Nothing used to beat the delicious after-school snack of Campbell’s tomato soup with some sliced boiled eggs and anchovies thrown in, right? Or how about those lucky days when you’d mix that up with some sliced leftover pieces of cod from dinner the night before? No? You didn’t eat that salty, eggy tomato concoction a few times a week after the roughest of middle school days? You didn’t horrify your peanut butter and jelly-loving best friend one day when you presented them with this quasi-Scandinavian slop? One person’s beloved comfort food is, perhaps, another’s I’ll-only-eat-this-in-a-game-of-truth-or-dare food. Thrillist has compiled a list that will take you on a tour through some of the country’s “worst” foods that are nonetheless beloved in the regions they hail from.
There are gross things with pretty names, like Rocky Mountain oysters, which are not oysters at all (they’re fried testicles), or Ambrosia salad, which is just an overwhelmingly sweet fruit salad. But some are secretly scrumptious things with nasty names, like Delaware’s slippery dumplings, which are much tastier than their name and appearance suggest.
Plenty of fried shit makes the list, of course. This is America, after all. Fried brain sandwiches, lamb testicles, rattlesnake, intestines, butter, squirrel—you name it, someone somewhere has probably tried frying it. It’s a tradition as American as apple pie… or New Haven clam pie, which isn’t pie so much as a pizza, but it isn’t really pizza either. It’s clams layered on top of a white-sauced pizza, and it looks like a hot mess. But we can confirm that it’s a very delicious take on pizza. Food, like people and low-budget sci-fi movies, must not be judged on its looks.