Street Food From Around The World

It’s thought that the concept of street food began way back in the time of Ancient Greece, when street vendors would sell portions of fried fish – usually to those without ovens in their houses. Street food is now a serious business, with whole markets popping up dedicated to showcasing chefs as they whip up delicacies that are made to be eaten hot and on the spot. We’ve listed a few of our favourite fast food dishes from around the world, and included recipes so that you can recreate them at home. Warning: this may make you hungry.

Crepes, France

 

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The crepe is one of the oldest and most enduring examples of street food. Invented in Brittany, the versatile paper thin pancake can enjoyed at any time of the day! Popular toppings include ham and cheese, butter and sugar, and orange and brandy (known as crepe suzette). The pancake can be rolled and folded, making it easy to eat on the go!

The French even dedicate a day to the delicacy each year. February 2nd marks La Chandeleur (Candlemas), which is one of the last Christmas events – it celebrates the return of the sunlight as winter begins to turn into spring. The crepe is purportedly associated with the day because of its shape and colour, which is reminiscent of the sun. 

Currywurst, Germany

 

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Two guilty pleasures in one grab and go meal, what’s not to love about currywurst? Invented after WWII as a cheap meal, legend has it that it was Herta Heuwer who invented the classic German combo in Berlin, using a mixture of ketchup and British curry powder to make up the moreish sauce. There’s a plaque in Berlin to mark the spot where Heuwer set up her original stand. You’ll now find hundreds of kiosks all over the city, each boasting the best recipe. This street food has its own day too, on September 4th. 

Pierogi, Poland

 

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Although the origins of pierogi are hotly contested between several Eastern European countries, in Poland there is a day devoted to the dumpling (October 8th), and in Krakow, there’s a festival that entirely revolves around the dish each August 17th. These warm, comforting morsels are usually filled with potato and cheese, before being boiled and then fried off in butter. They’re often served with chives, sauerkraut and sour cream. Comfort food at its best. 

Arancini, Italy

 

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The name arancini is derived from the Italian word for ‘little orange’, because of the shape and colour of the Sicilian snack. They were invented under Arab rule in the 10th century and consist of tomatoey rice, peas and cheese, rolled into a ball and deep fried to make a crispy portable casing. Reminiscent of suppli from Rome, a few of these are often smothered in tomato sauce and served as a starter in restaurants. 

Poutine, Canada

 

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In the UK, cheesy chips and gravy has long been a late-night indulgence on the way home from the pub, but it might not be quite as uncouth as you think. One of Canada’s proudest exports is poutine (fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), which was invented in Quebec in the 1950s – it’s even on the menu in Canadian McDonald’s. Poutine might be regional slang for mix or mess, but to most of us, it sounds rather sophisticated. You might find some versions in trendy street food markets, but we can’t guarantee your local chippy will know what you’re talking about if you ask for poutine at 3am.

Tacos, Mexico

 

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Mexico is the king of the grab and go snack, which is usually washed down with a roadside cocktail. While there are numerous ways to combine the staples of chilli, avocado, beans and cheese, we’ve settled on the classic taco. According a taco expert, who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota, the dish was most likely invented by silver miners in the 18th century – the name refers to little explosions, an apt moniker for the crunchy, spicy mouthful!

Chaat, India

 

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Chaat is said to have been invented in the 16th century, when Shah Jahan was unwell and was advised to eat something light, but heavy on spices. Shah Jahan’s malady happily brought us the vibrant, textured street food that is referred to as chaat – which means to lick or taste. There are different variations across all areas of India, but they all include a starchy base – such as a puri or fried bread – topped with chopped vegetables, sauces including tangy chutneys and cooling yoghurt, crispy pieces of bread or chickpeas, and of course, the chaat masala, which gives it its distinctive and moreish umami flavour.

Hot dogs, Scandinavia

 

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When you think of hot dogs, Scandinavia might not be the first place you’d associate with the fast food icon. Usually noted for its high-end vegetarian cuisine, fish and pickles, you don’t want to leave this part of Europe without sampling one of their piled up pork sausages. They really go to town on their fillings: Denmark’s distinctive red sausage is often topped with crispy onions and gherkins, while in Sweden, you’ll find the Tunnbrödsrulle piled high with an unusual concoction of mashed potatoes, lettuce, prawn cocktail, onions, ketchup and mustard. 

 

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About Marianne
Marianne

When Marianne isn't writing about all the wonderful places you can visit through dealchecker, she enjoys exploring London, visiting scenic spots within the UK and adventuring further afield whenever possible!

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