There is a stereotype about Americans and how much they like junk food. Even though this is a wide generalization, we can’t deny that there is also some semblance of truth to this claim. However, it is worth remembering that the world does not revolve around the United States. In case you did not know, other countries around the globe boast their own versions of our beloved snacks. They are not always exactly the same as the version that we know, however. Let us just say that they are nothing like the ones that we find in our local stores. This is why you better take advantage of the opportunity to try them when you are overseas!
In the late ‘70s, McDonald’s added a number of Italian dishes to its menu. The McSpaghetti was one of the new offerings under this initiative. Together with lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, and other pasta meals, it spent a Roman holiday in the fast food chain. Sadly, this plan did not really prove effective and largely went unnoticed by the customers. That is the reason you can no longer see these dishes in American locations of McDonald’s. Interestingly, however, it has proven to be a huge hit in the Philippines. Apparently, the McSpaghetti is very popular in the Asian country even to this day.
McDonald’s Rice Burger Bun
The truth is that McDonald’s knows how important it is to incorporate local elements in their products. Company researchers found out that Japanese people much preferred to have rice instead of bread for their meals. This resulted in the creation of something called the rice burger bun! Known as the “gohan” burger, it was created with the use of local rice with caramelized soy sauce. Even though this was not the first of its kind in the local culinary scene, customers still appreciated the effort of the American company. It is not rare to see people posting photos of themselves giving these unique buns a shot.
Domino’s Indi Tandoori Paneer Pizza
It can’t be easy to please everyone in a country with more than a billion people in it. That was why Domino’s had to be careful when it entered India and introduced a fusion pie called the Indi Tandoori Paneer pizza. The people who worked on the menu of the pizza chain had been aware that a product would be successful if it had tandoor and paneer. The former is a kind of oven that adds a smoky flavor. Meanwhile, the latter is a local type of cheese. These additions, together with the popularity of roti, have helped turn Domino’s into one of the most popular pizza chains in the subcontinent.
Sea Salt Lemon Kit Kat
We agree that Kit Kat is great, but did you know that there are plenty of flavors out there? Trust us, you would be shocked to hear some of the flavors that the company has come up with in other parts of the globe. You should check out the candy aisles in Japan to know what we mean. In 2019, the company released the salt lemon flavor. It was made with the use of the local Setouchi lemons and Seto Inland Sea salt. The flavor turned out to be a hit! It did not only make for a refreshing treat in the summer, but its proceeds also went to the victims of heavy flooding in southwestern Japan.
McDonald’s Sweet Taro Pie
In the United States, the handheld apple pies are popular McDonald’s offerings. However, there is another similar treat in the sweet taro flavor in other parts of the world. The root vegetable is commonly found in South Asian, Oceanic, and African cuisine. Like the potato, there are many ways to cook it as well. Taro is often used in various Asian desserts, so it made sense to use it as a gooey filling in pies! They were introduced to different countries in Asia, but it was added to locations in Hawaii as well.
McDonald’s Purple Sweet Potato Soft Serve
Flavors like chocolate and vanilla are not unusual at all stateside, but it gets more interesting abroad. A couple of years ago, McDonald’s introduced the purple sweet potato flavor in Asia. What do you think of the lavender color of this soft serve ice cream? This pastel treat rests on top of a dark chocolate cone, has a cookie flower, and comes in a flower-shaped napkin. Everyone wanted to take a photo of it for their Instagram accounts! If you have a sweet tooth, it would be impossible to say no to this.
Shrimp Mayo Pizza Doritos
For many decades now, Americans have been chomping on Doritos. Did you know that the chips are popular in Japan as well? There are many interesting flavors that range from sweet to salty, so you will definitely find something to suit your tastes. The shrimp mayo pizza flavor has divided the snack community! This is based on a Japanese pizza topping and the result of a collaboration between Doritos and Pizza-La. According to some people, this tasted just like, “fish food.” On the other hand, there are also folks who raved about its sweet and umami taste. We will let you be the judge of this one.
McDonald’s “Loaded” Salted Egg Yolk Fries
When Americans order “loaded fries,” they think of a plate of fries with meat and cheese toppings. In Singapore, however, the cheese is switched out for egg yolk! The McDonald’s “salted egg yolk” sauce is named after the process employed to cure these eggs. You see, salted egg yolks have been a mainstay in Asian cuisines for centuries now. It has become a popular flavor for various snacks. A lot of foodies believe that it is not going to take long before McDonald’s starts selling this product in the U.S. as well!
Spicy Fish Egg Flavored Pringles
Do you remember the popular Pringles slogan? “Once you pop, you just can’t stop,” so it goes. However, there is one flavor that has had us stopping in our tracks. A few years ago, the chips giant introduced the spicy cod roe flavor in Japan. Called mentaiko, the savory flavor is made by marinating cod fish eggs. This results in a salty and savory flavor used to improve the flavor of everything from potato chips to ramen. Its popularity has even spread to Singapore! Do you think that it is going to be a hit among American consumers as well? We can’t tell for sure, but it would be interesting to have it available stateside.
Spicy Mango Munchkins
A lot of people visit Dunkin’ Donuts for a cup of coffee or a box of donuts. You must be familiar with typical flavors like Bavarian cream and jelly-filled ones. Would you want to try out these two fascinating munchkin flavors? You will have to go to Indonesia if you are interested in the spicy pineapple and spicy mango ones! Apparently, the combination of fruit and spice is a hit among local consumers. Perhaps you have tried sambal, the spicy mango relish used in Indonesian cuisine. Customers like to use the tropical fruits in different recipes. The combination of spicy and sweet sounds good to us!
American Cherry Pie Frappuccino
When it comes to desserts, it does not get more American than the cherry pie. However, Starbucks launched a product based on this treat in a different country! In 2017, Starbucks Japan introduced the American cherry pie Frappuccino. To no one’s surprise, the product received rave reviews. This blended frozen drink has the signature vanilla crème base and cherry compote layers. On top, you will find whipped cream and a pie-like shell that reminds us of cherry pie a la mode. Doesn’t that sound good?
Durian Flavor McFlurry
It is hard to believe that some people go to McDonald’s without getting a McFlurry. Did you know that the fast food giant incorporates local candies in overseas locations? Take a look at the durian flavor, which was initially introduced to the Malaysian market. It was a hit, so the company rolled it out across other places in Southeast Asia. If you are not familiar with the fruit, it has a very strong smell that others find unpleasant. In fact, it has been banned from public transportation, airports and hotels! There is no need to worry since food bloggers say that the McFlurry is perfectly fine to eat without causing a stench.
Sweet Potato Kit Kat
The truth is that sweet potatoes originated in the Americas. However, they have since become a big part of various Asian cuisines. In Japan, it was imported as a rice substitute in case the harvest is weak. These days, sweet potatoes are considered among the most versatile starches in Japanese pantries. Kit Kat based this flavor on a candied sweet potato dish called Daigaku Imo. The creamy and sweet taste is a treat for the senses. It was launched as a seasonal treat and has earned a lot of rave reviews.
Seaweed Flavored McNuggets
Do you have any idea how big fried chicken is in Taiwan? There is a lot of competition in the market, so McDonald’s abandoned its typical “dump frozen nuggets into hot oil” process in favor of the multi-step frying process used for the local fried chicken. Aside from these very crunchy nuggets, the fast food chain also introduced a seaweed flavored spice packet that you can use on the nuggets and fries! The condiment has won over many customers. As a matter of fact, a lot of people even like to recreate this spice blend in their kitchen. You should check out YouTube if you are interested in doing the same thing!
Green Curry and Shrimp Tom Yum Flavor Lays Chips
Lays was founded in 1932. Since then, it has been introducing various regional flavors whenever it expands into international markets. In the same vein, the chip giant released a couple of limited-edition ones for the Thai market. We are not shocked to hear that the company took inspiration from shrimp tom yum and green curry, arguably some of the most popular dishes in the Asian country. Even though the reviews are mixed, food bloggers know that it is not easy to turn dishes into bite-sized chips.
Hershey’s Matcha White Chocolate Chocobits Cereal
From its humble origins in a small town in Pennsylvania, the Hershey’s chocolate company has become one of the biggest candy makers in the world. It is popular for its classic products, as well as its regional offerings abroad. In Japan, there is one fascinating product that combines Hershey’s chocolate bars and American sweet breakfast cereal. It features small puffs of cookies full of a matcha-infused white choco cream filling. We know that Americans would have hesitations about tea-flavored cereal, but matcha has been getting popular as of late! This might have something to do with the matcha Starbucks lattes.
McDonald’s Tabasco Infused Spicy Hot Sundae
Tabasco paired up with McDonald’s Hong Kong to create one of the most perplexing creations of the fast food chain! In 2017, it introduced a hot chocolate sundae with Tabasco hot sauce. This was part of a lineup that included spicy fries and hamburgers, although those were not exactly as noteworthy as this. No one expected that McDonald’s would be brave enough to add hot sauce to their desserts. Sadly, it did not really live up to expectations. Those who tried it claimed that it was “nothing too special.” They were disappointed by the dessert since it lacked spiciness!
McDonald’s Sweet Red Bean Paste Pies
We doubt that there is any need to worry about the removal of apple pies from the menu. But it has a strong rival in the form of the sweet red bean paste pies! Red bean paste is commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes in East Asia. In fact, red bean paste snacks and pies are typically eaten during the Chinese New Year! You do not need to wait for the holiday to enjoy it since McDonald’s offers this dessert the entire year in East Asian countries. The pie is repackaged specially for the New Year.
Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Stuffed Pizza Crust
The stuffed pizza crust is a concept born in the United States. However, it has been very successful abroad as well. Pizza Hut started to experiment with various ingredients for the pizza crusts in the early 2000s. Cheese was popular, although the chain soon introduced another important American staple: the hot dog. When the hot dog stuffed crust was introduced in Japan, it became a hit among diners in the Asian country. They loved the small hot dog rings peeking out behind the pile of toppings. We are glad that it received great reception over there, but American customers did not care much for it.
Yogurt Banana Fanta Soda
People do not usually associate carbonated drinks with health. As a matter of fact, soda gets a bad rep since it is typically full of sugar and bad for the health. Fanta knew this, so it created a “healthier” soda with a yogurt banana flavor. This product was introduced to the Japanese market. In reality, yogurt sodas have been popular in the country for a long time now. However, what made the Fanta offering so unique was its use of banana. The developers added dietary fiber and vitamin B6, which helped people feel less guilty whenever they indulged in the bubbly drink!
Eel Flavored Lays Chips
If you really think about it, eels are actually quite scary! You might be surprised to hear that the slippery sea creatures are popular food items in Japan. They are actually so popular that certain species are now endangered due to overfishing. Can you believe that Lays even created eel-flavored chips? In the Asian country, eels are normally basted in sweet soy sauce, grilled, and served with rice. This is a dish known as unagi-don, which offers a combination of both sweet and savory flavors. People who like this dish will like the grilled eel chips by Lays! Folks who tried it have raved about the product and called it “magical.”
Burger King’s Black Burger
There is more to food than the taste. For others, its presentation is just as important! Even though the fast food industry is not famous for its aesthetically pleasing dishes, Burger King wanted to be different. This is where the black hamburgers come in. Even though the chain debuted the concept in 2012, it only turned totally black a couple of years later. Chefs turned the bun, meat, and cheese black with bamboo charcoal. Not a lot of people talk about its taste since everyone is so focused on the way it looks!
Hot Wing and Wasabi Flavored Oreos
When you are traveling in China and craving a sweet treat, you should read the label of your Oreo cookies first. After all, you might have accidentally grabbed these two new flavors without realizing it! In 2018, Mondelez let the world know that it was releasing unique flavors: wasabi and hot wing. The latter comes with a neon orange cream, which is meant to taste like wing sauce. On the other hand, the wasabi ones are stuffed with a green cream in a shade similar to the sauce. As you can imagine, these flavors became the talk of the town on social media after it was announced!
Starbucks Sweet Potato Frappuccino
A lot of Americans instantly remember Thanksgiving meals when they talk about sweet potatoes! In East Asia, however, it is not uncommon to find food items with sweet potato flavoring. Starbucks joined the trend with the introduction of a seasonal drink named the Sweet Potato Gold Frappuccino in the autumn of 2019. This golden drink came with tiny pieces of candied sweet potato, as well as sweet potato sauce and honey. Tasters say that the roasted sweet potatoes give the drink a sweet taste that goes well with the espresso based of the coffee drink. Doesn’t that sound delicious?
Pork Floss and Seaweed Doughnuts
Doughnuts are amazing at bringing people together! Americans are especially fond of having this treat with a cup of coffee. Perhaps you have once fought over the last piece of Boston Crème in the breakroom. However, it turns out that Chinese customers are not too fond of them in general. They prefer savory stuff instead of sweet treats. Knowing this, Dunkin’ Donuts worked on the creation of a doughnut with seaweed and pork floss topping. This is called rousing. It is basically dried pork meat that was shredded into fibers! If you have not tried it yet, we want you to know that you are missing out.