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Food

These Are The Best American Foods, According To A French Person

French people can love American food too!

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DISCLAIMER: This list includes only food I’ve actually tried. I am only one person and I can only eat so many things. (Sorry gumbo, I'm sure that one day, you and I will have the time of our lives together.)

39. Cupcakes

Flickr: evanmischelle

Cupcakes are often just dry, basic cakes covered with overly sweet icing that just happen to be kinda cute. Leave the cakes to us, there are much better parts of American food.

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38. Onion rings

waferboard / Flickr: waferboard

I know this is very controversial, but I just don't think onions deserve to be the star of any dish. (I know, I know "the French onion soup," but I'm not a fan of that either, so there you go.)

37. Corn dogs

Cameron Yee / Flickr: ygx

I had a really hard time ranking these, because I LOVE a good corn dog, but most corn dogs you find out there aren't that good, so the few good ones must pay for the mistakes of the mediocre mass in this ranking.

36. Deep dish pizza

Bhofack2 / Getty Images

Deep dish pizzas are delicious, they're just not pizza. Had this dish been honest and called itself "tomato pie" or something, I would have ranked it higher. But it didn't. It lied, and for this it must be punished.

35. Grits

Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

This ranking is probably unfair, since I live in the Northeast of the US and I don't think I've ever had really good grits. What I had resembled polenta. It wasn't unpleasant but not amazing either.

34. Root beer float

Bhofack2 / Getty Images

Introduce any French person to the concept of adding ice cream to an already super sweet soda and they will probably stare at you with an air of disbelief and disgust. That was also my reaction when I was served my first root beer float. But I tried it, and it was pretty fucking good.

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32. Cornbread

Uig Platinum / Getty Images

Good cornbread is delicious but if I had the choice between a baguette and corn bread to go with my meal, I would always pick the baguette.

31. Clam chowder

Longhorn Nation / Flickr: 15715455@N05

The first time I had clam chowder, I had just arrived in Boston in the middle of the winter, after spending six months in a tiny town where Panda Express and Taco Bell reigned supreme. The chowder brought joy and warmth to my soul and was my first encounter with something truly delicious in months, and for this, it will always have a special place in my heart.

30. Hot dogs

Swerz / Flickr: swerz

Burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, coke, and peanut butter were pretty much all I knew about American food growing up in France. But hot dogs really deserve their international fame — they're so simple and yet so satisfying and yummy.

29. Tater tots

Larry / Flickr: muyyum

An American I know threatened to cut all ties with me when he saw how low I was ranking these. But I am willing to take that risk for the sake of the truth. Let's get real: Tater tots are really good but they're not life-changing.

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28. Pumpkin pie

Bhofack2 / Getty Images

Pumpkin isn't a staple of French food so the idea of a pumpkin pie sounds a bit strange to us. But it's delicious and more proof that American food is much more delightful and creative than many Europeans would like to believe.

27. Biscuit and gravy

Aimeeleestudios / Getty Images

Another American specialty that's unfortunately extremely foreign to the French. It's a shame because biscuit and gravy is American comfort food at its best.

26. Sweet potato casserole

Hamburger Helper / Flickr: hamburger_helper

I know this is a very polarizing dish, and when I found out about it (at my first Thanksgiving) I wondered what kind of monster would put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. And then I tried it and it was good. So good, in fact, that I've spent the past seven years trying (and failing) to convince my French friends to try it too.

25. Mozzarella sticks

FoodTographya / Flickr: foodtograpiya

More often than not, mozzarella sticks are made with gross, fake mozzarella and served lukewarm in shitty dive bars. And yet, they still manage to be good. For this, they deserve all of our respect.

24. Crab cakes

Bhofack2 / Getty Images

One of the many things that are so good I wish the French could take credit for them. But unfortunately, we can't and so we must keep thanking Americans for coming up with something so brilliant.

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23. Cheesecake

Cheese AND cake! What more do you need??

22. New York dollar slice

Matthew Hurst / Flickr: skewgee

Here's the thing about NY style pizza: More often than not, the dough is soggy and the cheese overly chewy. I'm ranking this pretty high, though, because good NY pizza is delicious.

21. Donuts

You can have a cheap donut from Dunkin Donuts and it's gonna be good and satisfying, and then you have a fancy donut from a trendy store with crazy flavors and it's gonna be good. That's because donuts are just very, very good.

20. Bagels

There aren't many things as satisfying in this world as a good, fresh bagel with lox and cream cheese.

19. Mac and cheese

My first encounter with macaroni and cheese (a Kraft box bought at a tiny grocery store during my first night in the US) traumatized me for a long time. I had never seen orange cheese before, and the consistency of the whole thing completely threw me off. But since then, I've had good, homemade mac and cheese several times and I've finally come to understand why Americans are so crazy about this dish.

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18. Ribs

These are the perfect example of why Americans rule at bbq, while we French keep on grilling some lame skewers.

12. Burritos

I cannot express how much I love burritos and how much they make me feel like death. They're unfortunately almost impossible to find in France (except for a couple of Chipotle in Paris).

10. Grilled cheese

Some things, such as bread and cheese, are universally loved, and of course, so is grilled cheese.

9. Milkshakes

Brillant idea, amazing execution, a home run all around!

8. Key Lime Pie

Boston Globe / Getty Images

I love French lemon pies, but honestly (and I'm gonna get some shit from my people for saying this) they're not as delicious as Key lime pies and their perfect balance between sweet and tangy.

7. The Thanksgiving meal

I know I've already included several traditional Thanksgiving dishes on this list, but I also had to include the whole meal itself because it's so unique and delightful. Also, stuffing is the shit.

6. Fried chicken and waffles

Another weird but winning combination. I'm usually not a huge fan of chicken (it's often dry and there are better meats out there) but fried chicken is so so soooooo good.

4. S'mores

JustyCinMD / Flickr: justycinmd

I wish these were popular when I was growing up in France. This whole concept is so genius and delicious and I'm so mad the French didn't come up with it (or at least adopt it).

3. Pulled pork

Jerry Huddleston / Flickr: huddleston

Pulled pork almost made it to the first place and to be honest I'm still debating whether I made the right call. I don't have much to say about this one except that barbecue sauce may be one of the greatest inventions of all time.

2. Maine lobster roll

Neil Conway / Flickr: neilconway

The first time I had a lobster roll, I cried, ascended to heaven, came back and wept some more. This is a masterpiece. This is something the French should have invented but didn't and for this, we should feel shame. Only one thing could ever beat this beauty...

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