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The 10 Most Popular Fast Foods

If you’ve had a busy day and you’re really hungry but you just don’t particularly feel like doing any cooking, fast food is there to save the day! Fast food is ready quick, you can pick something up while you’re out and about, without having to wait, or you can simply order online or over the phone and have a delicious meal delivered straight to your front door. We take a look at the Top 10 most popular fast food dishes…

Fast Food
1 Pizza At the top of our list in the number 1 position is the best fast food… pizza! Pizza is such a simple dish, but there’s something truly special about it isn’t there? A round flat bread spread with tomato sauce and topped with cheese, and any other toppings you fancy, then cooked in the oven until the cheese melts and the crust crisps up to perfection. There are so many different types of pizza but they’re all based on these same basic principals. How do you like your crust? Thin and crispy? Or perhaps you prefer a more filling deep pan pizza? Sometimes you just can’t beat the oozing cheese filling of a stuffed crust pizza. When it comes to choosing your toppings the world is your oyster and we all have our favourites. You may love pepperoni, a seafood pizza, ham and pineapple or a hot chilli pizza. Pizza can be ordered from a restaurant and delivered to your table or to your door very fast, but what makes pizza even more popular is that you can buy them cheaply either fresh or frozen and simply pop them in the oven for a few minutes for an instant tasty meal.

Mentions of the word pizza can be traced back to Italy in the 10th century, so pizza is certainly not a new invention! Pizza was originally thought of as a peasant meal, but in the 1800s a baker served up pizza to royalty with toppings in the colours of the Italian flag and they were very impressed. Suddenly pizza became popular with the upper classes too. If it was good enough for kings and queens, it was good enough for everybody!
2 French Fries French fries are so popular, not just because they are yummy, but because they are so versatile. They’re perfect on their own, perhaps with some sauce, or sprinkled with cheese, but they also go with anything. Pizza and fries, burger and fries, fries are an ideal accompaniment for so many dishes. These days you can buy bags of fries to easily cook at home, you can even buy fries to cook in the microwave in just a minute or two. Perfect if you want something hot to eat but you’re in a hurry.

French fries are perhaps not the best healthy fast food, but if you leave the skin on, you do actually get quite a lot of important vitamins, so you can make a healthier version of French fries. Due to the name, many people presume that French fries were invented in France, but it is actually more likely that they were first created in Belgium. Belgian fries just doesn’t have the same ring to it though does it? It’s interesting then, that Belgium is the country with the highest level of French fries consumption per person, in the whole world. In Belgium, they even eat French fries as an accompaniment to coffee!

The method of serving up French fries differs across the world. In Belgium, they like mayonnaise on their French fries while Americans prefer tomato ketchup. In Vietnam, they sprinkle their French fries with sugar!
3 Burgers When you think of classic American fast food, the burger will usually spring to mind pretty quickly. One of the best fast food items now eaten all over the world, the word burger is short of hamburger. Have you ever wondered why they are called hamburgers when they are much more likely to be made from beef than they are from ham? Well it’s actually nothing to do with ham or pork, the name comes from the fact that they were introduced to the US from Hamburg in Germany, and were then known as Hamburg steaks. However, during WW1, the American soldiers weren’t keen on the German name, so they called hamburgers the Liberty Sandwich instead. It’s no wonder America is well known for eating burgers. Americans eat 50 billion burgers every year!

Burger seem to keep growing in popularity, with gourmet burgers now featuring on the menu of many top restaurants. There are many varieties to choose from. Your patty could be beef, or chicken or fish, or even made from vegetables. The bun could be your standard burger bun, topped with sesame seeds, but these days you may well find your burger served up in a brioche bun. Then there are those all important additions. What extra toppings do you like to choose? Salad, bacon, hash brown or onion rings? Of course most people also love cheese on their burger, making the cheese burger a very popular menu item from fast food outlets.
4 Fried Chicken No list of the best fast food would be complete without a mention of fried chicken! There’s something so comforting about fried chicken and it’s popular all over the world, from American to China. Fried chicken is made by coating chicken in flour or batter and deep frying it. While many people believe that fried chicken was introduced into the US by immigrants from Scotland, it was actually African immigrants working on plantations in the south that brought fried chicken to the US.

You’ll find fried chicken available in many countries all over the world, and each country has its own special recipes but in every country where you order fried chicken, it should always be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Just perfect! Due to the cooking process, being fried in oil, fried chicken certainly isn’t the most healthy fast food so you should always eat your fried chicken in moderation. It can be messy to eat, hence the famous KFC phrase ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ but it’s certainly worth it!
5 Onion Rings Onions have a lot of flavour, but they’re usually just one ingredient in a dish, hidden away and often overlooked. But onions truly come into their own when it comes to onion rings! A simple side dish, that’s perfect as a snack or as an accompaniment to many main meals, these rings are made from rings of onion covered in batter or bread crumbs and deep fried until they are crisp and golden.

No one really knows when or how onion rings were invented, but the first ever recipes for onion rings featured in an advertisement for Crisco that was placed in the New York Times back in 1933. While there are some health benefits of eating onions, onion rings don’t really contain a great deal of onion, and all the batter and oil used to cook them really does massively counter any health benefits you may get from the small amount of onion you’re eating, so don’t be fooled into thinking onion rings are good for you just because they are made from a vegetable! Being ring shaped, they have a large surface area and so do soak up an awful lot of oil!
6 Chicken Nuggets Another popular fast food choice is chicken nuggets. They’re particularly popular with children. These small bite sized pieces of chicken, coated in bread crumbs or batter are easy to eat and you’ll find them on the menu of many fast food places. Restaurants that have a special menu for children will often offer up chicken nuggets as one of their options.

The chicken nugget was invented in the 1950s by a food scientist called Robert C Baker. He called it the chicken crispie. It was an innovation because he invented a way to create nuggets of chicken in any shape. So it’s thanks to Mr Baker that you can now get chicken nuggets in different shapes, from dinosaurs to aeroplanes.

The chicken nuggets you’re used to seeing are bite sized, but the biggest chicken nugget in the world was made in 2013 in New Jersey and weighed 51.1 pounds. This massive chicken nugget was 2 feet wide and 3.25 feet tall! Want more fascinating chicken nugget facts? Well here’s another nugget of nugget info for you… The world record for eating chicken nuggets is 80 nuggets in five minutes? Think you could beat that?
7 Sandwiches We usually think of hot food when we talk about fast food, but of course you don’t get much faster food than a sandwich! Sandwiches are eaten all over the world and are just so versatile, there’s a sandwich for everyone out there! There are sandwiches for vegetarians and even sandwiches for those with an intolerance to gluten. We do buy a lot of sandwiches ready made for us, but the sandwich is one of the best fast food items to make yourself. It’s so quick and easy, and of course everything you need to make a sandwich is so cheap to buy. You can make your sandwich cheap and cheerful with a simple cheese sandwich or opt for a more complex sandwich with gourmet ingredients, some home made chutney and packed full of extra salad.

The sandwich is named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich who enjoyed eating meat served between two slices of bread. He certainly started a popular trend! The Earl of Sandwich will certainly never be forgotten, not only did he give his name to one of the best fast foods in the world, but the South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic were also named after him. According to a survey by butter brand Lurpak, the most popular sandwich is cheese, followed by ham and chicken. By the time the average person in the US leaves school, they will have eaten 1500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
8 Popcorn Who can resist a big box of popcorn when visiting the cinema? Popcorn is the perfect sweet fast food and it’s so easy to make yourself at home. It’s really fun to pop corn yourself, in a pan, or just buy a pack of microwave popcorn and the job is even easier, and safe for children to enjoy the fun too. Popcorn is also the best healthy fast food, you can even safely eat popcorn if you’re on a diet, as it’s low in calories, as long as you don’t add any extra sugar or caramel!

We do tend to think of popcorn as a fairly modern snack, but actually it is one of the very oldest, dating back more than 9000 years! Archaeological findings show that it was eaten by the Aztecs, the Mayans and the Incas. Popcorn became very popular during WWII due to the fact that sugar was rationed so traditional types of candy became unavailable. So, everyone swapped to popcorn instead! There was another boost to popcorn sales when video players became popular in the home and everyone wanted to recreate the cinema experience in their own home, complete with popcorn. Did you know, a kernel of corn can pop up to 3 feet in the air? That’s why you should always ensure you pop your corn in a pan with a lid on, otherwise you’ll be finding popcorn all over your kitchen for days! Those unpopped kernels you always get at the bottom of your box are called ‘spinsters’ or ‘old maids’.
9 Doner Kebab The doner kebab is very popular, especially after a night out on the town! The meat is sliced in thin slivers from a cylindrical cone and is made from a mixture of ground beef, breadcrumbs or flour and spices, to give it that unique flavour. It is served up in a pitta bread with salad and usually chilli and / or garlic sauce. Being contained within the pitta bread, it’s quite easy to eat a kebab on the go, which is probably why it’s popular for the walk home from a bar.

The kebab is thought to have originated in Turkey when soldiers would cook meat on an open fire, skewered on their swords. There are many different types of kebab, but the doner kebab is the most popular when it comes to fast food. When it comes to the best healthy fast food, the doner kebab is by no means healthy, but is one of the better options if you really want that fast food fix. However, it is one of the fast foods that is the highest in salt so if you’re trying to cut down on your salt intake the doner kebab is not the best choice for you.
10 Fish and Chips Fish and Chips are a popular fast food dish across Europe, particularly in the UK. In the UK chips are what are known as fries in the US. Fish and chips were first put together to form a complete meal in about 1860 but no one knows quite how or where they first originated. There is a family in London that claim to have invented fish and chips, but also a family in Manchester that make the same claim. Traditionally, fish and chips was always a cheap dish, and they were served up wrapped in newspaper, to keep the costs down further. However, in the 1980s serving fish and chips in newspaper was banned in the UK due to health and safety concerns. These days, fish and chips can be served in newspaper, but there must be a layer of greaseproof paper in between the fish and chips and the newspaper. You’re more likely to get your fish and chips in plain white paper or served in a carton these days.

Fish and chips are deep fried, and so you might think they are not the best healthy fast food, but they actually don’t contain as much fat as many other fast food meals. When you order fish and chips, it’s traditional to put lots of salt and vinegar on them. You’ll always find salt and vinegar on the counter in the fish and chip shop, but look closely and you’ll find the ‘vinegar’ is not vinegar at all, but something called ‘non-brewed condiment’. This is quicker and cheaper to make than vinegar but it tastes pretty much the same so you’re unlikely to tell the difference.


The Best Healthy Fast Food

Nearly all of us love fast food. The fats in fast food make it so tasty, and fast food is always packed full of flavour. We can often find ourselves craving fast food, and while fast food is fine for an occasional treat, if we eat fast food too often we’re certainly going to suffer from some health problems as most fast food is high in fat and calories and low in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It’s really important to have a healthy balanced diet, but an occasional treat is good for your mental well being, so you don’t need to deny yourself a delicious fast food treat all the time.

If you’re on a diet and are watching your weight, eating fast food might make you feel rather guilty. If the cravings for fast food are really getting you down, and you simply must have something, or if you’ve been invited out for a meal at a fast food restaurant, there are some choices you can make that will make your fast food meal less sinful!

It’s all about making the best choices. You’re going to have to accept that any fast food meal is going to be rather calorific, but some are worse for you than others. You can cut out a lot of calories by simply eliminating the sauces from your meal. A kebab without the creamy garlic sauce will cut down on calories. It’s a great idea to order a side salad instead of fries with your burger or fried chicken, but whatever you do, don’t have any dressing on it. You could easily find that a salad with a dressing on contains more calories than a portion of fries!

When it comes to pizza, the toppings can make a huge difference. Pepperoni is very high in fat and calories so if you’re dieting, opt for chicken, tuna or vegetables and you will be saving quite a lot of calories.

The best option for combating your fast food cravings without piling on the pounds, is to make your own. Then you have full control of exactly what goes into your meal. You can make pizzas using pitta breads. These are much better for you than a traditional pizza base. Go steady on the cheese, opt for a low fat version, and choose healthy toppings. If you love burgers, go for a lean beef burger, or a chicken burger and ditch that high calorie bread bun, wrap your burger in lettuce leaves instead, then the taste of the burger will really shine through.

The Best Fast Food Value For Money

Fast food can be expensive, so what’s the best fast food for value for money? Of course prices will differ from place to place but the best option if you’re trying to save money, other than making your own fast food, is to look out for special offers. Check out meal deals, but don’t buy extra food just because there’s a deal on, that will defeat the purpose. Many fast food places give out huge portions, so sharing a meal can be a great way to reduce the costs of a meal out. Also, look out for discount coupons. Before you go out to get the best fast food items, search online for coupons. It can also be worth tweeting a company, or asking on Facebook if they could send you a money off coupon or online code. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you might just get lucky!

The Best Fast Food Breakfast

Fast food is generally eaten for lunch or dinner, so no breakfast foods have made it into our top 10, but when we’re in a hurry, perhaps we’re running late for work, fast food breakfast on the go can really save our bacon! There are some great breakfast fast foods out there. Often the best fast food breakfast is one that can be eaten on the move. Breakfast sandwiches and breakfast wraps are perfect. Filling and substantial, but all wrapped up so they’re easy to eat. Bacon, sausage, hash browns and eggs make for a gorgeous breakfast meal on the run.