So long as you don't use the word "American".
Instead, patrons of the Samtaeseong diner, which opened in Pyongyang last month, have to order a suspiciously similar "minced beef with bread".
The isolated Communist state has long banned what it calls Western or US "imperialist influences" on its people. But there was only so long it could hold out against the temptations of fast food. (Telegraph)
Hold out against the evils of imperialist fast food? We understand. It lacks the cleansing totalitarian virtue of tree bark and grass.
Silver lining: All the unbranded fascist minced meatpucks come draped in complimentary kimchee! Woohoo!
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Half a world and happier circumstances away sits Mercado San Miguel, the gorgeous, newly remodeled marketplace in Madrid. Originally built in 1916, this wrought-iron palace to food boasts the spoils you'd expect of Spain: Technicolor produce, barely-dead meats and seafood, cheese aplenty, bakeries, tapas counters.
This gustatory sensory overload is trimmed with urban twists and comforts--a kitchy cookbook store, an oyster and champagne bar, and even 2 AM closing times on Fridays and Saturdays.
There's even a vegetable mister for people: "In a nod to living green, instead of air-conditioning, the air is infused with water droplets; every few minutes shoppers are bathed in a blast of micro-rain." (NYT Travel)
* * *
And last, but not least...a topic close to my Hawaiian Ex-Pat heart...Spam.
Not just Spam...but Spam FRIES.
Yup, luncheon meat chopped up into long skinny fries, fried until they’re crispy on the outside, and served with one or more dips. Disgustingly, sinfully, ridiculously good. I had these with some friends one night over drinks at Wild Oats, the bar owned and run by Willin Low, and I just about fell off my chair. (Chubby Hubby)
<Wiping the corners of my eyes, speechless.>
Hats off to Willin Low, luncheon meat visionary!