With all the fracas around Chick-fil-A, it’s easy to forget that all fast food is pretty gross. When you’re manufacturing meals for pennies and serving them up at a breakneck pace, quality has to suffer. But this isn’t just an American thing. Even though we invented the concept of fast food, many other countries have gotten into the act. In this article, we’ll travel the world sharing the nastiest fast food we can find. Grab a barf bag.
Pizza Hut Winter Double King Pizza, Japan
Pizza isn’t a dish that you typically associate with Japanese cuisine, but they love it. Or at least they love the insane idea they have of it, which is basically a big circle of dough with seriously WTF ingredients all over it. Perhaps the most egregious example was Pizza Hut’s “Winter Double King,” which is slathered with a generous layer of mayonnaise and topped with shrimp, king crab, beef chunks in demi-glace sauce, broccoli, onions, corn kernels, potato and egg. The crust is rolled and stuffed with mayo-filled shrimp to really put it over the edge of disgustingness.
Wendy’s Foie Gras Rossini Burger, Japan
You’ll find the Land of the Rising Sun on this list a lot, as they really like to tinker with fast-food formulas until they’re virtually unrecognizable. In a bid for the high-spending audience, Wendy’s restaurants in Japan have rolled out a number of big-ticket menu items. The most notable is the Foie Gras Burger, which takes a standard, square-pattied, fast-food sandwich, and upgrades it with a slab of foie gras (the liver of a duck or goose that’s been grotesquely fattened) and truffle sauce. At a going price of $16, it wasn’t cheap, but consumers seemed to like it.
Dunkin' Donuts Wasabi Cheese Doughnut (pictured middle right), Singapore
The humble doughnut is a very versatile vehicle for flavors. Many global cuisines have a variation on the concept, and Dunkin' Donuts is there to serve them up. The company has adapted their product line to suit a great many countries, but one of the most unique I’ve heard of comes courtesy of Singapore. Wasabi is paired with cream cheese to create a frosting that might wake you up a little faster than a cup of coffee in the morning. They also offer “seaweed cheese” if wasabi is too conventional for you.
Jollibee Tuna Pie, Philippines
Imagine this: you walk into a colorful burger place with a smiling cartoon-bee mascot. You’re offered what looks like a McDonald's apple pie, that delectable pocket of pastry containing blazingly-hot, sweet filling, and you gladly accept. But taking a huge bite, you find your mouth full of tuna. You just got punk'd by Jollibee. The Filipino fast-food chain has several outlets in the United States as well, so you can experience the fishy fraud of the tuna pie for yourself.
Burger King Nacho Whopper, Netherlands
Fast food often trades on a sense of exoticism in foreign lands, and that sometimes means folding in cuisines from other foreign lands. Case in point: the Netherlands, where Burger King tried to shore up their struggling market share by adding a Mexican flavor to their menu. Most places would slap a little salsa on a burger and call it a day, but BK went all out with the Nacho Whopper, featuring sour cream, jalapenos and tortilla chips on top of an all-beef patty. It’s an absurd combination that didn’t last long on the menu.
Kentucky Fried Chicken Tender Beef Pentagon, China
China is one of those countries where American fast-food franchises have a tough time gaining a foothold (except for McDonald's, of course). Taco Bell tried and failed, but company owner Yum Brands thought that KFC might have a better chance there. In addition to their typical fried-chicken offerings, they also debuted something called the Tender Beef Pentagon, one of the weirdest fast-food meals we’ve ever seen. Wrapped in what looks like a Taco Bell burrito wrapper, this odd, five-sided concoction is stuffed with pan-fried beef in what tastes like Tabasco sauce and is topped with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. Oh, and there’s a tortilla chip in the middle of everything for some unknown reason.
Pizza Hut Golden Fortune, Malaysia
The Golden Fortune line of pizzas, sold by Pizza Hut in several Asian countries, is a rough take on pizza pie. They have the requisite huge amount of absurd toppings -- including whole fried giant shrimp and crab sticks -- and of course the flavor profile gets exceptionally weird with the introduction of chunks of pineapple and whole wedges of lime. The crown jewel, though, is the crust. Around the rim of the pizza are small nodules of dough that are filled with a creamy white cheese that burst in your mouth when you eat them. Shrimp and cheese: how can it fail?
Denny’s Mac and Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt, USA
We had plenty of choices for the American representative on this list, but the crown had to go to Denny’s and their truly horrifying novelty sandwich. Weighing in at a flabbergasting 1,690 calories -- almost a full day’s suggested intake for many adults -- this heart-attack sandwich consists of a burger patty topped with macaroni and cheese, melted cheddar and “Frisco sauce” pressed between two slices of toasted potato bread. The end result is a glop of garbage that offended palates all over our great nation.
Pizza Hut Crown Crust Burger, Dubai
The logic behind this one is impenetrable even to us. Pizza Hut’s Middle Eastern franchises rolled out a pizza that seemed to be a celebration of everything grotesque about America. The Crown Crust is topped with beef, lettuce and tomato and drizzled in “special sauce,” but the real kicker is the crust, which is dotted with miniature cheeseburgers. Sure, the “burger pizza” is a staple of bad pizzerias worldwide, but this monstrosity took things to a whole new level. They even put pickle chips on the damn thing. Daring diners who traveled to try it were unanimously negative towards the sloppy, oozing mess.
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KFC Streetwise Cheese Top Burger, Philippines
Here we go again. Kentucky Fried Chicken has no shame, as evidenced by the introduction of the Double Down sandwich to American audiences (you know, the one that replaced the buns with slabs of fried chicken), but their new sandwich targeted at the Filipino market reaches a new level of stupidity. At first glance, it looks like a standard fried-chicken sammie, but look again: that’s a slice of American cheese melting over the top. We don't mean the top of the chicken patty, but the top of the bun. Yes, that would make the "burger" impossible to hold without getting hot, oozy cheese all over your fingers. It seems nobody thought this one through very well.