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The Week in International Intrigue: Bakeries, Breadsticks, Boerewors

The occasional Johnny Rockets popping up in Central America or Auntie Anne’s creeping into Eastern Europe isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I realize. Recently, though, there’s been a bonanza of international intrigue that can’t go un-aggregated.

Japan is about more than just novelty burgers. Come on, Japanese also appreciate novelty pastries. Dominique Ansel will be opening a bakery in Tokyo next year and it’s hard to imagine Cronuts not coming along for the ride.

The West Coast will also be representing, in the form of a Tokyo outpost for Bar Tartine next spring. The novelty factor is still unknown, but the baked goods will incorporate local ingredients.

Despite Dubai’s fondness for all of America’s biggest brands, the lack of Olive Garden has always seemed like a glaring omission to me. Never mind all of the controversy at home–unsalted pasta water, wasted breadsticks that taste like hot dog buns, limp asparagus–and the countless resulting think pieces. Our middle class may be dead. The Emirates don’t really need one to enjoy a Tour of Italy. I am slightly concerned that the Gulf News’ attempt at Marilyn Hagerty-ing praised the “American-style chicken fingers” and unlimited soup, but made no mention of the breadsticks.

Pizza Hut is taking a second chance on South Africa, with the rest of the African continent in Yum! Brands’ sights.  Peri-peri sauce and boerewors (a beef-heavy sausage) will be local concessions. Biltong? Who knows, though I did just discover that NYC is home to more than one artisanal biltong maker. And yes, one has Brooklyn in its name.

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