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What are the reasons behind fast food’s growing popularity?

The origins of fast food are closely linked with the coming of the industrial revolution. Before the industrial revolution, the preparation and consumption of food was an activity in itself with a considerable amount of time and energy devoted to it. The industrial revolution ushered in an age where a huge workforce was concentrated in a small area and had to be fed food efficiently and speedily. Thus fast food was born and it adapted to the culinary style of whichever locale it was in. Thus England had Fish n chips while India had Pav Bhaaji. Long ignored and even looked down upon, fast food is undergoing a renaissance of its own and has developed a distinct culinary character. But that is not the only reason why fast food is gaining in popularity the world dover. Here is a list of factors that are causing that:

  • Speed: It’s called ‘Fast Food’ for a reason. The food is served extremely fast to the customers. This is because of either precooking, or an organized production line or the food itself requiring very little preparation time. Either way, its speed of service remains as its most identifiable trait along with the core reason why fast food’s popularity is growing, especially amongst the more industrialized and business oriented regions of the world.

  • Cost: Fast food is much easier on the wallet than restaurants or even gourmet home cooked meals. Fast food evolved from the need to feed a large urban lower income class, and that is still reflected in its prices which are reasonable no matter where the fast food is served. That is not to say that the food itself is cheap or tasteless, it is just the way fast food is.

  • Meal between meals: Fast Food can double up as a tasty appetizer before the consumption of a larger and heartier meal at gourmet places or home. This is possible because of the size of the servings and the cost (often per plate). Snacking to gain some energy or just to enjoy a tasty morsel before the regular meal is also a prime advantage of fast food.

  • Multiple cuisines: Fast food is a new concept and as such is not bound by the traditional rules of cuisines. As such there is much mixing of various cuisines and of methods of preparation resulting in an almost global fusion of tastes. Consider the humble Shawerma which has now travelled the entire world, retaining its core preparation but always adding elements of local cuisines and tastes to it.

  • Taste!: Fast Food tastes good, period. Its preparation may involve a few foodstuffs that are not particularly healthy, but for taste, it is hard to beat. Street vendors also utilize fresh preparations that go on the flame the moment the dish is asked for, giving it a freshness that enhances the entire appeal of the dish. To add to this, there is always a variety to fast food which makes it non monotonous and exciting to try whenever the craving hits us.
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