TRAVEL

International Fast Food: 10 Menu Items You Can't Get In North America

09/17/2012 06:50 EDT | Updated 09/20/2012 02:50 EDT
Wendy's

Travel to Japan and you can count on coming across any number of sushi shops, udon stands and ramen houses. But depending on your timing you might also be able to catch a Lobster Surf & Turf burger from Wendy's. Yeah, as in the American-burger-chain Wendy's.

While Wendy's locations are pretty common in North America, the burger franchise, known for their square patties and red-headed mascot, just opened their second restaurant in Japan in August. The high-end burger is a move designed to ease locals into the franchise's Western take on food, says Wendy's spokesperson Bob Bertini.

"Each market is different and seafood is a big part of the diet in Japan," Bertini told CBS Cleveland.

The concept of incorporating the local culture into a foreign fast-food chain isn't anything particular new -- McDonalds did it back in February with their McBaguette in France as a means to cater to locals as well as in Nova Scotia and Maine with the McLobster -- but for everyone outside of those countries, such menu items will be nothing more than a distant dream.

That is, unless you find yourself in the right countries at the right time and are craving some good old, North American, heart-clogging, sodium-level-pushing fast food.

In light of this, Huffington Post Travel Canada put together a collection of 10 fast-food items that take on a bit of the native country's cooking style, culture and flavours.

So, whether you find yourself in South America or South Korea, there's probably a fast-food joint that'll remind you of where you left, but taste like where you just arrived.

10 Fast-food items sold outside of North America:

10 Fast-Food Items Sold Outside Of North America

10. New York Fries' Italian Job Hot Dog.

Where: Hong Kong

This dish is a just a geographical nightmare. Despite the American-sounding name, New York Fries is actually a Canadian franchise. As for the Italian part, well that comes the "special homemade Bolognese sauce with sprinkles of parmesan cheese and basil" on top of a chicken and beef hot dog. Who would have thought that you'd have to go all the way to Hong Kong to get it though?

9. Pizza Hut's Tempura Prawn Garlic Rice

Where: Malaysia

Like the name suggests, Pizza Hut's game is well, pizza. As of late, the franchise has branched out with offerings of pasta and wings in Canada and the U.S. but good luck finding rice dishes. Malaysia on the other hand, where rice is a staple grain, likes to bring some of its culinary culture into it's fast-food chains (rice is even served as a side dish at Kentucky Fried Chicken). Patrons of Malaysia's Pizza Hut can have their rice served with veggies, crabstick and tempura king prawns.

8. Krispy Kreme Donuts' Double Taste Mango Doughnut

Where: South Korea

South Korea doesn't actually grow mangos but the sweet flavour profile finds its way into many Asian desserts, baked goods and sweets. So, it shouldn't be any surprise that Kripsy Kreme Donuts, a franchise based in the U.S., would incorporate mangos into one of its doughnuts by filling it with a mango cheese mixture, topped with icing sugar and then drizzling more mango cheese mixture on top.

7. Dairy Queen's Green Tea Blizzard

Where: Thailand

Green tea is a staple flavour in Asia for many frozen desserts like ice cream and frozen yoghurt. Blizzards are a popular soft-serve treat sold in North America. Combine the two and you get the Green Tea Blizzard.

6. Taco Bell's Grilled Burrito, Stuffed With Fajita Vegetables and Paneer

Where: India

Depending on who you ask, anywhere from 20 to 42 per cent of India's population is vegetarian, which explains why it's probably in Taco Bell's best interests to cater to such a dietary restriction. One item that does so is their grilled burrito made with veggies and paneer, a type of cheese of Indian origin.

5. McDonald's McArabia

Where: Egypt

McDonald's take on a Middle Eastern flatbread wrap, the McArabia features "two grilled chicken patties with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and garlic sauce lovingly folded in Arabic bread." It's also been sold in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

4. Burger King's Churrasquito Pampeano

Where: Brazil

This sandwich is Burger King's take on a Brazilian cooking style. The first part of the sandwich's name, "churrasco", is Portuguese for a type of grilled meat, typically beef that's popular in many South American countries. The cheese and ham are there to "provide a more interesting note", according to the translated website.

3. KFC's Cheese Top Burger

Where: The Philippines

A first glance, the cheese top burger looks like someone really screwed up the burger making process. But according to KFC's Philippines's marketing manager, Errol Magdato, the burger is reflective of Filipino culture. “We like to play around with things that Filipinos love and what people like to put in food -- cheese," said Magdato in an interview with ANC.

2. Dunkin' Donuts Beef Curry Package

Where: China

Technically, it's more of a donut but the translated Dunkin' Donuts website calls it a package. It's essentially a doughnut filled with shredded curried beef and chances are anyone looking to try it can get away with picking up a curried beef bun at your nearest Asian supermarket.

1. Wendy's Surf And Turf Burger

Where: Japan

No need to go to an expensive restaurant when craving lobster and beef, just head to Wendy's. Not a fan of beef? There's also the high-end lobster and caviar burger is you're tired of surf and turf. The use of seafood is a given since the island nation is a prime consumer of fish and shellfish.