American Fast Food vs. Other Countries: Differences

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It is undisputed that American fast food is the most popular worldwide. We all know and love the popular fast-food restaurants such as McDonalds and Burger King, so it is safe to say that hamburgers and chicken nuggets are eaten worldwide. However, each country has adapted American fast food to its local cuisine. Whats more, every country has its own type of fast food, which sometimes can be very different than American. So what are the differences between American fast food and fast food in other countries?

American fast food is fattier than the fast food in the rest of the world. European fast food has been influenced by American but also Middle Eastern cuisine. Asian fast food consists of meat, flatbread, rice, and pastries. Latin fast food is spicy and meat but lighter than American.

As much as American fast food has influenced the rest of the world, the other counties have still managed to retain their particularities, making them unique. Since fast food is a mark of every culture, we should appreciate the different types of fast food worldwide. Therefore, in the following text, I will explain the differences between American fast food and fast food in other parts of the world.

American Fast Food vs. European Fast Food

American Fast Food vs. Other Countries: Differences

Heres a cheat sheet to look at before we start with differences in detail.

American fast food European fast food
Greasy and fatty Lighter
Moderately spicy Mild 
Processed ingredients Fresh ingredients
Cheaper Moderately expensive
All about quantity  Higher quality and more nutritious
Diverse but still unified  Very versatile
Not as healthy as the rest Healthier than American fast food
Mostly deep-fried Baked, grilled, fried, or steamed

The main difference in terms of fast food in America and Europe is in the legal regulations in Europe regarding food. Europe has much stricter legal requirements about what can be imported and sold.

Therefore, fast food in Europe tends to be healthier and more nutritious than American fast food. Also, European fast food often contains more fresh salad compared to American. Moreover, American fast food is more about quantity and the size of the portions, while European fast food is more about the quality.

As a result, European fast food is generally better and more nutritious than American fast food. Furthermore, European fast food often has more fresh salad than American fast food. Furthermore, American fast food is more concerned with quantity and portion size, while European fast food is more concerned with quality.

Another difference is that American fast food is cheaper than European. Therefore, many Americans opt to have fast food instead of cooking, which is not the case in Europe.

European fast food is less caloric than American fast food. For example, the Souvlaki contains less fat and calories than a Big Mac. Also, generally speaking, European eating habits are healthier than American.

American fast food is often deep-fried, while European fast food is often baked or roasted. European fast food is also very diverse, depending on which part of Europe we are talking about.

Pierogi is fast food in Eastern Europe; Brek, Dner, and Souvlaki are Balkan fast foods. The fast food in Western Europe looks a lot like American fast food, but with better quality and less fatty.

 American Fast Food vs. Asian Fast Food

Asian fast food and Asian cuisine are much more diverse than American fast food and American cuisine in general. While we can point out a few dishes characteristic of American cuisine, and a few fast food types, we cannot say the same about Asian fast food.

However, as diverse as it is, Asian fast food is healthier than American. The meat is predominantly beef or chicken, whereby the meat in American fast food also includes pork. Asian fast food doesnt have as much dairy as American fast food, and the cooking method is healthier, meaning that Asian fast food is either grilled or steamed, not deep-fried.

The amount of carbohydrates is much smaller in Asian fast food as they primarily serve the food with pita bread or flatbread, and theres much more greenery in Asian fast food.

There are vegetable wraps that dont contain additional fats.While the American fast food ingredients are mostly processed, Asian fast food ingredients are mainly fresh. Therefore Asian fast food is healthier than European fast food.

As I mentioned about European fast food, Asian food can also be divided into regions. So in Western Asia, fast food contains hummus such as falafel. Eastern Asia is influenced by Chinese cuisine, meaning that fast-food consists predominantly of rice, fried vegetables, and seafood.

Southern Asia fast food is influenced by Indian cuisine, so it is spicy, fried, and meaty.

American Fast Food vs. Latin Food

Latin food is eaten in Latin America and is maze and rice-based, containing a lot of spices, vegetables, and meat.

The cooking method is frying mainly, as most of the dishes in Latin cuisine take little time to make. Latin food depicts the Latin culture just as it is, temperamental, colorful, passionate, and fiery. Therefore, Latin dishes are abundant in colors, flavors, and textures.

The most famous Latin dishes include arepas, tacos, fajitas, chimichangas, tamales, and many more. Latin food also includes spicy and mild dips, such as salsa sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo, etc.

Latin food is healthier than American fast food because it contains many fresh ingredients. Also, even though it contains dairy, such as cheeses, to top the dish, the cheese content isnt that high. Another difference is the carbs content; Latin food has less.

Even though theres lots of rice and maize involved in Latin food, the carbs contained in Latin food arent the same as in American fast food that comes from processed white flour. Also, what the bun is in American fast food, thats the tortilla in Latin food.

What Country Eats the Most Fast Food

The country that eats the most fast food is theUSA.[1] There are fast-food restaurants in the USA as old as 70 years. Fast food is deeply rooted in American culture and is more about lifestyle than anything else.

Dating consists of a fast food meal followed by a fast food dessert, making the USA the leader in producing and consuming fast food.

Why Is Fast Food More Common in the USA than in Other Countries? 

First of all, American fast food is much cheaper and available than the fast food in the other parts of the world. Also, youll get a bigger and juicier burger for the same price as in Europe or Asia.

There are a lot of fast-food chain restaurants, and theres one or more on every corner. However, the biggest reason Americans eat fast food the most is that it has been rooted in their culture for a long time.

Fast food is what Americans serve their quests and what they have for a quick snack before going out. Fast food is how young Americans date also.

The working hours in the USA tend to be longer than in Europe or Asia, so cooking is something they dont have so much time for, and it is far more convenient to have your food delivered than spend time cooking.


How does American food differ from other countries?

One key difference between American food and other cuisines is the amount of fat, sugar, and salt that is used. American dishes are often much richer and sweeter than those from other countries. This is partly due to the American preference for processed foods, which tend to be higher in these ingredients.

How is American food different from European?

In America, growth hormones and chemical preservatives are used to produce larger foods and to make sure that the shelf life of food products is longer. However, EUFIC and EFSA (the European Food Safety Authority) prohibit hormones and advise against preservatives.

Does America have more fast food than other countries?

America has the largest fast food industry, and, has peppered the world’s landscape with Subway, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s among others, whose outlets can be found in over 100 countries.

Is American fast food different than Japanese fast food?

One of the most obvious differences between American and Japanese fast food is the size of the portions. Burgers tend to be much smaller, and though you can still order a quarter-pounder or Big Mac in Japan, they aren’t first and foremost on the menu.

Why is American food so different?

As technology advances and populations change, food culture in America has adapted as well. With this wide variety of cuisines, American food culture often combines food from different countries, regions, and ethnicities to create entirely new dishes that are unique to the US.

What makes American food unique?

Changes done to known recipes and additions included in non-American plates have resulted in some uniquely American dishes. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf are some of the strictly American foods. Barbecues and grilled food are certainly a unique American specialty.

How are Mexican and American food different?

They both are prepared with ingredients commonly found locally. American food uses a wide variety of ingredients since its origin is from different countries while Mexican food is usually prepared using avocado, chili peppers, corn, and other fresh herbs and ingredients that are available in Mexico.

Why is American food so unhealthy compared to other countries?

The culprit? More than 70% of the salt that Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought and restaurant foods, the CDC says.

What is American food culture like?

When you think about American food, what comes to mind? If you ask Americans, many will say hamburgers, french fries, or anything fried, greasy, and fast. Chef Dan Barber believes that American food culture is a meat culture. Steak, chicken, bacon – if it’s meat, it can be found in an American plate.

Why is America known for fast food?

As a culture, we don’t have the time to stop to prepare food or sit down and eat. Fast food in the United States is popular because it’s just that – fast! Its convenience and speed make it an easy choice for families and people on the go. Most families in America (83% of them) eat it at least once a week.

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