International fast-food menus can surprise you.
Food is always a great way to immerse yourself in different cultures. Whether around the Philippines or the world, there’s a dish that will have you eating just like the locals. I make it a point to research what food is famous wherever it is I’m going. But I also make it a point to eat in at least one fast-food chain when I’m abroad.
Many don’t understand why I do this. They ask, “Why eat at a place you can eat at in your own country?” But it’s like how westerners seek out Jollibee to try something new, and I don’t mean in the Pinoy-baiting way. Us Filipinos can get a taste of something different at fast-food chains too.
Even if it’s the same fast-food chain, the food can be unique
McDonald’s is one of those fast-food chains that likes introducing global flavors. Think the Taste of Korea menu with beef burgers, Korean chicken, and honey butter fries. Those flavors are quite common in South Korea, but not in the Philippines.
Travel to Malaysia or Indonesia and try eating at a KFC. Unlike here in the Philippines, you won’t find gravy. The default sauce is sos chili, a sweet chili sauce that’s more common than a packet of ketchup.
Fast food chains abroad are also likely to cater to local tastes. KFC Singapore has a durian mochi on its dessert menu. McDonald’s Hong Kong serves grape jelly with their pancakes. Jollibee branches in other countries have chicken tenders alongside the signature Pinoy spaghetti. The sweet-style spaghetti still confuses most, but they like it because it’s new. Try ordering spicy chicken from any fast-food chain in Southeast Asia. You’ll realize that our version is for the weak.
When in Rome…
These unique offerings may not be as authentic as what you can find in local restaurants. But they’re still food and flavors that we don’t come across often.
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Fast food is also a great option for those with more picky palates and sensitive stomachs. So stop at a fast-food chain next time you go abroad. It’s an experience in and of itself.
Featured Image Macky Arquilla