When I travel internationally, I try to avoid eating at American chains. You only have so many meals on a given vacation, so what’s the point of eating something you can already get back home? My one exception to the “no foreign fast food” rule, though, is McDonald’s. Why? Because it’s at least worth walking through the door to see what weird and wonderful regionalized items make up that country’s menu.
Thankfully, Americans won’t need their passports to enjoy some international McDonald’s menu items in the near future. According to internal documents viewed by Business Insider, the global burger chain is adding four new “international favorites” to the U.S. menu, starting in early June.
So what culinary rarities are passing through customs? First up is the wildly named “Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger” from Spain, which features a quarter-pound patty topped with gouda, onions, bacon, and something called “McBacon Sauce.” From our neighbors to the north comes the tomato-mozzarella chicken sandwich, which is pretty much exactly what it says it is, slathered with a special tomato and herb sauce. For side dishes, there’s the Australian cheesy bacon fries. At least dessert is rather unique: a Dutch-inspired Stroopwafel McFlurry that pairs stroopwafels (a thin cookie with a caramel filling) with vanilla soft serve and a caramel sauce.
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The selection of these menu items—presumably added to offset the recently announced removal of their “signature crafted” line of burgers—isn’t completely out of left field. The Grand McExtreme and Stroopwafel McFlurry were both the subject of a soft launch at 50 south Florida McDonald’s locations in 2018. McDonald’s (or, as the Aussies call it, Macca’s) already knows that us gluttonous Americans want cheesy bacon fries, given that they’ve recently been tested and heavily promoted in the U.S.
While the globalization of our fast food palates is welcome in the abstract, one has to wonder why McDonald’s didn’t add some of its more exotic regional items to the menu. Where is Japan’s Shrimp Filet-O, or Germany’s bratwurst-based McNurnburger? Why none of the extensive vegetarian options from McDonald’s India? We’ll have to wait (maybe forever) for a McDonald’s menu here that truly reflects the world’s fast food tastes. But for now, importing these four menu items is a decent start.
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