I love McDonald's. I'll say it, I do. I know it's not exactly cool to like Mickey D's these days (fun fact, in Australia they call it Mackers), given the whole obesity epidemic and all, but as someone who grew up in the US, McDonald's will always have a special place in my heart. I don't care how good my mom's cooking was. There will always be something magical about stopping to get crispy, greasy, perfectly salted fries on the way home from soccer practice.
Did you know that there's a legit reason McDonald's Coca-Cola tastes so good? I thought I was crazy for the longest time because I could swear, McDonald's soda just tasted better than other restaurants, which normally get their Coke syrup in plastic containers. But McDonald's gets its Coke syrup delivered in stainless steel tanks. The material of the steel tanks keeps the soda fresher, and according to experts, your taste buds can tell.
Also, if you're old enough, you might be of the same mind as Malcolm Gladwell when he talks about the disappointment he felt when McDonald's stopped using beef tallow to make their fries. Thanks to consumer demand, aka a public distaste for saturated fat (and all fat, really), McDonald's switched their frying fat to vegetable oil. To be fair, I never noticed the difference. I'll down an entire large order of fries and then some regardless. Vegetable oil or beef tallow, McDonald's fries are better than the rest. I dare you to change my mind!
McDonald's is everywhere. There's nothing like getting on a plane to get away from it all and seeing US fast-food chains wherever you go. Has anyone else noticed that this is particularly true with KFC and Taco Bell? Of course, there's no fast-food chain more popular than McDonald's, no matter how hard Yum (the company that owns KFC and Taco Bell) seems to try. Also, I will fight anyone who says that KFC is better than Popeye's.
Sorry, that escalated quickly. Anyway, one of my favorite things to do when I travel is to go to a local McDonald's. It's a fascinating interpretation of local cuisine, even if it's one that's heavily influenced by Western tastes and a big, fat, Western corporation. I walk into a McDonald's and I think: "I wonder what McDonald's thinks the signature meal of this country is?" Sure enough, there's the McGyro in Greece (I don't think they call it that, however), the McMilanesa in Argentina, and McTapas in Spain (again, do they call it that, and why not?). I'm also thrilled when I learn that a country serves beer at their McDonald's and other fast-food chains like Burger King or KFC. Do they serve beer because beer is more ingrained into the local culture, or do they just trust their customers to drink beer at McDonald's and be reasonable about it? Have you seen the videos of people going wild at McDonald's in the US (looking at you, Schezuan sauce kid)? No wonder we can't have nice things.
Okay, anyway, here we go!
1. Chicken and Egg Burger (Hong Kong)
Does anyone else ever think about how messed up it is that we eat chicken with eggs? Also, how do they get their eggs to look like that? I would love some behind-the-scenes insight as to how Mickey D's prepares those perfectly square scrambled eggs on Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuits, or how they get the yolk to look like they do in the picture above. Are we expected to believe that all McDonald's eggs are prepared in-house? Do we care? Is the egg runny on the Chicken & Egg Burger? I need to know.
2. Poutine (Canada)
I want to meet the guy/gal/non-binary person who invented poutine. Whoever decided to put cheese curds and gravy on fries needs to either be hanged or have a statue built in their likeness, I can't decide (just kidding, obviously we need to celebrate them). It's like the person who invented hollandaise sauce. Who thought we needed egg sauce for our eggs? A genius, that's who. As if McDonald's fries weren't intoxicating enough. This poutine is almost too much for me.
3. Baci Perugina McFlurry (Italy)
I don't speak Italian. My Italian skills are on par with Brad Pitt's in Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, which is to say that I pronounce buongiorno "bon-jor-no" with a Southern accent. But, I'm pretty sure the above picture says that this is a "vortex of chocolate?" What more could you ask for? I'm not really sure what Baci or Perugina is, but if it's in a vortex of chocolate, I'm sure it's fine.
Update from Wikipedia:
"Perugina is an Italian chocolate confectionery company based in Perugia, Italy that was founded in 1907. The company also operates a chocolate-making school at its factory in Perugia, which commenced in 2007. Perugina was purchased by the Nestlé corporation in 1988, and it is now a division of Nestlé corporation."
Also, 'Baci' means 'kisses' and they're chocolate kisses filled with hazelnut and wrapped in a multilingual love note. Aw, that's sweet.
4. Les Deluxe Potatoes (France)
In Paris, you can have a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese? If you've seen Pulp Fiction, you know. Anyway, with my Royale with Cheese and the metric system, I'd enjoy some of these delicious-looking Les Deluxe Potatoes--seasoned potato wedges with a creamy deluxe dipping sauce. Also, I'll just leave this here:
As someone from the US, Cadbury Eggs are like forbidden fruit to me. I always assumed they were banned because of choking hazards (the eggs sometimes contain a little toy inside), but as it turns out, all Cadbury products including the iconic Creme Egg were banned from being imported into the United States after Hershey Chocolate Corporation filed a lawsuit alleging the company copied a Hershey chocolate egg recipe. Who knew?
Anyway, I want a forbidden egg McFlurry!
6. McAloo Tikki (India)
According to McDonald's website, this iconic burger from India is "a toasted bun filled with a veggie patty made with potatoes, pea and seasoning reminiscent of samosas; topped with fresh red onions, tomato slices and an eggless creamy tomato mayo." McDonald's launched this vegan option at its global headquarters restaurant in Chicago back in 2018. I'm not sure if it's still around, but I'm betting no. Don't get me wrong, I love a good veggie burger, but I'm not getting on a plane to try this baby anytime soon. Still, I'd love to get one someday.
7. Chicken McDo With Spaghetti (Philippines)
In my honest opinion this is probably the most random menu item on here. Is pasta a big thing in the Philippines? Can someone fill me in on this? Regardless, not only is this the most random item but weirdly the most appealing. I've never thought to have fried chicken... with pasta. All these years and this thought has never crossed my mind. But looking at the 'McDo,' I'm a new believer.
8. Oreo McShake (Uruguay)
Okay, you're probably thinking: "But we have the Oreo McFlurry?" And I know this. And I'm still confused. Why don't we also have the McShake? Does Uruguay not have the McFlurry? What's the difference anyway? I'm confused.
This pita bread sandwich is available at McDonald's outlets in Arab countries and Pakistan. It was originally released in Greece back in 2001 as the "Greek Mac." It's called the Grilled Chicken foldover in Singapore and Malaysia, the McOriental in Spain, France and Holland, the McTurco in Turkey, and the McKebab in Israel. You can't make those names up. Well, someone did I guess. The McOriental? Really? Imagine McDonald's selling that in the US.
It's salty, it's sweet, it makes me want to eat. This traditional Japanese sauce is slathered all over two McDonald's patties for all of the teriyaki goodness. If two burger patties isn't your thing, there's also a Teriyaki Chicken Filet sandwich or quite possibly my favorite thing yet, the Teritama, a Teriyaki McBurger with an egg on top. When in doubt, put an egg on it!
Which of these regional McDonald's menu items would you most like to try? Let us know!