| September 27, 2012

Here in America, we're so familiar with our fast food menus that we can almost recite them by heart. Even those of us who aren't fast food fanatics could tell the difference between a McDonald's hamburger and a Whopper from Burger King.

Things start to get more interesting when we venture to other countries. Menus at foreign fast food joints frequently contain items that we can't get at our local establishments, and some contain upscale dishes that we never dreamed would be offered at a drive-thru. It's probably because the fast food industry knows how to cater to their customers, and they make sure to account for local tastes, cultural preferences and religious backgrounds.

Here are some popular menu items that our favorite fast food eateries are offering abroad.
McDonald's India

You won't find any beef at the McDonald's in India; instead, the menu offers up a range of chicken-based and vegetarian fare. These items include the McVeggie (made with a spiced patty of peas, carrots and potatoes), the Big Spicy Paneer Wrap (made with veggies and deep-fried paneer cheese) and the Chicken Maharaja-Mac (in essence, a Big Mac with chicken breast patties).
Wendy's Japan

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you — the two Wendy's restaurants in Japan offer lobster-topped burgers. The Caviar & Lobster Burger and the Lobster Surf & Turf Burger are part of their limited-time Ocean Premium menu, which also include an Ocean Premium Salad that contains lobster chunks along with lobster salad, caviar, avocado and egg. Their Japan Premium menu also contains a burger topped with foie gras and truffle sauce.
Dunkin' Donuts South Korea

In addition to staples like jelly donuts and Munchkins, the menu at Dunkin' Donuts in South Korea offers up Cheese Monkey Banana donuts, Choco Banana donuts, Honey Glutinous Rice Sticks and something called a Hot Burrito, which comes filled with bulgogi, a regional dish of marinated beef. Korean Dunkin' Donuts locations also offered Kimchi Croquettes a few years back, which were donuts stuffed with Korea's national dish of savory fermented vegetables (not pictured).
Pizza Hut Middle East

After debuting their Crown Crust Pizzas (which featured mini cheeseburgers or chicken meatballs baked into their pizza crusts), some of Pizza Hut's Middle Eastern outlets are now offering Cone Crust Pizzas. Much like the Crown Crusts that came before them, these Cone Crusts boast doughy cones of cheese, cream cheese or chicken (or all three!) baked into the crust. For dessert, patrons in certain countries can choose to order Kit Kat Pops, or mini Kit Kat bars baked inside dough.
Burger King Canada

Burger King caters to our neighbors from the north by offering four different kinds of "poutine," a Canadian dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Customers can choose from classic Poutine, Poutine with Bacon, Maple BBQ Poutine with Bacon and Angry Poutine, which is topped with jalapenos, fried onions and spicy sauce.
KFC Singapore

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Singapore carries all the items you would expect to find at an American KFC — fried chicken, cole slaw, mashed potatoes — along with a few items that you wouldn't. Not only do the KFCs in Singapore serve seafood, but they serve it in fun shapes like the Shrimp Star or the Fish Donut.
McCafé France

Aside from the Croque McDo (a ham and cheese sandwich resembling a croque monsieur), the McDonald's menu in France pretty much looks like the McDonald's menu in Cincinnati. An exception can be found on their McCafé dessert menu, where they offer three flavors of French meringue-based confections called macarons: a vanilla-strawberry variety, a pistachio-chocolate variety and a cocoa-praline variety.