A new ranking of the world’s best cuisines has divided and apparently baffled internet users after the United States was ranked ahead of France and England featured in the top 30.
Food website TasteAtlas, which describes itself as “a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants,” shared the ranking of 95 best world cuisines on its Twitter account on Thursday.
The U.S. was ranked in 8th place, ahead of France in 9th place, while England was number 29 on the list and placed ahead of countries including Thailand, Lebanon and Malaysia.
Italy came in first place, followed by Greece, Spain, Japan and India, while Slovakia placed 50th—the last country listed in a graphic shared to Twitter—and Norway placed 95th in the overall rankings.
Twitter users reacted with surprise and some mockery to TasteAtlas’ rankings and comments continued to pour in on Friday and early Saturday morning as people questioned why the U.S. and England ranked so high.
“This is a list you’d come up with if you’d never eaten food,” wrote climate writer Dave Vetter.
Journalist Lucas Faraldo Knopf, writing in Portuguese, tweeted: “United States and England not being in the relegation zone of this list IS A CRIME.”
Twitter user GuiXimenes, a systems engineer, wrote: “US above Brazil HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”
Brazil was ranked 12th on TasteAtlas’ list, behind countries including Greece, Spain and Peru.
French radio presenter Emeric Berco tweeted: “United States ahead of France, that was enough for me. Whatever.”
“#8 being on there means this poll is inherently flawed and not to be taken seriously,” tweeted Jay K. Cagatay of TIME magazine, sharing another tweet showing what was described as a “Snickers salad.”
Some Twitter users questioned why England was on the list at all, with reporter Amrita Khalid writing: “Hi, I think there’s been an error. England is on this list for some reason.”
Replying to Khalid, Thomas Sully, a 16-year-old student, wrote: “Yes. and the US seems to be not just on the list, but high on the list.”
Khalid replied: “The US really shouldn’t rank over France, but I’ll allow it because making the French mad is funny.”
On its website, TasteAtlas provides a list of “best rated foods” from the U.S. That list includes wild Alaska salmon, Texas brisket sandwich, Florida oranges and honeycrisp apples but the site also notes that the most popular American dish is the burger.
TasteAtlas describes the burger as the “quintessential American food.”
When it comes to English cuisine, TasteAtlas’ list includes Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, Cornish clotted cream and sticky toffee pudding.
“Every year when we publish the list, there are a lot of angry people, even calls from embassies. We learned to live with it,” TasteAtlas told Newsweek in a statement on Saturday.
“Let’s clarify our methodology. We are a site dedicated to traditional local dishes with a database of 15,000+ dishes and ingredients. Throughout the year, people rate those foods (not cuisines) in our database,” the statement said.
“Some votes are recognized by our system as invalid,” TasteAtlas said, citing “nationalist votes: people from one country give high marks to their dishes and low marks to their neighbors. We don’t count such votes.”
“At the end of the year, we take the average of the best-rated dishes in each kitchen (so that France is not brought down by frogs, for example). And that’s it,” the statement went on.
“No one likes that list, but it is a reflection of the valid voices of real people. That’s why we wrote, ‘don’t hate us; we’re just counting votes,'” TasteAtlas said.
Update 12/24/22, 7.39 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from TasteAtlas.