This week I decided to take a look at food that transcends across all cultures and nations, fast food. Though the quality of the food may be questionable, the prices are sure good. And what’s better than some fast food at 3 in the morning when nothing else is open? Well this was certainly the dilemma I faced over spring break. Unlike some people I did not travel to some exciting place but rather to my hometown where mostly everything closes by 11. Thus we were forced with the choice between the classic fast food establishments besides deciding on Wendy’s. This got me thinking about fast food and its impact not just here in America but also across the world.
Defined in Merriam Webster, fast food is of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly. Commercialized fast food is often prepared at a central supply facility and then shipped out to the franchises were it is then reheated, cooked (usually fried) or assembled in a quick amount of time. Therefore many of the different foods include ingredients to ensure a certain flavor and also to remain fresh.
Around the world there is wide variety in what constitutes fast food. In the middle east, kebab houses are very popular. Here meat is shaven from a rotisserie and served on a flatbread with salad and choice of dressing. In the Netherlands the main fast food dish consists of french fries with a meat dish side and sauce on top. In Eastern Europe noodle shops are extremely popular.
Veg McPuff Pizza
One thing I found interesting while doing research on this, was the variety that many American chains placed in their restaurants around the world. Many of these different items are instituted to reflect the native food and also unique cultural desires. The McDonald’s around the world usually contain their usual items such as the Big Mac and quarter pounder in addition to local originals. Here are some of the most interesting ones I found. In Hong Kong there’s a pork burger with Teriyaki sauce and cabbage. Also in Asia, a dish called Bubur Ayam is served which is literally chicken strips in porridge with onions, ginger, and chili pepper. In the Middle East, McDonalds serves up the Veg McPuff Pizza which is rectangular dough filled with tomato sauce and vegetables. Also in some countries in Europe they serve beer and wine.
61% of the population of Hong Kong claim to visit fast food restaurants at least once a week, the most out of any country
McDonalds distributes more toys per year than Toys R Us
French Fries are the most popular food in America