How Fast Food Actually Differs From Street Food

Fast food and street food have a lot of similarities, including the quick nature in which you can receive a mouthwatering meal. However, the key differences between the two offer enough degrees of separation to regard them as individual things. As the name suggests, street food is servedĀ along the road or on a sidewalk. Sometimes, these stands are conveniently located near a seating area, while other times the food is served in a grab-and-go style. Often, these stalls aren't owned by corporations, but rather by small vendors and area locals.

In contrast, fast food restaurants are usually regulated by parent companies. Though these meals can also be taken to go, indoor seating is typically provided in a relaxing, air-conditioned environment. The preparation methods also differ; fast food establishments sometimes prepare food using previously cooked and reheated goods. Street food is frequently whipped up on the spot as soon as the customer orders it, providing a fresher, often healthier, alternative. Another difference between the two can be traced to their respective beginnings.

Street food originated long before fast food

Both street food and fast food originated long ago, but street food, as we know it, began way before the concept of modern-day fast food. The first instances of street vendors were reported in ancient Rome and Greece, where fish was often sold as a ready-to-eat dish. Meanwhile, ancient China had its own form of street food, in which vendors sold noodles to poorer residents. Today, this concept is especially important in India. Each year, the city of Delhi holds a National Street Food Festival that showcases the best regional foods the country has to offer.

Meanwhile, it's widely believed that White Castle, which opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1916, was the first place that sold fast food. White Castle, which has expanded to more than 300 locations, specializes in square-shaped hamburgers and fries. Though White Castle may have been the first, it doesn't hold the crown for the most popular. That honor goes to McDonald's, which is present in 118 countries and serves nearly 70 million people each day.