Taking photographs of food and posting them on Instagram is a bona fide cultural phenomenon that often doesn't get the respect it deserves. Recent analysis by the folks over at Photoworld resulted in an interactive map showing off what types of food pictures were popular in different parts of the world. Certain facts, like churros being popular in Spain, make perfect sense. Others, however, might not be as obvious.
1. #Burgers are more Instagram-famous in London than they are anywhere else in the world
The hamburger's "true" origin is a hotly contested debate, but it's hard to argue that there are many fast food items as iconically American as a burger. America gave birth to the modern, mass-produced meat patty on a bun, and we're now living in a golden age of Shake Shacks, Five Guys, and In-and-Outs. You might think we'd be on top of the Instagram burger game, but you'd be wrong—London's got the US beat.
2. #BanhMi are bigger in Australia than they are in Vietnam
Traditional banh mi sandwiches are the unexpected product of France's 19th century colonization of Vietnam. Elements of French cuisine like baguettes, mayonnaise, and pâté are blended with Vietnamese staples like cilantro and cucumber, resulting in a fusion food that became an established part of Vietnamese culture.
While banh mi continue to be a staple food in Vietnam, their popularity in Australia is at an all-time high.
3. #Currywurst and #poutine are probably never going to be popular outside their home countries
Currywurst is a popular German snack; typically a grilled pork sausage served with curry-spiced ketchup and a tiny little fork. Poutine is an (unsightly) Canadian mix of french fries, cheese curds, and warm beef gravy. Both are the types of fusion foods that you wouldn't be surprised to come across on a food truck, and yet, chances are you probably won't.
Photos tagged with #Poutine and #Currywurst really only ever pop up in Canada and Germany.
4. Even though it originated in Japan, #Katsu’s at its most popular in Los Angeles
Deep-fried, breaded cutlets of meat are one of of those foods that pop up all over the world in one form or another; katsu is a Japanese take on fried meat breaded in flour and panko flakes and is often served with curry.
Weirdly, not many Japanese people appear to be tagging their katsu food porn. None of the top five places you'll find the (romanized) #Katsu tag are in Japan itself. Try searching for it in Los Angeles, Jakarta, NYC, Makati City, and Singapore.
5. Together, Bangkok and Seoul eclipse Paris when it comes to loving #macarons
Precise, delicate, beautiful, and undeniably posh—macarons are a quintessentially Parisian food. Are the French taking pictures of their tiny little glamour cookies? Sure. Are they posting those photos on Instagram? Nope. Those bragging rights belong to the good people of Bangkok and Thailand, who share obsessions with Parisian iconography. Many east Asian bakeries often feature symbols we associate with Paris: the Eiffel Tower, berets, and, yes, macarons.