The Fried Chicken Capital Of The World May Surprise You

Fried chicken may feel emblematic of southern culture in the United States, but it's a staple in diverse cuisines across the globe, according to Insider. You can prepare it in an endless number of ways, and its distinct crunch followed up by juicy, succulent chicken is universally adored.

Southern fried chicken typically features crispy skin that's been dunked in buttermilk and coated in flour. When you nosh on a piece of fried chicken in the south, you'll likely detect spicy notes that come from infusing the hot oil with cayenne or habanero. Outlook Traveler reported that Brazil boasts a fried chicken number called Coxinha. The dish calls for fried pastry shaped into drumsticks and stuffed with shredded chicken thighs, onions, garlic, cheese, and seasonings. Before getting dunked in hot oil to fry, Coxinha receives a breadcrumb coating.

Fried chicken is comfort food in any form, but the world champion of this culinary feat has a history that dates back to the 1600s, per Fat Noodle Ramen House.

Nakatsu boasts almost 50 karaage shops

People love fried chicken in all parts of the world. But in Nakatsu, Japan, it's a way of life, according to The Island Online. A beloved dish called karaage emerged in the 1600s, per Fat Noodle Ramen House, around the same time as tempura.

This beloved comfort food typically features chicken thighs or breasts cut into chunks and marinated in soy sauce, onion, garlic, and other "secret" ingredients. The marinated chicken gets lightly breaded in potato starch and fried.

The karaage that you can find all over Nakatsu today took shape during World War II when the Japanese needed a low-cost way to feed their families. The United States was importing food to Japan at the time, so chicken was on the menu. Karaage was first served in its modern version in Usa City — right next to Nakatsu — in a restaurant called RaiRaiken. The tasty chicken quickly jumped the border to Nakatsu and became a hit among rice farmers.

Now, Nakatsu is home to nearly 50 karaage shops. The shops put their chicken to the test annually in the Karaage Grand Prix, which determines who sells the best in Japan.