Globalization & Food: I’m talking about McDonalds

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A typical Moroccan meal goes something like this: It begins with round loaves of bread and the soda of your choice. Next, we get vegetables, usually an assortment of lettuce and tomatoes taking the form of a salad. Then, there’s the main dish, which always seems to be chicken… unless there’s a tagine… or both. Yes, sometimes we’d have roasted whole chicken first and then a tagine of lamb or other meat second. Then, there was the melon and grapes. Don’t misread this: the food was delicious. I’d never tasted Moroccan cuisine before, so it was a real treat.

The first of four courses – a traditional meal prepared by a new friend in her home in Meknes.

However. We were there for two weeks and ate the same thing every single day. No matter what city we were in (and we were in like, at least six cities) you could always make a safe bet as to what you’d be eating.

I will never forget seeing the golden arches of McDonalds for the first time in Meknes on our way to the market one day. It’d been something like 10 days since I’d even seen the establishment. Which, for a girl who loves her McChickens, was a stretch. Sadly, our professor grounded us from American establishments while in Morocco. But the fact remains: it was there, right next to Pizza Hut.

It’s all personal opinion as to whether globalization is a good or bad thing. In my opinion, it’s good. I like living in a country where there are many different types of food available and I don’t have to eat the same type of food every day. I don’t see why it’s bad giving Moroccans the option for McLovin’ too. Neither tourists nor locals are being forced to eat there. It’s all choice. Having a McDonalds in the city is clearly not doing anything to affect the local economy. The place is full of cafes, hanouts (corner stores), and restaurants: all of which were always filled with people, despite the presence of the American franchise. That McDonalds and Pizza Hut were the only two American joints that I saw in Morocco, I think.

Globalization allows options, at least when referring to food. It’s not some ploy to take over all the small businesses; at least that’s not how I interpreted it when I was there. It’s just a chance to allow a change of taste if one so desires.

This blurry photo is of a McDonalds in Marrakech. The Golden Arches are clearly recognizable, but with the Arabic name displayed below it. Globalization at its finest.

*And no, I did not eat at McDonalds in Morocco…. I waited until we returned to Madrid 🙂

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