A New Fast-Food Invasion

No, not McDonald's on the Champs Elysees. Joel Stein takes a taste from a new smorgasbord of foreign franchises that are popping up in the U.S.

Stephanie Diani for TIME

A customer eats a cream puff at Beard Papa's in Los Angeles, Calif., March 23, 2007.

After its first lap, globalization gets really interesting. The stuff you invented--in this culinary case, fast-food hamburgers, fried chicken, pizza and doughnuts--gets sent out into the world, is replicated by other countries and then comes back to you all crazied up, like a giant game of telephone. And if you hold that piece of Filipino fried chicken up to your ear and are really quiet, you can hear what the rest of the world thinks about us.

Not long after we invented fast food, we ran out of Americans to serve it to, so we opened McDonald's on the Champs Elysées,...

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