Saturday, July 25, 2009

Move Over Burger King - North Korea has Minced Beef and Bread

Okay, okay, this isn't the exact burger (pictured here) that North Korea has available in Pyongyang. But there is the new "minced beef and bread" available for sale at the North Korean capital's fast-food restaurant.
So, it's beef, not dog, as far as we know.

(the actual picture wasn't available)

The Samtaesong restaurant opened in the isolated communist country last month in cooperation with a Singaporean company, according to the Tokyo-based Choson Sinbo. The Singaporean company, provided training to restaurant staff and supplied equipment.

The restaurant's interior looks like fast-food restaurants everywhere, but the menu is careful not to call "minced beef and bread" a hamburger — being ever so careful not to give the impression North Koreans have embraced an American holy icon.

The North Korea's authoritarian government is concerned that outside influences could undermine the regime and pose a threat to leader Kim Jong Il's tight grip on the nation of 24 million. It avoids using foreign words and chooses Korean words instead.

The restaurant is unlikely to be visited by ordinary, everyday people in North Korea, which is one of the world's poorest countries and experiences constant food shortages.

Let's do the math, the minced beef and bread costs only $1.70, but that's more than half of the average daily income for North Koreans. Last year's average income was at $1,065.

Even though the minced burger should be enough to please everyone, the restaurant also offers kimchi, as well as waffles and draft beer. It plans to add croissants and hot dogs to its menu in the coming months but with Korean names, and will open another branch in the capital soon.

Wow, sounds like a winner.