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Fast-food in foreign countries


zpzjessica
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I'm doing research for a project and an curious to learn about fast-food in other countries. Or even here in the states, fast-foods that are far from mainstream.

Here, we have McDonalds and Wendy's and Taco Bell (and yes, I know some of those can be found in other countries as well), but if you were walking in a Peruvian village, or the English countryside, or the streets of Kyoto, what would be their equivalent of a fast-food joint?

Has anyone traveled to another country and been tired and hungry and wanted a Big-Mac equivalent? If it wasn't available, where did you go and what did you eat? Is it something that might be available anywhere in the U.S.?

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated :smile:

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There is loads of great stall food in Malaysia! The list of items you can get quickly on the street is practically endless. And there are loads of other places with equivalently extensive and delicious street foods. India and Thailand come to mind. You are researching a truly vast subject.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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If you want to find more about fast-foods in other countries, do an Internet search on "street foods." In much of the rest of the world, fast-foods are sold not as much by chain restaurants as by individual vendors and stalls.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Here in Oxford there's the usual multi-national suspects, but also a lot of kebab vans (chips, kebab, burgers mostly)

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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Here in Quebec we have poutine, french fries topped with cheddar cheese cruds and gravy. Many various toppings can be added to this trio such as bacon, pepperoni, green pepper, mushrooms, onions, ground beef, sliced franks, chicken and many more. It can also be done the "italian way" by replacing the gravy with bolognese sauce.

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In Barcelona (and in most Catalonia and some other parts of Spain), you have Pans&Company, which is a fast food franchise specializing in baguette sandwiches.

In Madrid, there's the ubiquitous Rodilla sandwich franchise.

While both Pans&Company and Rodilla are decent outlets (i.e. for a fast food chain), I'd recommend trying Lizarran, which is yet another franchise specializing in Basque Pintxos, which are slices of white bread topped by a variety of roasted vegetables, cured meats, brined anchovies or seafood, or, even better, going for a real tapas experience in a warm, real, down-to-earth bar.

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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I can't vouch for all of the franchise locations, but the best fastfood fried chicken I've had to date (yes, better than Popeye's) was at a Pollo Campero in

Antigua, Guatemala. They are mainly in Mexico and Central America, but there are a number of U.S. franchises, too.

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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Hi Jessica. Good topic !

I'm a Brit living in Japan. We often hear here, that ramen is the equivalent of the UK's fish and chips. Of course fish'n' chips is fast food because it's deep fried - 3 or 4 minutes order-to-serving - and when I was a sprog there were fish and chip shops everywhere and fast food chains were less prevalent. The village where I grew up had a chip shop (one of the last coal-fried friers !) and no other fast food. (We won't mention the four pubs).

Ramen is the pattern for cup ramen of course, but in Japan there are ramen shops everywhere. The noodles being fresh-made wheat noddles, again it's a few minutes to cook them, and they're served in a portion of the clear soup that's kept going in a big pot, with whatever trimmings you choose. This is the food Japanese kids go crazy for the way we used to for chips - and a taste naturally carried into adulthood :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramen

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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For the past two weeks I have been travelling through Panama, Chile, and Argentina. So far, there has been McD's in all countries as well as Burger King and KFC.

Street food has abounded in all three countries and I've been making a point to dine more on street food than in restaurants. In Panama, there is chorizo that is cut in a spiral and grilled on a stick as well as very mediocre empanadas. The empanadas here in Argentina are (not surprisingly) stunning. While wandering the streets of Santiago, there were a number of street food vendors grilling up various meats right in front of the KFC and Pizza Hut stores! Also, in Panama, we've eaten what is akin to a pupesa; sort of a stuffed tortilla with chicken and cheese.

I'll see if I can get some pictures as I hadn't even bothered thinking about it!

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So, where's the OP?

Have any of these replies been useful?

For India:

Traditional street food abounds, very regional,

snacks: ranging from chaats, golgappas, chhole/bhature,

sundal, spiced peanuts, etc etc. all over the place.

There are also the street-meal guys, who make

more substantial parathas/puris, idlis/dosais, etc for the office crowd.

A step more upscale, you can get the same stuff

at truck stops (dhabas); the Punjab style are the most justly

famous - you don't want to mess with a burly Jat trucker's

food - parathas, tandoori anything, jugs of fresh lassi with

butter floating on the top, wet-sari calendar on the wall.

The real dhabas seat you on plastic chairs and formica tables,

the upscale/urban versions go "authentic" with string-cot seating

and earthenware dishes.

Then inside cities, there are the older chains like Woodies/Woodlands,

Kamath, etc. specializing in South Indian vegetarian fast

food (dosais etc.), and all the Haldiram type shops doing

chaat type food in sit-down and more hygenic surroundings

vs their street-brethren.

Now of course, there's the McD and KFC incursions, and it's

great how much McD has had to adapt to the desi market -

special vegetarian menus (staff has to bathe, change into

the green uniforms, and there's a separate kitchen etc.) etc.

Food is so-so - I had a really incomprehensible "curry" sauce

in the Bangalore KFC last summer....

Milagai

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I'm here and yes, the replies have been helpful, so thank you.

I was kind-of hoping to get ideas other than street foods, as we have covered that in a previous episode. But I guess in other countries there really isn't much differentiation between fast-food and street food.

Thanks, though!

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I'm here and yes, the replies have been helpful, so thank you.

I was kind-of hoping to get ideas other than street foods, as we have covered that in a previous episode. But I guess in other countries there really isn't much differentiation between fast-food and street food.

Thanks, though!

Is it the case that the street food is the "fast food" of other cuisines? That the need for something you can grab and eat on the run does exist around the world, but it's only the US which has turned that into a franchisable industry with drive through windows which it has then exported? If anything, have we seen some of the street foods of other countries (Wursts, Tacos, Neapolitan Pizza Pies) turned into standardized, franchisable fast-food chains, and then in many cases exported back around the world?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I just moved to Toronto a year ago and was suprised to see West Indies fast food, with items like goat roti and oxtail soup. Not just mom and pop places, but actual fast food with plastic molded booths and lit up menus on the wall.

There was nothing like this in Vancouver.

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The Philippines has Jolibee, a veritable fast-food empire. As you can see from their product list, they offer more than just burgers: there's fried chicken, Filipino-style spaghetti, a traditional noodle dish called pancit palabok, beef or tuna meat pies, burger steak (essentially the equivalent of a salisbury steak served with mushroom gravy and rice), and lumpia shanghai (deep-fried spring rolls).

Another popular subsidiary of Jolibee Foods is Chowking. With takeout and delivery options available to its customers, Chowking serves a variety of both Chinese and Filipino dishes.

Note that both Jolibee and Chowking have branched out internationally including stores in California. Jolibee's website indicates that their Las Vegas location is slated to open some time this month.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I just HAVE to mention that I stood slack jawed in amazement outside a Starbucks in the middle of the Forbidden City in Beijing recently....Jesus, Mary and Joseph what were they thinking????????

Unfortunately I think I know the answer :sad:

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We have several local "fastfood" restaurants:

Burger Ranch. This is a hamburger joint.

Pizza Meter Argentinian Pizza joint. You can buy by the 1/4 meter or 1/2 meter.

We also have wonderful falafel, sabich and shwarma stands. As well as hummous and burekas joints.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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Chufi beat me to it! :biggrin: FEBO is the way people go for fast food in Holland. There are also many falafel shops, the biggest being the Maoz falafel chain.

I've lived in Germany as well, but I can't really think of a chain that they have which isn't also elsewhere. They are extremely fond of doner kebabs (sorry I don't have the accent on this keyboard) from the popular Turkish snack bars which are everywhere.

*edit* nope it's come to me, Nordsee is a big German fast food chain, featuring fried fish. And there are various medium-sized chains which serve bratwurst, etc, Weinerwald being one of them.

Edited by cakewench (log)
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In Canada it's mostly the American chains, but we've also got our own equivalents plus a few extras:

Harvey's - Burgers

Mr Sub - Subway equivalent

Pizza Pizza

La Belle Province - Poutine (explained above)

There's also lots of local fast-food restaurants that are mostly dependent on local tastes and, especially, which ethnic groups live in the area. Here in Ottawa we've got a ton of shawarma and pho shops, but little else. In Toronto you'll find just about anything.

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In Canada it's mostly the American chains, but we've also got our own equivalents plus a few extras:

Harvey's - Burgers

Mr Sub - Subway equivalent

Pizza Pizza

La Belle Province - Poutine (explained above)

There's also lots of local fast-food restaurants that are mostly dependent on local tastes and, especially, which ethnic groups live in the area.  Here in Ottawa we've got a ton of shawarma and pho shops, but little else.  In Toronto you'll find just about anything.

Ahem. I think you're forgetting something...

Tim Horton's! :)

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In Canada it's mostly the American chains, but we've also got our own equivalents plus a few extras:

Harvey's - Burgers

Mr Sub - Subway equivalent

Pizza Pizza

La Belle Province - Poutine (explained above)

There's also lots of local fast-food restaurants that are mostly dependent on local tastes and, especially, which ethnic groups live in the area.  Here in Ottawa we've got a ton of shawarma and pho shops, but little else.  In Toronto you'll find just about anything.

Ahem. I think you're forgetting something...

Tim Horton's! :)

And St Hubert in Quebec

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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