Fast food I shouldn’t have missed

Europe can be a weird place. I’ve encountered different cultures, languages and efficiencies of public transportation — sometimes within the same country. Yet, after visiting 10 countries, I noticed one thing they had in common: kebab shops. Thousands of kebab shops, all offering up the same risky meat on vertical spits. The American equivalent would be fast-food combined with greasy spoons combined with street carts.

In one three-week trip, I suffered kebab poisoning twice. The next time I avoided them like the plague and, in addition to avoiding American fast food, I decided to avoid all local fast food as well. Looking back, that was a mistake. As this guide to fast food of the world shows, I missed some great-looking dishes and a big part of the culture.

For instance, Great Britain’s best-known and -loved fast food dish is fish and chips, but the Netherlands has a similar dish called kibbeling. The Dutch roll bits of cod or eel into a ball and fry it so it looks like a hush puppy before serving it with patat— their version of french fries and mayo. 

The weirdest food seems to be in Denmark, which is doing things with sausage even the Germans haven’t thought about. There’s the røde pølser, a long, thin beet-red sausage that’s supposedly world-famous. The Danes do lack inventiveness in sides, though. The røde pølser is served with bread as a side which is “eaten alternately.”

The Belgians eat waffles, the Germans eat sausage and Austrians eat … also sausage. Pretty much everyone loves sausage, especially in Finland where the motto is, “a Finn is never too full not to eat a bit more sausage.” Hopefully Finland’s sausage makers are better than its motto makers. 

Categories: A&E, Dining