NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Fast food chains such as McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKC) and Yum! Brands' (YUM) KFC and Taco Bell don't go global by cooking up the same old burgers and fries in every country.
Chains wishing to hang a shingle in a new country generally follow a strategy known as "localization," tailoring their menus to fit local tastes. In some cases it's subtle (in China, for instance, you can get chili garlic sauce with your McNuggets), while in other cases the menu is almost unrecognizable (in India, you won't find any beef or pork at burger chains).
|From the McVeggie to the Meat Monster, there's plenty of calories you can't sample from overseas fast food menus.|
That means fast food fans in other countries get menu items Americans can only dream of. Here are a few we wish we could have.
The Meat Monster (Burger King, Japan)
When most people want to put something on their burgers, they usually think of toppings such as cheese, bacon, onions and tomatoes. The geniuses at Burger King put all of that on, then decided to throw on a chicken breast for good measure.
McDonald's has never been a preferred destination for vegetarians. While the fries no longer contain beef flavoring (the company discontinued the practice in 2001 in response to a lawsuit), meat-free customers still don't have too many choices beyond a few token salads. Things are a bit different in India, though. Hinduism is the dominant religion there, which forbids consumption of beef and pork, and vegetarianism is widespread. The result is the rare spectacle of a McDonald's with no hamburgers. In addition to the standard Filet-O-Fish, you also get the Chicken Maharaja Mac and the McVeggie, the latter of which uses bread, potato, peas, carrots and Indian spices. McZuri (McDonald's, Switzerland)
Starting this month, McDonald's Switzerland is rolling out experimental items that cater to local tastes. While the McGrillschnagg -- a sausage made from Swiss pork -- certainly looks appetizing, the standout star for us is the McZuri, made from 100% Swiss veal. Yes, we said veal. The patty is accompanied by mushrooms and caramelized onions. Apparently McDonald's is a bit more upscale in Europe.