Strange Fast Food From Around the World You Know You Want to Try
It may seem like local cuisine is under threat when you find a McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken outside the United States, but the truth is more complicated than that. While American fast food franchises undoubtedly spread American culture, they also try to adapt to the tastes of new markets by combining their menus with the foods of their host countries, and the results can be bafflingly delicious. Read on to find out how strange yet tasty it can get.
KFC is a big deal in Japan, in part because of the introduction of American culture to the country after World War II. In fact, KFC is a part of now-traditional Christmas celebrations there even though Christianity itself isn’t a popular religion in Japan. It’s so popular that you often need to order the stuff months in advance if you want to participate in the holiday tradition.
Doritos Crunchy Crust Pizza
What could be better than a fresh, hot pizza with your favorite toppings piled high? How about a pizza made with Doritos? It took Aussie ingenuity to dream up this crunchy delight. The Pizza Hut team there decided to make this food available in 2014.
Nutella, that delectably sweet chocolate hazelnut spread, sounds great on toast or pretzels, but not burgers so much. Nonetheless, some restaurants took the bold step of combining the two, and by all reports, it tastes delicious.
You’ve heard of vegetarians. You’ve maybe heard of pescatarians. But have you heard of the meatatarian? Apparently, Burger King New Zealand didn’t want to leave out this crowd of people who prize meat above all else, so they came up with the monstrous burger called the Meatatarian.
Chicken isn’t the only thing done differently in Japan. Burger King restaurants there decided to get traditional in the most bizarre way by adapting Japanese ingredients to decidedly American fare..
Chicken-Flavored Chocolate Truffles
This is one food that you’d probably only try because it’s so strange. In New Zealand, KFC decided to expand its selection by making these strange chocolate truffles. Peanut butter and jelly go together. Salt and pepper are almost always spotted on tables together. Chicken and chocolate? Well, it worked for the Swiss.
This one definitely won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who love fish and tofu, it could be a real treat. Tofu, fish, onions and carrots combine to make these unique snacks from tofu- and seafood-loving Japan.
Zinger Double Down King
If the Meatarian burger doesn’t quite get it done for you in the meat department, you’ll want to make your way to South Korea where you can get the Zinger Double Down King. This burger skipped the bread entirely to keep those pesky carbs away.
If you think Japan has a monopoly on unusual fast food, the Netherlands would like to have a word with you. The country spawned the McKroket, a fried patty that’s loaded with beef and cheesy filling for a delicious taste.
On second thought, maybe Japan has cornered the market on strangely amazing fast food after all. Consider the Berry Burger from Burger King. It’s not a burger made out of burgers — although that would certainly be weird in its own way — but rather a beef burger that uses berries as the main condiment.
Spinach and Parmesan Nuggets
This one isn’t really strange, per se, just not something you’d likely find on a menu at an American fast food joint. In fact, they sound pretty darn good. Spinach and parmesan cheese blended into a gooey filling for a nugget that’s deep-fried? Yes, please, Italy McDonald’s!
When it comes to dinner, it can be hard to pick between your favorite pizza joint or your favorite Tex-Mex place. Pizza Hut in New Zealand understood that dilemma and put out a flavorful product that means you don’t have to decide: the pizza quesadilla.
If you’re torn between two cuisines for dinner, you might find this option from the South Korean Taco Bell menu to be helpful. Kimchi, a fermented cabbage, is a staple in the country’s kitchens. Meanwhile, quesadillas are a solid choice from any Tex-Mex restaurant. Why not mix the two?
BBQ Frankfurter Pizza
Still can’t decide on one meal choice? If you love hotdogs and pizza, this one might finally help you decide, at least if you can make it to a Pizza Hut in Indonesia. This strange dish combines several American classics in ways you probably haven’t considered before.
For Americans, Canada might not seem like such a different country, but if you’ve ever popped into a local Burger King, you’ll realize that you aren’t in Kansas anymore. One of the amazing offerings on the menu there is beef poutine. If you don’t know poutine, you should. It’s traditionally made with fries, cheese curds, and gravy.
When traveling through Asia, you can find something special on the McDonald’s menus in Malaysia and Indonesia. This traditional rice porridge is called Bubur Ayam, and it’s made in just about every kitchen in the country.
Sometimes foreign chains come to the United States with equally unexpected results. This latte from Tim Horton’s is named for both the town in which it was a specialty and for its unique special ingredient. It was briefly available in only two locations in, you guessed it, Buffalo, New York.
Pumpkin Spice French Fries
Each and every year for the past decade or more, autumn has brought with it an influx of pumpkin-spice everything — literally everything. From coffee to muffins to chewing gum, it’s all covered. In Japan, however, McDonald’s took things one step further, because of course they did.
Dry Pork and Seaweed Doughnuts
Doughnuts are amazing. Whether you’re nibbling on a Bavarian creme, jelly-filled or plain glazed, they simply cannot be beaten. But Dunkin Donuts China decided they wanted to up the ordinary by offering a truly unique doughnut with a culturally appropriate taste.
Chocolate Butternut Squash Donut
If that Chinese doughnut twist wasn’t enough for you, check out these sweet treats from Dunkin’ Donuts in Singapore. It’s certainly unexpected for Western diners, but once you realize that squash and pumpkin aren’t so different, everything falls into place.
If you’ve ever eaten Indian food, you probably know that curry is a staple flavoring in the cuisine. McDonald’s realized that as well, so they decided to create the McCurry Pan, a savory pie loaded with curry and all kinds of goodies.
Deep Fried Salmon
Fresh salmon is an important ingredient in many Japanese dishes, including everything from sushi to many soups. Because of that, it’s not surprising that Japan’s KFC restaurants dipped this staple in breading and fried it up.
Flying Fish Roe Salmon Cream Cheese Pizza
Want something really unique on your pizza during your next trip to Hong Kong? You could always try one with flying fish roe and salmon-flavored cream cheese should it become available again. This strange pizza pie was released in 2014 when Pizza Hut got a little crazy with the ingredients.
Whenever Hanukkah comes around, there’s a traditional food that’s served: SufganiKing, which is a jam- or jelly-filled donut. Naturally, what else could Burger King do but take on this tradition and offer something strangely amazing for the holiday?
A Taco Bell item that’s both available for both a limited time and at a limited location is the Cheetos Quesadilla. This exclusive entree is only available in the Philippines. This dish follows Taco Bell’s tradition of fusing popular snack items with Mexican-American fare to make things like Doritos Tacos.
For those who are in love with McDonald’s Big Mac, you should pay attention to the menu in Cyprus and Greece. These two locations offer a unique twist on the familiar formula made famous here in America. The delicious beef is the same, but everything else has a Mediterranean twist.
Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino
While Starbucks has a standard menu all around the world, it often offers drinks that cater to local tastes and interests. In Hong Kong, one of these special beverages is a coffee that uses whole red beans in a green tea frappuccino.
Because of how famous Germany is for bratwurst, is it any surprise that McDonald's has its own twist on the famous dish? For the last several years, the restaurant chain has offered several limited edition variations on the fried sausage dish, often tied to various holidays.
One of the most creative foods on this list is Pizza Hut’s Birizza, which is available in Sri Lanka. This dish combines biryani rice with pizza. What ends up on your plate looks like a calzone but doesn’t taste like anything you could find in the United States
Speaking of paneer, KFC restaurants in India offer a different take on the cheese. The Paneer Zinger has a crunchy, double-layer paneer patty that comes with a creamy and spicy sauce and lettuce, all on a sesame bun.