of Mexico until the 1840s.
  • Chicken originated in Asia and did not reach the Americas before Columbus, yet they are so popular in Central America that the local word for "meat" deliberately excludes them (Don't like meat? How about chicken?) Greasy fried chicken is the fast food meal of choice and nearly all domestic fast food chains are almost entirely or completely based around that.
  • Pierogi originated in Poland and Ukraine and remain very much a part of Eastern European cuisine, but these filled dumplings are also popular in Canada and the US, particularly around the Philadelphia area. This is due in part to the large Eastern European immigration to North America.
  • Modern potato chips/crisps are believed to have originated in the U.S., but are also popular around the world. As with pizza and sushi, different countries have put their own regional stamp on potato chips with different flavorings.
  • Apples are grown and eaten worldwide, with many countries developing popular varieties of their own (the Australian Granny Smith, the Canadian McIntosh, the Japanese Fuji, the New Zealand Gala…). In particular, they've become associated with American culture, since the US has a fair bit of apple history (e.g. Johnny Appleseed) and apple pie is a national dish of the country. Where did this much-loved fruit first come from? Central Asia.

Beverages
  • Coffee is yet another one of those things that's popular everywhere, though its origins are usually traced to Ethiopia. Espresso coffee, originating in Italy, has also pretty much conquered the world. The whole world Must Have Caffeine.
    • Instant coffee is more popular in Europe than in the United States, where it was developed. Americans, used to fresh-brewed coffee, think of instant the same way most people regard condensed milk: better for cooking with than for actually drinking. Incidentally, instant coffee was invented by a Japanese scientist working in Chicago. The only domestic market where instant coffee has really taken off is in the Hispanic community.
    • Israelis love Nescafé, specifically. It will be provided in every hotel and restaurant you go to. Americans under 60 hate it.
    • Currently, 77% of coffee consumed in the UK at home is instant. This probably is due to the tea culture dominating, meaning that everyone has a kettle, (which can be used to make instant coffee) and people not owning coffee makers. This percentage is falling as more people are exposed to the cheaper coffee makers and the growth of continental-style espresso-based coffeehouse culture, or rather its reintroduction to Britain after its initial popularity in The Fifties and The '60s. Kitchens are also smaller in Britain—and the rest of Europe, for that matter—with less room for American-style drip machines.
    • In Soviet times coffee imports were at times pretty unstable in Russia, especially in The '80s, so the food industry had to make do with various substitutes (like burnt barley or dark malts and chicory), sometimes going as low as using them to stretch the dwindling supplies of the ground coffee without telling that on the package. This has lead to the peaking popularity of instant coffee in the Soviet Union — as most of the stuff was imported in the sealed tins, it was virtually impossible to put in adulterants without breaking the package. Home grinding also became all the rage, unlike the times of the more stable supply, when most coffee drinkers preferred the convenience of the pre-ground stuff. That said, Russia doesn't really go for coffee that much, except at the two extremes: expensive, sophisticated coffee limited to aficionados and hipsters, and instant or otherwise quickly prepared coffin varnish for working class people and others who need a bigger caffeine jolt in the morning than the traditional Russian tea can give them.
    • Instant coffee is also popular for coffee at home in East Asia, including Japan, for the same reason as in Britain—in a country where everybody has a relatively small kitchen and has an electric kettle for making tea, instant coffee starts to make a lot of sense. Of course, this is only to the extent that people in East Asia drink coffee, which is to say, not terribly much (much as in Russia, coffee is mostly used as a quick, concentrated source of caffeine outside of connoisseur circles, though Japanese connoisseur coffee circles have had a significant influence on the Western "Third Wave" coffee movement with its obsessive commitment to quality and use of pour-over brewers).
    • You would expect that South Korea would be a tea culture like its East Asian neighbors, given its proximity to both Japan and China, but people there are coffee crazy. Like the rest of its East Asian neighbors, most of the coffee there is instant, but the country does have a vibrant cafe scene for serious coffee lovers.
    • Drip coffee was also invented in Europe and is naturally the dominant coffee-making method in North America.
    • The world's most keen coffee drinkers are the Scandinavians, despite the Nordic countries being far from Ethiopia. Coffee means the world to them to the point that most will have a very hard time (or be literally unable to) getting through the day without a cup of coffee in the morning and preferably several more during the day. If you don't drink coffee, you are either considered rather immature (because children tend to not like the taste) or really weird, and even if you would never drink coffee yourself, you have to buy it anyway as people are required by unwritten rules to offer coffee to any guests they have.
    • Before the fall of the Wall, people in East Germany were so desperate for coffee that the Eastern economic organisation (Comecon) decided to start growing coffee in a big way in Vietnam. As a result, Vietnam is one of the world's largest exporters of coffee to this day.
    • In modern Russia, cheap instant coffee (such as Nescafé Gold and Maxim, the Korean brand) has inexplicably became the drink of choice for the farmers in the Far East, in contrast to the usual Russian love of tea. Be it in the field, on the pasture, at the elevator or stockyard, or in the marketplace —everywhere you'll be met with the characteristic burnt rubber smell.
      • The Maxim brand alone is another example. It was introduced by General Foods of the US—of Maxwell House fame—in the 1960s as the first freeze-dried coffee in the world. But these days the only companies that make this brand of coffee are General Foods' (now Kraft) East Asian partners—AGFnote  of Japan, and Dong Suhnote  Food in South Korea. In both places, Maxwell House itself was driven out of the market.
    • Even though instant coffee is popular in Britain as mentioned above, when Brits do have coffeemakers, they tend to go for the cafetiere or French press. This is likely due to the same reason that instant coffee is popular there: the U.K. is still mainly a tea culture, and kettles are more common than coffeemakers. The fast-boiling electric kettles popular there are ideal for making fresh coffee in a press. The process of using a French press is also very similar to making tea in a teapot. Plus, kitchens are smaller and there's less room for an American-style drip brewer. French presses are typically quite compact.
    • The Japanese Hario series of pour-over manual drip coffeemakers have become must-haves for Western baristas and other coffee afficionados. Japan also seems to prefer pour-over coffeemakers for fresh coffee for the same reason that Brits go for French presses: they're easier to use with the electric kettles and hot water boilers that are ubiquitous in Japanese kitchens thanks to Japan being a tea culture.
    • The vacuum brewer was once the mainstay of diners across the US, but was all but disappeared in The '60s. It is, however, still ubiquitous in Japanese cafes, and thus having some renaissance in the West—this time under the Japanese name, siphon coffee.
    • In Italy and the rest of continental Europe, the cappuccino is typically only consumed at breakfast; there's a sort of unspoken consensus that it's slightly gauche to put milk in your coffee after noon. In the English-speaking world, lacking the continental taboo of "no milk in your coffee past noon", people at Starbucks and other places order cappuccinos and lattes all day. Americans also prefer to relax with their coffee the same way Brits love a Spot of Tea, hence the preference for longer drinks such as cappuccino and drip coffee, contrasted with Italians who prefer to grab espresso shots while standing at the bar. The cappuccino itself is an Austrian invention dating to the 19th century from Vienna's famous coffeehouses, where it was originally known as the kapuzinzer, named after the color of the Capuchin monks' robes. It was originally made with regular brewed coffee, milk and whipped cream. The espresso-based version first appeared in the 1930s.
  • Fosters is a brand of Australian lager that has declined in recent decades in its home country (Aussies sometimes claim that "Fosters is Austrailian for piss"), but it is popular in the UK, and enjoyed a bump in American sales in the 1990s (due primarily to a series of memetic commercials that affectionately parodied American perceptions of Australian stereotypes).
  • In Mexico, Corona is basically the local Budweiser, a cheap beer that doesn't really tastes good; if you want to look awesome, you're better off with a Bohemia, a Negra Modelo or a Minerva. But the moment you go to an anglophone country, if you want to look awesome, you order a Corona.
  • Clamato. It's a mixture of tomato and clam juice originally produced by the Mott's company in the United States. In Canada, it's the mixer of choice for the Caesar, a Bloody Mary variant that is the country's de facto national cocktail. In Mexico, it is mixed with beer, lime, and ice to form a michelada cocktail. In its country of origin, even mentioning it is likely to cause revulsion or references to the "RovCo Bass-O-Matic." That being said, it's popular enough among Mexican-American communities to where beer giant Anheuser-Busch nationally markets a premixed Budweiser/Clamato beverage.
  • The top-selling lager in the UK is Stella Artois, a Belgian beer. The Belgians themselves regard it as one of their worst beers (it's a pilsner in a country renowned for its ales; the other pale lager beers in Belgium, despite racking up a majority of beer sales, are similarly poorly regarded). Stella Artois is also very popular in the US as one of the country's top-selling import beer from Europe.
  • Belgian Beer in general is better regarded by foreigners than by Belgians themselves. It may come as a shock that most Belgians do not buy that much beer at all and that it is even decreasing in popularity. What Belgians consume the most is bottled mineral water. There is even a few corporate marks of mineral water (Spa and Chaudfontaine, for instance) that are impossible to find abroad.
  • Belgians love carbon soda, a British invention. It is often seen as a more tasty alternative to mineral water, which together with mineral water, makes it one of the best-selling beverages in Belgium.
  • Bock is a kind of strong lager, of German origin, normally drunk in special ocasions like Christmas, Easter or Lent in the majority of the countries it's produced. But not in Portugal: one of our most popular brands of beer is Super Bock, especially north of the river Mondego, but also increasingly south of it.
    • A Bock is also one of the most popular brands of beer in Texas, where Shiner Bock is the drink of choice for everyone proud to call the Lone Star State home.
  • In a more general sense, hopped beer. Originated in Germany, and has since literally spread around the entire non-Muslim world.note  There's a reason that English, the language of a people with centuries of brewing tradition and vocabulary behind them, uses a German loanword to describe any malt beverage, and use the native term (ale) for a subcategory of it.
  • Scotch whisky is very big business in India and Japan, to the point where local distilleries in both countries attempt to market their own malt whiskies, often with Scottish imagery such as tartan on the label.
    • Japanese, being masters of Serious Business after all, have been quite able to make Scotch on par with Scotland; it helps that there are parts of Japan with a somewhat similar climate to Scotland. The Indians, having a poorer market and a different climate profile, have mostly turned to passing off barrel-aged rum as Scotch.
    • Similarly, Venezuela loves it some Scotch. Even if the country makes one of the best rum in the Caribbeans, whisky was first a luxury good, but now it's very popular specially for Christmas and New Year parties.
    • And now, Diageo—makers of Johnnie Walker Scotch—are actively trying to invoke this in developing countries with large new middle classes.
  • Four Roses Kentucky bourbon. It's one of the top brands in Europe and Asia. It wasn't even sold in the US for a fifty-year period.
  • Inversely, back in the 18th century, Catherine the Great, trying to wean her troops off vodka,note  had the military order beer from English brewers, who responded by inventing a new style of dark, malty stout with a high alcohol content (8-9% abv) to suit Russian tastes and preserve it for the long trip across the North Sea and the Baltic. The Russians didn't really go for it that much—not that they disliked it, but it didn't really replace vodka—but the style has proven extremely popular in the United States, where craft breweries usually market their high-gravity dark ales as "Russian Imperial Stout."
    • Another bunch who liked the new English beer for Russians more than the English or the Russians are the peoples of the Baltic, who at first in imitation began making "Baltic porter"—a dark lager that still manages to be remarkably stout-like.
  • Guinness stout, while popular enough in its native Ireland and Europe, is practically considered by Nigerians to be their national beer. This seems to be largely due to opening its first non-Irish brewery in Lagos in 1962 and the label slightly adjusting the formula to incorporate African grains such as sorghum. The amount of success Guinness has had in Nigeria is so great, one could find Nigerian-brewed versions being sold in British and Irish supermarkets.
  • A number of French wines, although popular in present-day France, owe their entire existence to the British export market; Bordeaux wine was originally made for export in English-held areas of France.note  Even after England lost those regions, the nobles saw no reason to change their well-established habits and kept buying French wine—when they could.
    • When the English (and later British) nobs couldn't get their hands on French wine (usually because of their respective countries' habit of going to war), they sourced their wines from elsewhere, particularly Spain and Portugal. As a result, sherry (from Spain) is a national tradition in the British upper crust (and later trickled down the the middle classes), and port—which is not only wrapped in all kind of aristocratic tradition but was so popular in 18th-century Britain that the majority of port merchants in Portugal have British names to this day—became an obsession.
    • British brokers are also responsible for the popularity of sparkling Champagne; the traditional still white wines of Champagne developed a following in England in the 17th century, and many of these wines would come out sparkling by accident—at the time, the carbonation was usually considered a wine fault, and no wonder: if you shook the bottle wrong, it could explode! However, the English loved the fizzy wine when it didn't explode in their servants' faces, and at about the same time English glassmakers had developed new glassmaking techniques that allowed them to make sturdier bottles that could handle the pressure; these were adopted quickly, and the French soon made a fortune out of selling sparkling Champagne first to the English/British, and then to everyone else (including themselves).
    • The same is true of Sauternes, the great botrytised (i.e., affected by noble rot) sweet white wine of Bordeaux, which was originally created in response to Dutch demand. That said, the French have since acquired a taste for it, particularly when paired with foie gras.
  • The Irish (or Europeans in general?) seem to really love Mountain Dew for some reason. Mountain Dew is also apparently a big deal in Afghanistan, especially among the Taliban (you read that correctly), at least according to Bowe Bergdahl (who ought to know of what he speaks, considering that he was held prisoner by them for five years). As he said to Serial, the easiest way to piss off a Taliban fighter was to cut off his supply of sugary drinks, and apparently the Dew is especially popular.
  • Another Chinese peculiarity: Pabst Blue Ribbon lager is considered, at best, horse piss in its native United States, drunk out of habit by old Midwesterners, out of irony by young hipsters, and out of comedy or poverty (frequently both) by everyone else. In China? It's a premium brand sold for a fairly high price. Seriously!
  • Vimto, a British mixed-fruit-flavoured fizzy drink, is oddly popular on the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States) as the drink for the iftar (fast-breaking meal during Ramadan).
  • Countless regional brands of soft drinks have fanbases far beyond their market. Examples include:
    • Cheerwine, a black cherry flavored soft drink mostly sold around North Carolina. However, most of the eastern U.S. can find it easily at Cracker Barrel, which also stocks bottles of several other localized soft drinks.
    • Vernors ginger ale. A favorite of Michigan natives, with origins in Detroit; while it is sold in other states, it's usually very hard to find.
    • Faygo. An inexpensive pop, also from Detroit, with a wide variety of flavors. Also the Trademark Favorite Food of Insane Clown Posse and Juggalos.
    • Sprecher. A Wisconsin brewery that also makes soft drinks. The root beer in particular is a fan favorite, and was voted the best in the U.S. by The New York Times in 2008.
    • Nehi. Found mainly in the South.
    • Moxie. Found mainly in Massachusetts, has spread to other parts of the New England area, but found almost nowhere else on the planet.
      • Even more common in Maine, where it is the official state soft drink and has an annual festival devoted to it.
    • Big Red. Texas.
    • Ski. Tennessee and bordering states; name-dropped by The Kentucky Headhunters in "Dumas Walker".
  • Fanta is quite popular in Europe. In fact, it is so popular there that many American tourists, distracted by far more successful brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Mountain Dew, could be forgiven for thinking Fanta is a native European soft drink (that and the Italian/Spanish-sounding name, of course). In particular, lemon Fanta is a hugely popular flavor in Europe, but it isn't sold anywhere in the United States; the Coca-Cola Company apparently noticed the European predilection for "lemonade" (which is a carbonated lemon soda in Europe, not a sweetened lemon juice drink) and accordingly introduced a new Fanta flavor to meet the demand.
    • But then it was created by the German branch of Coca Cola during World War 2, when war shortages and the Allied blockade made it impossible to produce Coke in continental Europe.
    • Sprite was also created by the German branch of Coca-Cola, though somewhat afterwards, made specifically to get some of that market the 7-Up Company enjoyed. Considering Sprite has since become Coca-Cola's second most popular drink, you'd be excused for thinking it was older than that and also American.
    • Nalu, a rather obscure energy drink by the coca-cola company globally, is decently popular in the BENELUX.
    • Several of the more obscure fruit flavors of Fanta (pineapple and fruit punch, in particular) are hugely popular in much of Central and South America. While those flavors are offered in the United States, they're very hard to find outside of exceptionally well-stocked supermarkets and convenience stores, and orange and grape are considered the "standard" Fanta flavors. In places like Belize, though, fruit punch and pineapple Fanta are regularly sold in restaurants and street-corner soda machines, with orange and grape Fanta nowhere to be seen. Palate may have a lot to do with this: fresh fruit is considered very central to the Central American diet, which is reflected in their soft drink preferences.
    • Beverly was an attempt by Coca-Cola at creating a non-alcoholic apéritif (pre-dinner) soft drink for the Italian market in 1969, and became popular enough in the seventies that it spawned a "clear" version, Beverly White (the "classic" version was red colored). The drink was ultimately removed from store shelves in Italy in 2009 due to "product consolidation", and that would have been the last that anyone had heard of Beverly... if, fifteen years earlier, someone at the World of Coca-Cola in America hadn't chosen Beverly White as one of the sixteen drinks to highlight in the museum's "around the world" tasting station. The drink became a novelty in America for its sharp, bitter taste, and although it's not actually bottled or sold en masse in the country, the syrup is still produced for tasting samples at the World of Coca-Cola as well as for two locations in Walt Disney World (Epcot's Club Cool and Disney Springs' Coca-Cola Store).
  • The versions of Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta bottled in Mexico are popular in the U.S., most likely because they are made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (which has been the standard soft-drink additive in the U.S. since the late 1970s), and sold in glass bottles. These can sometimes be found at the likes of Family Dollar and Dollar General even in the smallest of towns.
    • In some parts of the U.S., major soft drink bottlers will release "throwback" editions, made with sucrose, in order to get a piece of this market. These have been so successful that PepsiCo has "Throwback" Pepsi and Mountain Dew in Retraux packaging as a permanent part of their lineup in the US (and South Australia, for some reason).
  • RC Cola was invented in Minnesota, but it enjoys the most popularity in the southeast US due to a borderline inexplicable association with the trailer park lifestyle. It was also sold at Arby's, which started in Ohio, for many years due to the two companies having formerly shared ownership. (Arby's now sells Pepsi products.)
  • Tea.
    • The British love it, even though it's a Chinese invention and they only got it in the Stuart era (i.e. the 1600s). However, given how prevalent the Spot of Tea trope is, you'd think they had tea for millennia.
    • The British did hit on the bright idea that you could also produce tea from the Indian Camellia assamica and not just the Chinese Camellia sinensis.
    • Russia is a close third after Brits among the Europeans (both are actually beaten by Ireland), but even the Irish cannot hope to catch up with Turkey as the most tea-drinking country on the planet.
    • In the United States, cooks from the sweltering southern half of the country discovered that tea was delicious if chilled and served over ice. While cold tea is unthinkable in some parts of the world, it's the default preparation in America, and is especially beloved in the South. "Sweet tea" is Serious Business.
    • Green tea and oolong tea, originating in China, are also staples of Japanese cuisine. Milk tea, black tea with milk and sugar adapted from the British custom, is also popular in cafes and ubiquitous in bottled form.
    • Green tea is becoming popular in the West as a health food. Matcha has become particularly trendy with urban hipsters in the U.S.
    • Tea bags are an American invention and have become the main way that British people make their tea. They have almost completely displaced loose leaf tea in the U.K. since their introduction after World War II. Loose leaf tea is mostly relegated to high-end specialty brands. They're also popular in other regions with strong tea cultures, such as Japan, for their sheer convenience compared to loose-leaf tea.
    • Lapsang souchong is a variety of Chinese tea. It is made from the fourth and fifth leaves of the tea plant, making it coarser and less flavorful. the Tea was then speed-dried over pine smoke (per legend, the locals did this to speed up tea production ahead of armies or bandits looking to steal a large chunk of the crop). The Chinese turned up their nose at it, considering it barely-drinkable crap. But when the Dutch tried it, they couldn't get enough! The strong smokey flavor worked well with the heaviness of mid-European cuisine.
    • The diversity among Han Chinese allows the following example. Cantonese invented the lȅungchȁ herbal teas as a folk therapy for mild infections, and still consider it a medicinenote , despite it has been canned and Tetra-packed, sold throughout China, and became the best-selling non-alcoholic drink in China—mainly by the other people who treat it as a drink.
    • While the rest of Germany and continental Europe is extremely coffee-crazy, the region of East Frisia has developed a distinctive tea culture of its own, with a "tea ceremony" consisting of rock sugar, strong black tea and cream, drunk unstirred.
  • Australian-made chocolate energy drink Milo is practically a national icon in the Philippines.
    • Same thing in the rest of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Sweden loves the Brooklyn Brewery. Sales in Sweden are larger than each American state except New York.

Cuisines
  • Across Britain, Indian food is popular for people who desire spicy cooking; it helps that many Asians (as in, from the Subcontinent) live in Britain, and have for generations. Indeed, they've been there so long that British "Indian" food is its own category right now (as with American "Chinese" food below, much British "Indian" food has been heavily altered to cater to British tastes for less spice and more sauces)—and this doesn't even count the "Anglo-Indian" dishes: British-like dishes that developed in response to the Raj (most often in the Indian-run kitchens of British colonial officials, but sometimes among the "Anglo-Indians"—people of part-British, part-Indian ancestry or elsewhere) like kedgeree, piccalilli, British-style chutney, Worcestershire sauce (note the tamarind!), and mulligatawny soup.
    • The British faiblesse for Indian cooking is even Older Than They Think. The first Indian restaurant in London opened in 1810, several decades before the first fish-and-chip shop.
  • Similar to Indian food in England, Mexican food is the go-to spicy cuisine in the U.S. As with Indian food, it helps that there's a large Mexican-American population in the U.S., especially in the Southwest. Ironically, Taco Bell, the most famous example of Mexican-style fast food in the U.S., was founded by an Anglo-American in California whose last name happened to be Bell (he originally ran a burger joint called "Bell's Hamburgers"). A lot of other Mexican restaurants have tailored their menus to suit anglo tastes as well. Gaining popularity rapidly in the U.S. is "street tacos," authentic Mexican tacos with meat cooked on a griddle with corn tortillas placed next to the meat and topped with diced onions and cilantro. Names of cooked meat previously unknown to non-Mexicans like cabeza, buche, lengua, and the elsewhere-mentioned al pastor are gradually becoming part of the American lexicon.
  • Chinese food is very popular in the U.S. Major cities have lots of Chinese restaurants, and even the smallest, most provincial town usually has one as well.
    • In Germany, Chinese restaurants can even be considered one of the three pillars of generic lunchtime fast food (the other two being traditional German butcheries and the aforementioned kebab).
    • In Belgium it had a similar level of popularity. A lot of it could be attributed to a lot of the 60's and 80's youth cultures of the time (the very old albums of De Kiekeboes even had jokes about how Fanny loves going to them) who loved the idea of alternative and foreign stuff (which is, according to people, more American than anything else). Given how this was probably the closest you could get to real foreign stuff it is really not suprizing that they loved those kind of establishments. Nowadays it seems however more mainstream in use, as a lot of those people grew up while still holding a liking for the food they ate.
    • Chinese food is quite popular amongst Jewish Americans, especially on Christmas when most restaurants are closed, with the notable exception of many Chinese restaurants. Wikipedia has an entire article on this phenomenon.
    • For the U.S., it's by and large subverted in that the main "Chinese" dishes have very little origin in Chinese cuisine, being more meat-based and often including cheese, which isn't really present in authentic Chinese cuisine; many Chinese restaurants will have a different menu for Chinese customers. In areas with large Chinese-American populations, such as San Francisco, the food will be more authentic. In fact, the Chinese text often written on signs for Chinese restaurants actually read, "We serve westernized Chinese food," not the name of the establishment, as a heads-up for Chinese passers-by.
  • The situation with Chinese food being taken and "Westernized" isn't entirely unique, as the Japanese have taken many classic dishes from the western world and adapted them to Japanese palates. Their take on Spaghetti (originating from Italy) involves cooking it with green peppers, onions and ketchup (unthinkable in authentic Italian cuisine). These kinds of "Easternized" dishes are known as "Yoshoku".
    • The Japanese, just like the British, are also crazy for curry. Also like the British, the Japanese have developed their curries to suit Japanese tastes and barely resemble authentic Indian curry (having been derived from British curry).
    • Other popular Yoshoku dishes are Korokke (derived from French Croquettes), Hamburg steak (Salisbury steak) and Omurice (as mentioned above). In fact, it's possible to order several of these different dishes combined into bizarre hybrids such as a Hamburg steak, topped with a pork cutlet, and smothered in curry (Curry also counts as Yoshoku).
  • In general, this happens whenever you get a large immigrant community in a city or region—eventually, the locals get a taste for this interesting new immigrant food, and start to insist to outsiders "you have to try an X place here, we have some of the best Xish food in the country" even if they don't quite regard it as being naturalized. A few good examples:
    • In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, there's a substantial community of Somalis that popped up since the early 1990s, mostly refugees from the civil war in Somalia. Now that the community is increasingly settled, there are a growing number of Somali restaurants that are very popular (as of March 2015, Yelp lists 68 Somali restaurants in or near Minneapolis—compared with 30 in New York City), with locals of all backgrounds eating there, but unlike some of the more established communities (e.g. Scandinavian), Somali food is still seen as a bit exotic. The Somalis for their part have learned that the electric griddles used for making lefse, a traditional Norwegian potato flatbread that is all but ubiquitous in Minnesota, are also excellent for making their traditional spongy flatbread canjeero.
    • In the Detroit area, there's a large Arab American community, centered in the western suburb of Dearborn, dating back to the 1920s. The biggest wave of migration came after the 1970s, though. In any case, Middle Eastern food—especially Lebanese—is all over Metro Detroit; your typical Metro Detroiter can tell you what a good shawarma tastes like.
    • The West Coast of North America, especially around Vancouver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, have large populations of people of Chinese ancestry. Restaurants serving more authentic Chinese cuisine are quite popular; actual Hunan-style cuisine actually has a following in California.
    • If you want to have authentic Indian/South Asian food but are not willing or able to go to the Subcontinent, your best bet by far is to visit Britain, particularly the major cities. The aforementioned "British Indian" or "Anglo-Indian" cuisine notwithstanding, the larger cities in Britain tend to have the kind of very large Diaspora communities that allow them to field some extremely well-regarded and authentic Indian/South Asian restaurants that can definitely best anything you'll get outside of the Subcontinent itself.
  • Thanks to a large Japanese-American population, Japanese cuisine has had a major influence on Hawaiian cuisine, most notably with spam musubi mentioned above, a "Westernized" Japanese dish. Sashimi and bento also became popular in Hawaii before they ever did on the mainland U.S. as well.
  • Hawaiian cuisine, for that matter, also has a cult following on the mainland, especially on the West Coast.

Restaurants
  • In general, this is true of any American restaurant chain with limited regional distribution. Many people will go out of their way to pursue a location of a "cult" chain while passing up its more mainstream competitors, even to the point of making a whole road trip out of it. Examples include:
    • Arctic Circle. Popular in Utah.
    • Bojangles' Chicken. Popular mostly in the Carolinas.
    • Braum's. Popular in the Southwest, with locations only found within a 300-mile radius of their Oklahoma home base to keep their milk fresh. And that's imperative, as they're well-known for their ice cream.
    • Culver's, a primarily burger-based fast food chain also renowned for its in-store root beer and frozen custard. Although based in Wisconsin and strongest in the Midwest, it has a few locations as far away as Arizona and North Carolina.
    • Del Taco. Mostly found on the West Coast, but has had a few on and off franchises east of the Mississippi (the strongest being Detroit/Toledo).
    • Fatburger is another popular California burger chain that gets harder to find the further east you go.
    • Krystal and White Castle, two very similar chains that are equally known for their "slider" burgers. The former is in the Southeast, and the latter in the Northeast/Midwest, and neither is in the West, barring a lone White Castle in Las Vegas. However, many stores sell White Castle burgers in the frozen food section.
    • Imo's Pizza. The regional chain (limited to Missouri, with a few stores in border locations in Illinois and Kansas) is the definitive implementation of "St. Louis-style pizza", with a hard cracker-like crust, topped with Provel cheese (a processed cheese somewhere between swiss, provolone, and mozzarella). Stores will sell frozen pizzas for tourists to take back home.
    • In-N-Out, on the West Coast (California mostly), is renowned for its burgers and its "secret menu" items. There was even an April Fools' Day joke about In-N-Out opening a location in New York City. The popularity is such that people even camped out at the first location in Texas when it opened in 2011.
    • Nathan's Famous. A hot dog brand found mainly in New York. As with White Castle sliders, they are often available for purchase in supermarkets even in markets where Nathan's has no actual restaurants.
    • Skyline Chili from Cincinnati. See "Cincinnati Chili" under the Food section.
    • Sonic Drive-In. A popular one among Southerners, who can often find them in even the smallest of towns. They're not as popular north of the Mason-Dixon line, however, though they do have locations throughout Great Plains and even as far as Detroit and Grand Rapids.
    • Whataburger. So beloved in its native Texas that towns as large as Temple (population 60,000+) are completely devoid of Burger King.
    • Wawa: a beloved dairy/sandwich shop/convenience store found mainly in the Delaware Valley (around Philadelphia/South Jersey) and Florida (for the transplants).
  • Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits is extremely popular in Asia, Korea especially.
  • There's also the curious example of award-winning local barbecue joints. To tourists, they're like the Mecca of smoked meat. To locals, they're a relatively inexpensive place to pick up lunch. This disparity can be seen in places like Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City, with natives snacking on a $10 combo plate beneath pictures of former U.S. Presidents.
    • Barbecue itself is a curious example. While the etymology is not entirely known, it most likely derives from a Taino or Carib word as the first accounts of something people today would recognize as Barbecue comes from Spanish conquistadors and administrators from the area describing local food preparation. When and how this got to the Southern US is not entirely clear, though slavery (which was very prevalent in the Caribbean) certainly played a part. Due to migrations out of the South to other parts of the US (in part fleeing racism and poverty, in part in search for industrial jobs), cities that are as far from the Deep South as you can get have now developed their own barbecue traditions. That isn't to say that either the Caribbean or the Southern tradition ever died out, though.
  • China apparently loves KFC; it's the largest global fast-food chain in the country. A Chinese-American KFC executive who spent some time at the Asian unit has attributed this to three things: first, KFC was one of the first Western fast-food chains to break into the Chinese market; second, fried chicken is, generally speaking, a familiar dish to the Chinese (although the American recipe is obviously different), while hamburgers and such are entirely alien; and third, KFC has put hard work into tailoring its products to suit Chinese tastes, including adding uniquely Chinese ingredients like tree fungus and duck sauce to its sandwiches and by emphasizing its spicy-chicken dishes (apparently, Chinese consumers prefer their fried chicken spicy).
    • An interesting note is that many Chinese consider KFC a "healthier" alternative to local fast food. Not because they think greasy fried chicken is healthy, but due to the numerous health violations local fast food chains have been involved in over the years, particularly the use of gutter oil note  by many of KFC's local competitors to cut operating costs.
    • KFC is popular in some parts of India as well- likely because it doesn't serve beef or pork.
    • KFC is so popular in Thailand that a slang term for fried chicken is "Kentucky," regardless of if it's made at a KFC restaurant (or in Kentucky) or not.
    • KFC is also such a big hit in Trinidad and Tobago that some of the locals jokingly refer to it as a food group. Other Caribbean countries with KFC restaurants and a large enough population with the money to buy the stuff tend to latch on to it too, but not quite to the extent as the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
    • KFC is very successful in Japan, and has firmly cemented itself into Japanese Christmas traditions with people reserving their Christmas chicken dinners months in advance. It is such a well-established tradition that people in Japan think it's a tradition in the United States too and are surprised when they visit during the holidays and not see KFC food everywhere.
  • Although it only has a handful of locations outside of the U.S., the most popular Five Guys restaurant in the world is the one located in Covent Garden, London.
  • In the 1980s, Kenny Rogers Roasters (yes, it was named for that Kenny Rogers) had a brief fling in the U.S. The chain came crashing down in the late 1990s, but continued to sporadically operate in the U.S. until the mid-2000s (the last one to close was in a mall food court in California). However, the chain was bought by a Malaysian company and has remained extremely popular in Southeast Asia.
  • The restaurant chain Big Boy, once nation-wide, still has a cluster of locations in Michigan, California, and of all places, Japan. Former Big Boy franchises Eat 'n' Park (Pittsburgh), Shoney's (South), Frisch's (Cincinnati), and JB's (Mountain states and California) also continue to exist in various capacities, although they have severed their ties to Big Boy.
  • White Spot, a popular burger-eatery in British Columbia, have only exceeded in expanding to Alberta. On the other-hand, the fast-food version, Triple O's, has successfully opened up three resturants in Hong Kong, where they sell twice as much as an average location back in Canada each. Other branches have opened up in the Philippines and in South Korea. This can be partly explained by the large Hong Kong immigrant population in greater Vancouver.
  • McDonald's and KFC in general in China, where there the stores are run as medium class restaurants rather than just a fast food chain (probably because Chinese-style fast food is much cheaper than a Big Mac). Menus in China generally were much more diverse and exceptionally longer than in America where you can literally find things like fried rice or burgers with cabbage in them, and plenty else besides. At least one McDonald's in Hong Kong delivers pizzas. That has led to at least some of the international students' complaint that McDonald's in America sucks.
  • Tim Hortons is primarily a Canadian fast food doughnut/coffee/bakery chain (basically a cross between a Dunkin' Donuts and a Panera). But it has a couple of extremely successful U.S. markets, mostly around the eastern Great Lakes area (especially Buffalo and Detroit) and Maine. It also has a heavy presence in and around Ohio, an artifact of when the chain was briefly owned by Ohio-based Wendy's.
  • Gloria Jean's Coffees has about 110 coffee houses in its native USA, and over four times that in Australia. Eventually, the holders of the Australian (and international) licensing rights bought the North American rights as well.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters (based in Portland, OR) has gotten fairly popular in New York City.
  • The Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain is fairly popular in the US. But in Japan, where it's called Thirty-One after the "31 flavors" in the logo, it's absolutely massive (as one would expect from the "ice cream" example above), with local flavors including green tea and the Pop Rock-infused "Popping Shower," sundaes served on crepes, and successful cross-promotions with many anime and video game series, most notably Puzzle & Dragons.
  • Mister Donut. Once a popular chain of doughnut shops in the US, it was bought out and absorbed almost completely by its chief competitor Dunkin' Donuts in the early 90's. However, the chain thrives in Japan (and other Asian markets, to a lesser extent) with over 400 locations.
  • Generally, whatever American fast food chain arrives first in Thailand becomes popular there, with latecomers struggling to carve out a piece of the market for themselves. Early-bird arrivals include McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC (as mentioned above), Baskin-Robbins (which the locals insist is called "31"; they won't know what you're talking about if you call it "Baskin-Robbins"), Mister Donut, and most recently, Taco Bell. American fast food is popular there, particularly in urban areas, as they can be prepared and cooked faster than native dishes. In addition, except for the wealthy and those already in the food business, houses will tend not to have kitchens, meaning the people there are very dependent on eating out. However, because of the lower income levels in Thailand compared to the United States, these chains tend to be middle- to upper-range establishments, found mainly in upscale shopping malls.
  • When Taco Bell opened up a store in Shibuya, Tokyo—the first Taco Bell location in Japan—many locals waited as long as an hour to try it out, and it has remained fairly popular since. Meanwhile in its native country of the United States, most consider Taco Bell to be the Mexican food equivalent of Shovelware.
  • South African born chain restaurant Nando's is so popular in the UK many people don't realise it isn't a British creation.
  • For some reason, Krispy Kreme has become really popular in Australia. The first outlet to open in South Australia led to someone being robbed at knife-point by someone who wanted their donuts.
  • Although Dairy Queen (founded in Illinois and based in Minnesota) has a pretty much nationwide presence in the US and Canada, their biggest market is Texas. So much so that Texas DQ has its own marketing arm and many market-specific items.
  • Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan fried chicken chain that's virtually unknown outside of Central America and some parts of the United States, is oddly popular in China, with its Beijing location always packed.
  • Spanish frozen yogurt shop Llao Llao is very popular in Singapore, that one of its outlets are always packed.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff/Food