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Global Bites from the Golden Arches

Global Bites from the Golden Arches

Image source: McDonald’s

Walk into any McDonald’s and you probably aren’t going to be hit with any surprises on the menu. The golden arches signal fast food for the masses: McNuggets, Big Macs, french fries, McFlurries, etc.

This is mostly true – if you’ve only been to a McDonald’s in the States.

Around the world, McDonald’s offers localized options that appeal to that region’s taste preferences. I’ve tried the sweet taro pie while in Hong Kong, and have seen advertisements for “Shake Shake” fries, which include seasoning packets so you can flavor your fries by literally shaking them up. In Japan, McDonald’s has a shrimp burger. You can order croquettes in Spanish McDonald’s. And even in the U.S., Hawaiian locations have coconut pies – which I attempted to order, but they were sadly unavailable at the time.

As of last week, Americans don’t need a passport (or to take a long domestic flight to Hawaii) to sample these international flavors, thanks to a new Chicago location that features menu items from all over the world. The menu rotates every two months, so customers can taste even more global cuisines without leaving the country. The debut menu includes the Mighty Angus Burger from Canada, Hong Kong’s McSpicy Chicken Sandwich, some salad options from France (that I’m admittedly not that excited by) and the Brazilian McFlurry Prestigio, which sounds delectable: vanilla soft-serve ice cream blended with strawberry sauce and chocolate-covered coconut bites. However, the item I’m most intrigued by is the cheese and bacon-loaded fries, which hail from Australia. My question: why aren’t these fries available at every McDonald’s already?!

Just as a Big Mac isn’t representative of the finest American food you can get, the global menu from McDonald’s isn’t going to be totally authentic cuisine from these countries. But hey, if you’re in Chicago’s West Loop looking for a quick bite, why not upgrade from a Big Mac to something with a bit more international flair?

Posted by Sylvie