Top Fast Food Guilty Pleasures From Around the World
The United States catches a lot of flak for our unhealthy eating habits and abundance of fast food restaurants, yet our domestic locations generally contain variations of the usual chicken, beef, or fish options, without any item evoking public backlash — aside from gripes about the portion sizes.
Yet some of the same companies — such as McDonald’s or Pizza Hut — routinely roll out jaw-dropping monstrosities of food only available in other countries, which appear as if they’d cause a heart attack just by looking at them. In fact, the two aforementioned chains could probably each have a list like this to themselves, as could the nation of Japan.
In light of those circumstances, we attempted to limit each entry in this list to a single item, and tried to vary the countries as much as possible. It wasn’t easy, but then again, neither is wrapping one’s head around some of these top fast food guilty pleasures from around the world.
Burger King’s Black Ninja Burger, Japan
Burger King Japan’s Kuro Pearl Burger — a beef patty topped with black cheese and a squid-ink onion-garlic sauce sandwiched between two black buns — may be quite odd, but its sibling, the Kuro Ninja Burger, gets the win here. Although they both have the same beef, sauce, and bamboo-charcoal-grilled buns, the latter also contains lettuce, mayo, a crispy hash brown, and a large strip of Canadian bacon. Making things even weirder, the bacon is meant to look like a protruding tongue similar to that of Burger King Japan’s ninja mascot.
Domino’s Loroco Pizza, El Salvador
Ever want to order edible flowers as a Domino’s Pizza topping? Me either, but the option is available in El Salvador. Named the “Loroco Pizza” after the vine on which the flowers grow, customers in the Central American country can also order Loroco Cheesy Bread. Although these dishes may seem odd to North Americans, loroco (Fernaldia pandurate) is widespread in El Salvador and Guatemala, and is an important food source often used in pupusas, or stuffed corn tortillas.
Dunkin Donuts’ Pork & Seaweed Donut, China; Kimchi Croquettes, South Korea
Although glazed, jelly, and Boston Cream are the notable donut options at Dunkin Donuts locations in America, the Pork & Seaweed Donut and Kimchi Croquette are available at stores in China and South Korea, respectively. Because who wouldn’t want seaweed or cabbage in a pastry?
KFC’s Double Down Dog, Philippines
As if the regular KFC Double Down (bacon and two kinds of cheese sandwiched between two fried chicken fillets) wasn’t weird enough already, locations in the Philippines serve a version featuring a honey mustard and cheese-covered hot dog wrapped in a bun made from — you guessed it — fried chicken. All of this raises the question: Who was the marketing genius who tried the original Double Down and said, ‘You know what this needs? More meat.”
McDonald’s McGrillschnägg, Switzerland; Soho Grande Burger, Czech Republic
McDonald’s has notched two items in this list, both of which are mostly strange for their names. While Switzerland’s sausage and hash brown sandwich topped with bacon, grilled onions, and spicy mustard is called the fun-to-say “McGrillschnägg,” the Czech Republic offers a New York-themed version with beef, spicy salami pepperoni, cheese, lettuce, and salsa called the SoHo Grande. What salsa has to do with New York is totally beyond us.
Pizza Hut’s Double Sensation Pizza, Singapore
As previously stated, Pizza Hut could have its own article on this topic, with top finishers including Japan’s Winter Double King Pizza (shrimp, crab, beef, broccoli, potato, mayonnaise, onion, and corn) and Middle Eastern locations’ Kit-Kat Pops (candy bar bites baked in pizza dough). Even with that competition, the clear winner has got to be the Double Sensation Pizza from Singapore, which is a two-in-one pie. The outermost ring of crust is stuffed with melted Parmesan, mozzarella, and Cheddar cheese, and topped with turkey ham, bell peppers, mushrooms, and a salsa sauce, while the inner crust is stuffed with chicken sausage and cheese, and topped with smoked chicken, zucchini, and a pepper-Alfredo sauce.
Taco Bell’s Chocodilla, Guatemala
Sure, Taco Bell offers caramel apple empanadas and cinnamon twists, but other than that, their dessert game is clearly lacking. Don’t fret though; locations in Guatemala have us covered. The country launched an item called the Chocodilla that is basically what it sounds like — a chocolate-filled quesadilla — but with one important twist: The inside is actually made of melted bits of Baby Ruth bars.
Wendy’s Lobster and Caviar Burger, Japan
Clearly when the Surf and Turf Burger came to Wendy’s Japan locations, someone said, ‘This is weird, but not quite weird enough.’ That’s the only way to explain its next creation, the Lobster and Caviar Burger. Either that, or Japan is an alternate universe where only the super-rich frequent fast food establishments, yet have still maintained their refined palates. Whatever the reasoning, the burger is available for those looking for fast food fare that extends beyond a fillet of fish.