The Greatest Hits of American Fast Food

Published in Gourmet Live 06.20.12
Gourmet Live’s Kelly Senyei counts down the 10 dishes that have fueled America’s love affair with in-an-instant eats
It’s commonly said that the fast-food industry feeds 25% of Americans daily. In 2011, the fast-food sector in America generated more than $190 billion in revenue, and 2012 estimates show no signs of slowing. That’s a whole lot of eating. We’re counting down the top 10 tastiest dishes that keep diners coming back for more.

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10. Dairy Queen Blizzard

A mainstay of hot summer nights, Dairy Queen has been luring Americans to its creamy cool treats since its 1940 founding in Joliet, Illinois. But it wasn’t until 1985 that the company launched its most famous menu item: the Blizzard. Made of soft-serve ice cream whipped with chopped cookies or candy, the thick dessert quickly became a crowd favorite (more than 175 million Blizzards sold that first year alone.) Although the technique has remained the same through the decades, the list of mix-ins has grown to include a variety of candy bars, cookie dough, mocha chips, cheesecake, fresh fruit, toasted coconut, and chocolate truffles. And this dessert is still served upside-down.

Photo: American Dairy Queen Corporation

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Kelly Senyei is an associate editor at Gourmet Live and author of Food Blogging for Dummies (Wiley, 2012).

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