This was inspired from something I just posted. What this pertains to, are classic examples of (to England) foriegn cooking that many people set great stock in, but I've never ever liked. And at least half of them, I've seen respected an knowlegable TV chefs preare the same dish, explaining that that's not how it's cooked in the country of origin, and the ingredients they put in just seem to make so much more sense. Here's a list with explanations.
Tagliatelli and carbonara
Coc au vin
A lot of "Mexican" food
Beef bourguignon: I'm fairly certain that it's not traditionally prepared by pouring far too much nasty red wine over some scraggy beef that has either been overcooked, or hasn't sat long enough to braise. I would sooner go hungry than order this at a restaurant, *especially* somewhere like a family pub or hotel, where doubtless there is a family recipe, and their mum cooks it every boxing day. The French, surely must have some subtle refinements that would make this unrecognisable.
Coc Au Van: See above. For some reason, every time I've had it, the chicken is stringy, lie it's been boiled for too long, which it usually has, in (horrible) wine. I've actually heard a chef explain why many get it wrong, though I can't remember at the moment.
Duck a'l'orange: I love duck, and I like marmalade, but putting the two together does not instantly make a main course. I'll add the caveat that I hate sweet and savoury.
Goulash: I think it was Rick Stein who cooked a glorious looking goulash. Far from the usual beef stew, this one was cooked in cream IIRC, but he performed some kind of simple magic that probably made the dish so iconic in the first place. Looked absolutely different. And I think he used a surprisingly good cut of beef too.
Carbonara: People call it spagetti carbonara when it seems to use tagliatelli, but apart from that, I know this dish as pasta smothered - nay DROWNED, in a creamy, overly rich sauce with bacon and musrooms. Repulsive. According to Rick Stein (again) this dish was created some time around the second world war, where the Italians found themselves in posetion of a large quantity of the US troops bacon and eggs. There doesn't appear to be any cream at all in the original, just pasta cooked in egg with bacon. As far as I remember. See that doesn't sound amazing either, but I'd definitely try it that way over eating another mouthful of the new kind. And the name carbonara means something to do weith burnt. Recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...
Burrito I had today: This is an addition. Burritos I understand to be more tex-mex. Today I ate a "burrito" that was basically minced beef in a rich tomato sauce, in a wrap. No beans. It wasn't even wrapped properly. It had leeks in it. LEEKS!
Any other dishes you've tried and just don't know what the fuss is about, and then you realise that it's not actually supposed to be like that? I'd include pizza, but everyone knows it's not like the frozen kind.