These Are Sunny Anderson's Go-To Fast Foods - Exclusive

Many people get a bit cagey when you ask them for their feelings on fast food. There is often a degree of hesitance, if not outright guilt, in admitting an affinity for this or that burger, burrito, nuggets, or fries, silly as such sentiments may seem when thought of objectively. Fast food is delicious, and if eaten in moderation, it's all well and good, right? So let's all take it a bit easier here and learn from the example set by chef and TV personality Sunny Anderson.

While Anderson may able to cook the finest foods with the best of chefs, she is also loud and proud when it comes to her love for fast food. Asked about her favorite fast food during a recent Mashed interview, she simply couldn't pick just one. "I love Dunkin Donuts," she said. "I love the croissant with the bacon, egg, and cheese. They have these little bagel bites with cream cheese in the center — I love the everything bagel one. They have now little mini pancakes, I love that."

Anderson thought for a moment, then went on. "I love Taco Bell because I used to work here in high school. And I think anywhere you worked in high school, you can't get out of your system. Same thing with Sonic. I worked there in high school and I love their onion rings. I could go on ... Popeye's! I love the red beans and rice. I like to order them half beans, half rice. And if you're lucky enough to be in a Popeye's market with dirty rice, you've got to try it. And I love the spicy chicken sandwich."

Make no mistake, she knows fast food has to be a rarity, but she embraces it when enjoyed in moderation. "I love fast food," she said. "It's a treat to do it because I cook so much. So whenever I afford myself to go out and do something bad, you know what I mean? I love it."

How Sunny Anderson developed such a broad and varied palate

Why does Sunny Anderson like fast food so much? In short, because she likes all food so much.

There is a wonderful quote from Mark Twain that says, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." If you substitute in the word "food" for "men and things" (we'll give Mr. Twain a pass on not saying "people," given the parlance of his times), then you will have a pretty good sense of how Sunny Anderson developed a palate that can love a burger from Sonic or a burrito from Taco Bell as much as a plate of authentic Korean food or a platter of German sausages.

"In the Air Force, I constantly moved and was on the road doing radio news stories," Anderson said. "Every city or state or country I was in, I was trying to eat the local food and then recreate that at home." From stints in Europe and Asia (both as a child with a military parent then in the service herself) and other overseas locales to time spent crisscrossing the United States, Anderson was always on the go in her youth, and always open to trying new foods, an openness which informs her career in the culinary world. As it turns out, travel not only opens the mind to acceptance of others, but awakens the taste buds to all sorts of great flavors.

Check out Sunny Anderson on Instagram and on Food Network.