What "illegal in the US" ingredients do you find most intriguing?

Joined Feb 22, 2011
Thought this might stir some interesting discussion. I just came across mantis shrimp. Chef Micheal White prepares "spagetti allo scoglio" at his Hong Kong restaurant. These shrimp are known as prawn killers and can sometimes crack aquarium glass.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
I know of people who swear by unpasturized milk. I've never tried it.
Drank it all the time at my grandparents house in the 40s and 50s, fresh daily from their cow!

Let it sit in a bowl with a flour sack towel to keep the flies away until the cream separates, then scoop the cream onto your cereal or into your coffee, yum!
Joined Nov 5, 2007
As I seem to recall there are a number of hams, cured sausage and such that people in various European countries have been eating for centuries but it doesn't meet the FDA requirements for being "safe" and can't be legally imported into the US of A.

And yet high fructose corn syrup is everywhere.


Joined Aug 13, 2006
What concerns me more is what IS legal in the US. 

But that aside, I had my doctor (an american trained MD) for dinner and made a pork roast.  It seemed cooked and i cut into it and realized it was still pink.  I hurried to put it back in the oven, and she said, "naa, don't bother, i don;t mind it like that".  I said what about trichinosis? She said that in medical school (in the US) they told her that the pork in italy is all tested, and there is a simple and cheap and easy test for trichinosis.  That's why they can make all that prosciutto (which is called prosciutto crudo here, raw ham) - because it's been tested. 

I would imagine the same would be true for raw milk - if the cows were more rigorously tested maybe it would be safe.

I get the feeling that with young children growing up on diet soft drinks (diet!  soft drinks!) oh, yes, an with artificial coloring, and all the junk food ingredients that are perfectly accepted by the FDA like coloring and preservatives and artificial fats and all that, and with the antibiotics and growth hormones fed to chickens and all that that the things that are made illegal there are things that there is no big money to make on, and those that are left legal are ones that someone is making a ton of money on.  Obviously, i know.  (Interestingly, fanta orangade is pale yellow here, and has a higher % of real orange in it.  I wondered why the american one tasted so bad, and then i read the package.  And of course it;s that bizarre orange color which makes it seem like something from another planet.)

On the other hand, here, believe it or not, they sell fructose in powder form as a "healthy" alternative to sugar!   go figure  
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Pork in the U.S is not like it was years ago> It's one of the proteins that acyually have gotten better. The threat of trichinosis  s almost unheard of . Many a place serves pork medallions and a loin on the rare side.

    Funny you say the U>S> when I was in France I ate Rare duck breast  (2 dirtiest birds Duck and Turkeys) We also have a load of imported products here even from Italy with artificial and other junk ingredients in it. As mnufacturers strive to make their products last longer , I don't care what country your in, food has chemicals in it. processed. Also it seems a little strange to me that our great grand parents lived into their 50 s  our grandparents their 60s our parents into their 70s and us into our 80s. Medicine has a lot to so with it, but also you are what you eat.  Also Fanta here is an orange carbonated soda, made by Pepsico.  Coa Cola a big seller in Europe as is Crush  and is corn syrup and artificial this and that, and is also made and bottled their. So it is not only in US. Perrier is artificially carbonated in France.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I have to disagree with your implication, Ed, that because we live longer we are healthier. Such is not the case. This is the least healthy generation in American history. What keeps us going is that medicine has more than kept up with our deteriorating health. So, while we get sicker more often, from more things, they can cure (or control) them better.

But curing an disease is not the same as having not contracted it in the first place.

As to the original question, I would have to say real game. There is a world of difference in the taste of a wild deer and that of a farm-raised one. Same for all game. There are several folks on this list who can tell you that once you eat a wild duck you'll never even look at a domestic one again.

But selling game has been illegal in the U.S. for a century, so most people haven't a clue what it tastes like.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I can't think of what I'm missing out that's illegal here, however I can think of loads of things I find in other countries that I'm not allowed to stash in my suitcase (but have done so successfully) like cheeses, cured meats, live snails, etc.

I agree with others who say that it is appalling what IS legal in this country.  I've even seen commercials nowadays tooting the benefits of high fructose corn syrup. 
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Joined Apr 4, 2011
We also have a load of imported products here even from Italy with artificial and other junk ingredients in it.
Do Italian products imported into the US carry designations such as DOP as they do in the EU? Most of these designations rule out non-traditional processing or artificial ingredients.

I know the designations don't have any legal force in the US but I imagine they must be left on the product/packaging at least some of the time for greater export versatility.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
There are plenty of junk ingredients here, don't get me wrong. But people mainly eat real food - they boil leafy vegetables, they saute garlic and onions, they roast, saute or boil root vegetables, broccoli, string beans, eggplants, etc, they use extra virgin oil as a matter of course, and they are very much into food that is not "sofisticato" which doesn;t mean sophisticated in our sense, but it means not doctored up!  The well-off may eat more pre-cooked, pre-prepared things, (the very rich have people who boil their vegetables for them) but the poor and ordinary middle class people definitely mostly eat real food, which is far cheaper.  There's a stong sense of favoring untampered-with food even with people who are not particularly well-educated.  Kids get orangeade at parties, not at dinner.  I never saw kids being given anything but water at meals. 

Fanta is, or at least was, a coca cola product, Ed- at least when i was a kid and my godfather was a big manager in coca cola and he talked about this new line of soft drinks they were making.  In the states the orangeade made by fanta is colored orange, and here it's not colored and is pale yellow.  Here there is a higher percentage of actual orange, which i discovered comparing labels.  Pepsi, which is even more sickly sweet than coke, has sugar in the ingredient list, not fructose. It must be a special product for export (i just checked the can that came as a gift with our last pizza delivery, which has been sitting in the fridge for ages - no fructose.)

There are little commercially produced cakes that are now given as snacks to kids, but most kids still get a piece of pizza a taglio on their way to school to eat at snack time.  Adults drink tons of artificially sweetened drinks.  But no one would give them to a child.  Artificially colored stuff is frowned on and most is illegal.  Tictac candies, for example, are not colored, but the box is made of colored transparent plastic to give them the appearance of being colored! 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
When I was a kid and somebody died, It was Quote "Becauuse of old age"  They did not know or understand what thew person died of so everything was old age. Or maybe TB or maybe something else. KY you have the right to disagree and express your opinions as I can express mine, thats what makes America Great.

Siduri you are right about Fanta being Coke Product I was wrong. Pepsi was developed around the war because of the shortage of pure cane sugar . It was originally made using brown colored sugar like sugar in the raw color. They have since reformulated. I remember when you could use Pepsi to take rust off your car because of the chemicals in its makeup
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Coa Cola a big seller in Europe as is Crush  and is corn syrup and artificial this and that, and is also made and bottled their. So it is not only in US.

The coca cola you get in France, and in fact most soda drinks in France, do not contain high fructose corn syrup, but sugar. High fructose corn syrup is really a US thing that you may be able to find here and there in processed foods in France, but nothing like here in the U.S. where it's in absolutely all the processed foods.
Joined May 24, 2009
Salep is the powdered root of on orchid that is extremely rare outside of Turkey.  Its not illegal in the US but it is illegal to export from Turkey.  The ingredient is used to make "Salep Dondurma" which is a Turkish ice cream that is stretchy and chewy like dough.
Joined Jun 13, 2010
Raw milk is not 100% illegal in the whole USA... I think in PA you can buy it I saw raw milk for sale at reading terminal in Philly and have been on the hunt in NY for it. There is a place over an hour from me that is USDA certified allowed to sell raw milk go figure. As far as illegal I would say 2 day old fresh chickens... I have bought some fresh chickens at the farmers market they tell me they can only sell if it’s less than 24 hours from the slaughterhouse. I understand why but even a couple days after I buy those chickens and make them. The taste is out of this world and nothing like those horrible supermarket chickens. I would also say another illegala US ingredient that I find intriguing is marijuana. I hear you can make some slamming ginger snap cookies with butter made from the stuff, but since it is illegal of course I wouldnt know...

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