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We eat some forms of fast food since the ancient times. But the real boom happened with the industrial revolution, popularity of cars and idea that food can be prepared in five minutes or less.
When you think about fast food, hamburger is probably the first food that comes to your mind. It is one of the oldest fast food items and it is still popular in different forms. Read more about history of the hamburger.
French fries are one of the most popular foods in the world. It was invented by Belgians (despite the name) and spread from there around the world. Today, every place that prepares French fries has its own variant. Read more about French fries history and facts.
Fast food restaurants, as we know them today, appeared in 20th century and most of them first in the United States. They improved the speed with which the food was prepared and standardized it so that every outlet would sell the food of the same quality.